Chasing the northern lights: Here’s the best destination to check it off your bucket list

The northern lights or the aurora borealis is one of the most dazzling spectacles the human eyes can ever witness.

The northern lights or the aurora borealis is one of the most dazzling spectacles the human eyes can ever witness. No high-resolution image or HD video can compare to seeing it live: the wisps of billowing green, purple, and blue light dancing to the howling wind amid a clear dark sky. It is truly a stunning display.

Thus, people from all over the globe travel to high northern latitudes to literally chase auroras, which are about as unpredictable and erratic as the notorious Arctic weather. So that the thrill of the chase becomes an experience in itself. The long flight, the icy subzero temp, and the long sleepless nights spent waiting and searching for it is nothing when confronted by the ever-elusive aurora borealis.

The northern lights are most visible from February to March or August to November in the in the Arctic Circle. Every night — fingers crossed —it lights up the northern polar regions like Scandinavia as moving and pulsing curtains of green, blue, pink, purple and red lights.

So where’s the best destination to bask in auroral glow and check off northern lights in your bucket list?

Northern Norway is where visitors can choose from several tour packages, destinations and activities related to the dancing curtains of light. Tromso, a bustling historical, cultural, nature city right smack in the middle of the “aurora zone,” is practically peak northern lights viewing territory.

Sitting at 69° north latitudes, Tromso is one of Scandinavia’s most famous northern lights destination.

While there’s a high chance you can see the lights from downtown, it's better to get away from the city’s light pollution. The Lyngsalpene mountain range is where northern lights chase take place. Or better yet, the Norwegian tourism board highly recommends a voyage on the Norwegian Coastal Steamer Hurtigruten to see the lights along a fjord. Fancy!

Of course, if you’re traveling all day to the northernmost latitudes for your northern lights sojourn, might as well check out some of the region’s other unusual happenings.

In Longyearbyen, the world's northernmost town, a place where Polaris, the North Pole Star, hovers just above the horizon, you can take organized dogsledding, snowmobile, or snowcat adventures into the wilderness.

But bucket list-worthy destinations like Norway require a lot of saving up for. Travel agencies like Seasons Travel and Tours offer personalized packages to Oslo, Norway with northern lights side trip to Tromso and back. The package will cost you roughly $2,400, depending on the date of your trip. If you’d rather furnish your own northern lights itinerary, Turkish Airlines flies Manila to Oslo for about $1,200.
Thus, to many, a trip to the Arctic Circle regions during the Long Polar Night — lounging under the Polaris as they wait for the dance of the northern lights — sounds more like a dream than a would-be bucket list moment.

Well, just as chasing the auroras requires great timing and little — or a lot — of luck, you, too, can try your luck and actually turn that dream into reality.

Pan-Asian insurer FWD Insurance’s Northern Lights Travel Bucket List Experience raffle promo, for instance, gives you the chance to see the northern lights in Norway. To join, get a Set for Health quote, FWD’s most comprehensive critical illness plan, at

After all, we wouldn’t ever be able to do anything without trying. Who knows, it might just be your first step to checking off your northern lights bucket list (and secure your future, at the same time!) Good luck and #GetReadyToLive.

News Source: Phil Star