2015 was quite a different year for me: new city, new job, a serious relationship, no big travel, bought a house… pretty monumental in some ways, but totally not me in others. Now that spending on the house has settled down and I have more time for myself, I’m on a mission to make the things I love a priority again – read: travel more!
A good friend of mine with whom I’ve traveled quite a bit suggested a last minute trip to Iceland, which has been on my list for a while, so I said yes! We gathered one more friend to join us and with only a month’s notice we were off for a long weekend.
Iceland was a cool place and yet a little different than I expected. We did a lot of driving: checking out sites, making our way to an ice cave tour, wishing and hoping to see some northern lights… And while the time in the car was a little more than we’d anticipated, the landscape is breathtaking and truly other-worldly. More than once we commented that we felt like we were on Mars with snow, or that we were in some magical other land. It’s easy to see how there is a strong belief in elves and magical figures, with the vast openness and desolation, snow dancing over the road in the wind, and mountains that come straight out of the earth without warning. I’ve tried to capture these feelings in photos, but as usual, sometimes a photo just doesn’t get it. There are some videos though at the bottom, that capture quite a bit in mere seconds.
The only thing that was really lacking in my mind was more of a sense of Icelandic culture. EVERYONE speaks English, there are droves of American and British tourists, and while it does feel more like Europe than America does, it wasn’t all that different. Still hipsters with cool coffee shops and modern stores with rose gold household accouterments, but I suppose that’s the where the world is headed… With internet, social media, blogs, etc. everyone, no matter where they are in the world, has the same access to trends and ideas that spread like wildfire across countries far and wide.
All in all, I’d recommended it. I’d love to go back in the Summer, because seeing the country without snow, partaking in summer outdoor activities, and seeing endless daylight would be in stark contrast with the Iceland I experienced.