At this grey and chilly time of year, many people find themselves dreaming of jetting off to foreign climes.
As a travel agent Charlotte Ellis has more of an opportunity than most to realise that dream.
However, instead of soaking up the sunshine of Lanzarote or the Caribbean, the 28-year-old has opted for northern Siberia, where temperatures plunge to minus 40c and where her nights will be spent not in a snug hotel or chalet but shivering in a tent battered by freezing gales.
Ms Ellis, from Uttoxeter, has been chosen to take part in the longest and most northerly car race in the world. She is in the only Western European team to take part in the Expedition Trophy contest which will see her and her team captain, Phil Cornelius, race from Murmansk, on Russia's Arctic coast, to Vladivostok, on the Pacific.
The team is one of 50 hoping to win a prize of 10kg of pure gold by winning the two-week 10,000-mile race which starts on February 26.
As an adventure holiday specialist at Journeys A La Carte in Uttoxeter, Ms Ellis is no stranger to taking up a challenge. She has been quad-biking across the Kalahari, bungee-jumping in New Zealand and elephant trekking across Sri Lanka.
She barely hesitated when Mr Cornelius, 57, a travel agent based in Yorkshire, asked if she wanted to join him and the two Russian-speaking Eastern European crew members in the team.
"I told myself it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I couldn't really turn it down," said Ms Ellis.
"It's a step completely into the unknown. We will be driving across snow drifts in the Ural Mountains, going through the Siberian tundra and dodging ice boulders on the Amir River. We will also be crossing Lake Baikal, the largest and deepest freshwater lake in the world."
The race does not conform to any conventional motor race or rally and is instead intended to recreate the spirit of the motoring adventures of the beginning of the last century.
"We will be camping in eight stop-off places along the way and it will be very, very cold," said Ms Ellis. "I think the weather will be the most challenging part of the race and also working as part of a team for the whole two weeks."
First in her rucksack will be a "really decent sleeping bag" and Arctic clothing. "My luxury items will be my mobile phone and a chapstick," she added.
The British duo will set off to Russia - neither has visited the country before - on February 18 to familiarise themselves with the vehicle and the other members of the team.