May I introduce you to Galya Morrell. She was one of the inspiring Well Over 50 women I met at the Age of Happiness Festival in Montenegro recently & I just had to share her journey with you. She provided me with all these fantastic 'photos which are so very perfect for the lead up to Christmas! Enjoy.
Galya is Russian and has worked as a war correspondent, a polar researcher and artist, as well as bringing up six children whilst living in New York for 20 years with her then husband. When she turned 50 she realised, like many of us, that she lived in a "cocoon" & wanted to do more with her life. She wanted to go back to where she had spent time with her grandparents in the Arctic. And she wanted to dance on ice!
So this brave woman moves to Greenland, marries an Eskimo, and although used to living with the Inuits has to learn how to walk on the sea ice and not fall through. They then moved to Siberia where they live in a tiny village where the temperatures can drop to minus 60 degrees, with no water, roads or indoor toilets! For 9-10 months of the year she walks on moving ice with no land and lives in total darkness for 4 months of the year.
SO WHAT DO YOU EAT?
The shop in the Arctic village sells one small carrot for $5 but most of the time there aren't any carrots or vegetables at all. So I have had to learn from the locals to rely on hunting. They still use kayaks and harpoons to hunt in the summer and dog-sleds in the winter. We eat a lot of fish and eat it raw, everyone shares everything and the the old and weak get fed first. I even drink blood, on an empty stomach, it's the best health drink ever and it really helped me when I was ill!
WHAT ABOUT HEALTH?
The indigenous people I live with are never depressed and there's very little illness. Drinking blood helps! But I also have really got into cold swimming for helping my immunity. I walked on the snow in bare feet when I had suffered from bronchitis for 3 months. My feet felt burning hot but the next day the bronchitis had disappeared! I have been swimming in cold water, when the air is minus 20, since I was 6. The river water is 0 and the sea water can be minus 2! It's a shock therapy but it really helps get rid of illness quickly!
AND WHAT DO YOU DO DAY TO DAY?
One of my son's friends invited me to teach the local children dancing. All Arctic kids are good at juggling, dancing & acrobatics. So we do a kind of Circus on Ice! I also design scarves that have scenes of my life that I paint on silk. And I design jewelery inspired by the icebergs! You can see more of her art & jewelry on her site: galyamorrell.com
What an amazing woman! Think of her whilst you're getting ready for Christmas, dancing on the ice in minus 35 degrees in the most beautiful scenery on earth! We salute you Galya and it was a joy to spend time with you.