It's been two months since I returned from a beautiful, refreshing, freaking freezing cold and wonderfully life changing trip to my dream place since I discovered Bjork and Sigur Ros as a preteen - Iceland.
When I returned life started back up at too fast a pace for me to process my experiences as much as I would have liked - wedding season was in full swing, and I caught pneumonia (on the plane home maybe?) and I started working with Free People. All lovely things of course (except pneumonia which was awful) but it's taken me until now to appreciate this trip as much as I do. Here are my thoughts I'd like to share: (after the pics!)
Life is not complete until you have as many outside perspectives to reflect upon as possible. Who are we, as such small and insignificant and unknowing-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things humans to think we have a broad perspective of anything in this universe? Until we open our minds and hearts to the opinions and ways of life of others, we are limiting ourselves.
Travel is necessary. But travel is versatile. Travel can be through a documentary film or a novel or a photographer's series or NPR. Something that teaches you about a place. If you can manage the real-deal in-personal kind of travel - this is the best. It is exciting, it is educational, it is humbling. Most of all, it makes you feel small. In the best way.
Here is why I, personally, love love LOVE traveling and am an advocate for following through with your sparks of wanderlust:
- I am smarter - I've learned things about new places and people that I would never have known before.
- I have more confidence - If you can feel comfortable on your own in a country you've never set foot in, you can handle most situations in life.
- I feel accomplished! - I hiked a glacier. I hiked a freaking glacier. That's something I would never think to try any other day out of fear. But when in Iceland...
- I am better at being alone - going out by myself on a Friday in Reykjavik is the most fun I've had in... well, ever!
- I've made friends across the world - staying in a hostel is a melting pot of like-minded individuals and the most incredible learning opportunity.
- My bucket list is longer - all my new friends told me about their home countries and now I need to go to Australia, Denmark, Germany...
Travel is magical. Iceland is magical.
Before I continue with my philosophical babble, here's ALL ABOUT ICELAND!
Reykjavik: the cutest coffee shops, the best record store EVER (12 Tónar!), so many blondes, everyone dresses impeccably, hippest hostels, live music galore, great local beer (it's STRONG!), so many other travelers from all over the world.
South Iceland: NATURE! Waterfalls galore, glaciers, black sand, huge rock formations, BLUE LAGOON, Geysir geyser (the OG of geysers), puffin, so so many wild horses. Maybe my favorite moment was waking up from a nap on the bus to an early morning day-trip, and the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was my first Icelandic horse (actually, about twenty of them!)
Iceland, I could sit in 12 Tónar and listen to Samaris and Múm records for hours on end, dreaming of the glaciers I'd like and the hot spring lagoons I'd swim in the next day. At night I'd drink Viking beer or a fancy cocktail with Icelandic vodka and rhubarb liqueur at Kaffibarrinn and dance to a DJ who played Tame Impala and Paul Simon (yes and yes).
(more words after the jump)
Me and my traveler friends laying around on Icelandic moss - it grows on lava rocks. How cool is that?
Travel. Do it often. Go on small trips and once in a while plan the trip of your dreams. Travel alone. Travel with your friends. Explore a new city without a map. Book your must-do's but keep your itinerary open. Ask a local what they do for fun. Talk to everyone. Make friends. Stay connected. Stay out late. Go out dancing by yourself. Dance in the street. Wake up early, see the sun rise - or in Iceland's case, dance until the bars close and the sun's already up. Hike a freaking glacier and get over your fear. You'll be so glad you did.
Where's your next adventure taking you? + a few more photos for good measure.
Below: actual no man's land. Land between tectonic plates. Wild, isn't it?
That's me, layered up in all the clothes from my suitcase and so so happy to be alive in front of Seljalandsfoss waterfall.