Used to the excitement of the big cities and busy streets, contributor Jo Stewart found something unexpectedly profound down Antarctica way.

Used to the excitement of the big cities and busy streets, Jo Stewart found something unexpectedly profound on the blissfully buzz-free sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia.

There are places that offer a visitor non-stop action. Anyone who has traveled has surely been shaken by cities that just won’t quit, until you end up leaving exhausted, sprawled out on the cold, grey airport floor waiting for a red-eye flight that matches the current state of your own bloodshot eyes.

Then there are places that, gently, quietly and softly, give you more than any of those brash cities ever could, and manage to do so with such alarming nonchalance, you begin to question everything.

Related: What I learned on a 300km walk through the Australian desert

The sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia is one of those places. There are no roads, traffic, cafés, shops, restaurants or bars. There’s no permanent human population, except for the caretakers who spend a season there each year. Apart from the summer months, when research scientists, film crews shooting nature documentaries, and tourists from large ice-breaking cruise ships often visit, very few are able to spend a large amount of quality time with South Georgia Island. But I was one of the lucky ones.