The Explorer’s Daughter, Take II: Capturing Souls on Greenland

Greenland after-ski

“There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end.” Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Adventurers from all over visit Greenland each season to break one record or another. But it takes a Micke Strandberg to post this:

”There´s many homeless people in Nuuk”, Beate tells us at the dinner table in our apartment in the capital: ”Some even sleep outside. Two of them died last year. They froze to death.”

Over the years at Explorersweb, we’ve seen few travelers truly “see” people the way Micke does. Skiing across Siberia in deepest winter; in remote black-forest cabins he interviewed recluses living strange post-communist lives.

In the hope to find “a truer England”, he packed his 2-years old in a stroller and embarked on a trek from immigrant Manchester to London’s Birmingham palace. It led to one of our most widely read interviews, “The Explorer’s Daughter.”

Her dad, the explorer, rode horses, camels, kayaked and walked through much of the world: South America, Arabia and the far East. Not for the record books but to satisfy an urge to know our planet’s deepest folds and meet humanity in all its hues.

Now Strandberg, and his fairly recent tribe (a wife and two young) have descended on Greenland.

There to winter and make a lifestyle documentary with an adventure edge Micke already announced trouble mounting. It’s expensive, it’s cold, there is no (affordable) internet, and:

“So what is it going to be,” a tourist-weary local asks the Qallunaat*.

What picture does he plan, the Inuits want to know: The fur-clad hunter wrestling polar bears and contemplating universe; or the sad drunkard retching in a karaoke bar to the tunes of ‘My way’?

Noticing Micke’s mounting distress, a native comes to his rescue. “Don’t decide,” he says. “Just tell a good story.”

If anyone can keep it real, show the bad with the good, it’s Micke. Follow his dispatches.

*(Similar to the Mexicans word “gringo” for white foreigner; Inuit for whites is Qallunaat and basically means “Danish”.)


Best of ExplorersWeb 2005 Awards: Expedition Siberia

The Explorer’s Daughter

‘Explorer’s Daughter’ update: Exweb interview with Mikael Strandberg about new docu-trailer

Heads up: Mikael Strandberg to travel with reindeer people in Siberia