For some folks, seeing a total solar eclipse is a single chance in a lifetime. For eclipse chasers, it’s an exciting opportunity to travel the world and see an incredible event from a multitude of places on Earth. This unique hobby entails making costly and time-consuming treks to the farthest reaches of the globe for the best views of a total solar eclipse. Though the activity presents many challenges, at the same time, it can be incredibly rewarding.
“The feeling of the eclipse when it happens, you can’t describe it,” said Agnese Zalcmane, an eclipse chaser in Svalbard. “It’s like magic.”
To most observers, traveling all the way to a tiny arctic coast at the North Pole may not be the most ideal vacation. But for journeyers to the Svalbard Solar Eclipse, it was the challenge they’d been waiting for.
On March 20th, 2015, there were only two land masses in the entire globe where totality from a solar eclipse was visible. Svalbard, Norway has a population of under 3,000 folks and is around 800 miles from the North Pole. Some concerns in the area are jagged ice decks and cliffs, polar bears, and 24-hour sunlight during the summertime. The second land mass is a tiny island in the Arctic Sea known as the Faroe Islands with a population of about 50,000. By the time the eclipse came around, 2,000 committed travelers had landed in Svalbard for less than three minutes in the path of totality. Some people choose to spend their vacations and even their lives chasing shadows. How far would you go to live in the shadow of the moon?