Last-Chance Tourism in Ilulissat (69*N 51*W)

As of late with the daily talk of climate change, there has been an increasing motivation to travel to precarious destinations “before it is too late” or “before they disappear”.  In some instances, this motivation elevates the destination to the very top of the Bucket List when otherwise it would have taken another 5, 10, or 15 years or more to get there.  The Galapagos Islands is the destination that comes to mind most readily, but also, here in Greenland it has been muttered from more than a few tourists last summer and this spring.

But, it is not the disappearing destinations to which this entry’s title alludes but rather the disappearing holiday time itself.  I have now spent 10 glorious nights in Ilulissat, and I have only 7 nights more.  I am starting to get that “last-chance” feeling that tourists usually get near the ends of their holidays that makes them think, “I have to do XYZ because I don’t know when I will get the chance again!” or “I have to soak up these last impressions because tomorrow it is back to the real world!”

Last summer, I did not encounter this last-chance feeling because I knew I was returning to Greenland before I left the first time.  And even on this trip, I know I am returning to Nuuk again in September, but as for the other fantastic places in Greenland that I have visited – that is unknown now.  I am starting to miss them before I have even left!

Honestly speaking here, I do not think I will miss Kangerlussuaq.  I know I will certainly look back on my time there fondly, but I do not anticipate sitting at home wishing I was there.

I do, however, anticipate sitting at home wishing I was in Ilulissat!  And it is not just about the icebergs or the howling Greenlandic sledge dogs or the gastronomic greatness… Okay, okay, it is a little bit about the natural beauty and the Greenlandic specialties, but mostly it is about the handful of people that I have met in Ilulissat who are really, really, really passionate about Greenland and its future as a sustainable tourism destination, and as a sustainable society, in general.  I can get lost in conversation with them for hours and they are inspiring!  It makes me so excited for the future of Greenland!  There is not a doubt in my mind that Greenland will be in my immediate life for a very long time if I can help it!  I do not know if it will be in a professional capacity or a personal capacity, but I do know that the people I have met in Ilulissat, the sights I have seen, and the experiences I have had have hooked me 100%!

So I am missing Ilulissat before I have even left!  It is making me want to picnic by the Ice Fjord a few more times, have another sortebær smoothie and chat out on the deck of Inuit Café, hike from Oqaatsut to Ilulissat again, and do many other seemingly small things that are classic Ilulissat for me.  Because as far as I know right now, this could be my last chance!



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