Greenland has been on my bucket list for a long time and in September I got the chance to go there with the Adventure Travel Trade Association. And it was true. Greenland is an astonishing place on Earth.
Earlier this year I started writing a new chapter in the book of my professional life. I was offered to work with ATTA – Adventure Travel Trade Association, a membership organization focusing on sustinable and responsible adventure tourism. An offer I just couldn’t turn down and it didn’t take long before I understood that this was one of the better decisions I’ve made in my life lately.
But of course, I didn’t want to let go of Green Adventures. Spending time on the water, in a kayak, with clients, running courses, giving private lessons and guiding people is very rewarding for me as a paddler and a sea kayak coach. But also going off on paddle trips on my own or with friends, or joining a training course are things I love to do. I won’t give up the joy it brings when I get the chance to coach people who wants to enter the world of sea kayaking. It’s a world I wish every single person on this planet would get a piece of. At least once in their life time.
So this autumn I was asked by Chris Doyle, my colleague here in Europe if I would like to join him on a trip to Greenland and visit the Vestnorden Travel Mart. If I wanted to? Even before Chris had finished the sentence, I was screaming YES! YES! YES! Well, I wasn’t screaming it out loud of course. I needed to sound professional, so I said: - Yes, I would be delighted to join you on that trip Chris. (Maybe I’ve spent too much time in the land of politeness over the last few years…) If only Chris knew I was dancing around the house for the rest of that day.
With the great support from Lykke Geisler Yakaboylu and the rest of the team from Visit Greenland we got to experience the fantastic and oh so precious gigantic ice cap that is covering most of the island, we were invited to lunch near the little village of Kangerlussuaq with lots of odd animals on the menu (I’m still a vegetarian, I promise). I was amazed by the impressive northern lights that lit up the dark evening sky from the boat Sarfaq Ittuk we were travelling with. We got to explore the beautiful south west coast with floating icebergs, towards the town of Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. Meeting the locals and watching them perform local traditional dances was great fun and the big full moon that was setting outside the window of the restaurant in Maniitsoq one evening, will forever have a special place in my memory.
In Nuuk I met Malik, who’s also working with Visit Greenland and I got to know that he was also a paddler. I realized that there wouldn’t really be any time for any paddling on this trip, since it was a pretty busy schedule but I thought I’d mention to him when I introduce myself that I was also a paddler. He’s immediate question was: - So would you like to go for a morning paddle tomorrow then? Wow! Yes, of course! Fantastic! I’d love to!
It wasn’t long and the weather was typical Nuuk weather I heard, grey and foggy, but I was paddling in Greenlandic waters and it was great! I’m so happy that Malik offered to go paddling with me and it was great getting up in the morning, knowing I’d get some fresh air and some exercise before heading over to the travel show.
And Greenland has definitely a place in my heart from now on. I know I will be back and then it would be fantastic if I could make a longer kayaking trip. I better start believe this will happen cause when I do that, it will come true. That’s what they say!
Ps. At the good bye dinner, Greenland’s coolest rock band, Nanook, threw a concert for us and if you haven’t heard them before, better make sure you check them out. They are great!
If you click the pictures, they will be presented in a light box.