Missing the wild regions where I have worked, I took a linguistic trip from Asia to the Andes, via Russia and Finland, instead
A few years ago I spent a winter on Upernavik, a rocky island of 1,000 inhabitants off the north-west coast of Greenland. I’d been invited to Baffin Bay as part of a programme for international writers and artists to create new work about climate at one of the most northerly museums in the world.
The museum director emailed a warning in advance: the winter was better for introspection than exploration. Sure enough, I found I couldn’t leave the island, nor – with waist-high snowdrifts and continuous darkness – could I walk far around it. My daily excursions were limited to the path I dug from my cabin to the grocery store, or to the museum, where there was always coffee and a warm welcome.