10 Reasons Why I Want To Go To The North Pole

When I found out Quark Expeditions was looking for a blogger/writer to document their June 2011 Arctic expedition to the North Pole, I typed in an entry faster than I could refresh the contest page.

As I kept sending out plea after plea to friends and family to cast their votes, I realized I needed to share my backstory and why this contest means so much to me.

This isn’t about trying to reach a place others haven’t been. It isn’t about showing off or trying to compete with friends going on their own amazing polar expeditions (which I’m super stoked about). It isn’t about country-counting (or iceberg counting).

This is about something I thought would never happen to me.

About a statement I made (and truly believed) in my early teens about going specifically to the North Pole.

Childhood Dream

I remember sitting in Mr. Kayode’s geography class (my favorite) in secondary school, an atlas in my hand looking at political boundaries; countries way beyond my reach at that time. I constantly joked about it with family and friends. “I will reach the North Pole,” I often said, oblivious to the fact that I was sitting in tropical sub-Saharan Africa and had never seen snow at that time.

I never, ever in my wildest dreams would have thought I’d be a few votes and judges away from realizing that dream.


It’s Personal

My contacts and networks mean a lot to me and reaching out to every one of you to vote has been humbling and has filled me with even more gratitude. I care about every single person behind the vote so this is a lot more personal than just some social media campaign. I sincerely hope Quark Expeditions realizes this. Every single one of you is important beyond just your vote.

It’s Moving

The North Pole is moving. Granted, it’s not going to shift all the way to Africa in my lifetime, but it’s moving nonetheless and I’d like to get there while it’s still the North Pole.

Big Shoes

This is the closest I’d ever be to a bonafide Arctic explorer. Sure, we’d be rolling up in some style abroad a Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker, but nevertheless, sailing the paths of these Arctic explorers I’d only read and learned about in geography class would be a tremendous honor.

When I get there, I will plant 3 flags (if allowed): one for Nigeria my heritage, one for the United States my new home, and one for Sweden my love.

I’m also a serial jumper and plan on taking a classic jumping shot similar to these – http://www.flickr.com/photos/lolaakinmade/sets/72157623992737985/

Quark is Eco-Friendly

The polar regions (Arctic and Antarctica) are becoming more vulnerable and susceptible to human denigration and global warming. If I didn’t think Quark Expeditions was an environmentally responsible company (which they are), I won’t be participating in this.


As a writer, the vastness, barrenness, and sparseness of the North Pole is bound to rejuvenate my creativity by taking away all distractions, and helping me focus in the now; on each breath, and each heartbeat. It will force and help me to dig deeper.

Visual Candy

Jarring white icebergs against dark blue ink waters is a photographer’s dream to not only witness, but shoot and shoot till their fingers are frost-bitten.

On Lunacy

My husband thinks I’m crazy even though he’s from around these parts and grew up in Swedish Lapland. I’d like to validate his thoughts.

We Dey There!

Nigerians are known for traveling far and wide. I’d be honored to continue this tradition.

Serving and Gratitude

Paying it forward – To whom much is given, much is expected. How can I NOT pay this generosity forward?!

How to Vote

I’m encouraging fair and honest voting by sincerely reaching out to family, friends, colleagues, and others in various travel/culture/social media networks.

1. Click on my entry here and cast your vote at the end of the text – http://www.lolagoesnorth.com. Please make sure that the number of votes is incremented by 1 (yours). You can vote with each valid personal email address.

2. Connect with your existing Facebook account or create a simple Quark account here

3. Please pass this on via Twitter, Facebook, family, friends, colleagues, your various networks – “Lola Goes North” – www.lolagoesnorth.com

Please send Lola to the North Pole! – http://su.pr/16OQzm – @quarkexpedition @LolaAkinmade #Arctic #Travel

Thank you so much for your time!