|On top: Hoàng Lê Giang on top of a Himalayan Mountain in northern India. Photo courtesy of Hoàng Lê Giang|
Fjällräven Polar offers a unique opportunity for those who have not spent much time outdoors during the winter to go on the adventure of a lifetime.
According to the organisers, the participants will have a chance to navigate a dog sled on their own in what appears to be inhospitable wilderness – across barren tundra and frozen lakes and through mountain forests glistening with snow.
They will spend nights in a tent or under the stars, perhaps accompanied by the northern lights.
The journey starts at the edge of the Norwegian fjords in Signaldalen and finishes at the Jukkasjärvi area in Swedish Lapland.
Giang was selected among 13 participants, who received the most votes online from people in their countries including Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Hungary, Slovakia, Denmark, Finland and Germany.
The organisers will choose another 13 people from countries or groups of countries including Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Hungary, Slovakia, Denmark,Finland, Germany, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, UK, and USA.
Giang received 113,890 votes in total and also became the first in Southeast Asia to join the trip.
Besides winning the most votes from their native country, the participants are required to have a reasonable level of fitness and be over the age of 18 and have an open and flexible mind-set.
Giang graduated from Jönköping University in Sweden. Though he was obese and suffered from asthma as a child, the HCM City-based man has been trekking since 2011. He has trekked in the Himalayas seven times and travelled to 30 countries.
“I used to be a badly behaved boy at school,” he recalled, “When I studied at Lê Hồng Phong Gifted School in HCM City, once my literature teacher asked if we felt moved by any interesting works of literature, I answered ‘no’. Then after mountain trekking a number of times, I became more mature. Trekking often takes a long time, which made me think twice about my behavior and feelings.”
“In April 2015, a huge earthquake struck when I was climbing up a mountain in Chhomrong, Nepal. I was not scared at all but I suddenly thought about my parents. What would happen if I lost my life there and left them.”
“After that time, I changed my travel principle. I should prepare for the trip as well as I can. I persuaded my friends to train physically very thoroughly before departure.”
“When we are young, many of us want to be rich,” he said, “But the most important things in our life may not involve finance. I highly appreciate the feelings when I walk along a beautiful beach, conquer a high peak, meet someone who can share feelings when I need or simply a deep and sound sleep.”
Young and single people should travel as much as they can. Yet everyone should remember to do physical exercises regularly to maintain good health, and research the road map carefully together with companions before departing.”