“Go to your happy place.”
It’s a common saying. One that usually conjures a default image of a beach; much like the standard computer screensavers. (Or maybe that’s just me.) They’re nice, sure, but personalized, tapping into all your senses, and drenched with feeling- they are not.
I always figured reaching my happy place just involved closing my eyes and picturing a pretty location. Was I ever wrong. It was Greenland that changed this, in the best way possible.
Let me back up a touch here.
If you visit Nuuk during the summer, the traditional cabin experience is a must. Coming from the United States, I equated summer cabin life to the wilderness lake camps that I had experienced at one time or another. I was a country girl at heart; I could handle cabin life in Greenland…couldn’t I?
My eyes were watering profusely. Partly because of the whipping cold wind. Partly because I refused to blink. I was on Jackie from Vandrehuset’s boat, en route to the inner nook of a fjord, and I’d be damned if I was going to miss one millisecond of the excessively majestic mountains that sprung up from the sea all around us. Holy moly. As if that wasn’t enough, Jackie had ordered us a side of glorious weather, of course.
Jackie and his twelve-year-old perfect gentleman of a son, Lucas, were hosting us at their summer cabin for the day in the nearby fjord, Eqaluit Paarliit (meaning “the trouts at the mouth of the fjord” in Greenlandic). We pulled up to the edge of the coastline to a scene straight out of a Greenland postcard. Oh, and smoke. Not to be alarmed, as it was just two women and their dog smoking trout while water lapped at the shore. Classic Greenland.
We were greeted by an expansive porch skirting the red cabin and a hot tub I vowed to pay a visit to later. But first, Lucas took on the role of guide, leading us on a short hike to catch some fish. We walked along the river to the symphony of nature, as I crossed my fingers we’d see a reindeer.
We fished in the fjord setting so idyllic you almost forgot about the mosquitos…almost. A fair trade in my book, though. On our trek back for lunch, Lucas regaled us with a ghost story turned movie, filmed in the cabin up on the hill. He admitted being terrified to go near it.
“HAHA!” I laughed nervously. If I was being completely honest with myself, there was no way in hell I was going in there, either. My stomach rumbled in agreement.
The aroma of a delicious lunch lured us back to the cabin where we sat at the table like a mismatched family; Jackie and Lucas the long lost relatives we didn’t know we had. The food and wine flowed, as did my heavy pour of the delightful sauce which I’m fairly certain was comprised of pure magic. The hot tub beckoned, bringing the cabin experience full circle. It was then, lounging in a hot tub on the deck of a handsome cabin overlooking the fjord that I realized I was completely and utterly relaxed. It was a summer daydream full of home-cooking, solid company, and the most uncomplicated luxury you can define.
I’d had a taste of cabin life, and I wanted more.