For six weeks, Sophie Kelk lived on a remote Norwegian island north of the Arctic Circle. This is what she discovered about island life—the good, the bad, and above all, the community spirit.

As my flight begins its descent into Bodø, I catch a glimpse of the coastline. The jagged, teeth-like mountains drop vertically and abruptly—almost rudely—into the ocean, crowned with a shimmering glacier while out to sea is Fleinvær, a collection of grassy low-lying islands, scattered along the shore as if discarded by a petulant child. This archipelago of over 360 islands, an hour off the mainland, is to be my home for the next six weeks.

Soon, I am on a public boat, speeding over the deep blue waters and out to Sørvær, one of the archipelago’s only inhabited islands. The boat service runs almost daily, but I’ll need to call ahead of time if I want it to pick me up, and I’ll rely on it to deliver my food and any necessities during my time here. There are no shops or cafés. I quickly discover that planning is of the essence, and the boat is my lifeline to the mainland.

I am here, along with my boyfriend, to take over as caretaker for The Arctic Hideaway, a series of cabins which bill themselves as a creative retreat where simplicity is luxury. Our job? Keep the place running and welcome guests. Our goal? Find a bit of peace.