A few months ago, my friend Madison and I drove along the south coast of Iceland, fueling our hunger with fish jerky, chocolate-covered licorice, questionable instant coffee and reliving our college days with some very emotional Alt-J (always makes you feel like you’re in a car commercial, guaranteed).
We all have our social media-inspired travel bucket-list and Iceland has always been on mine. It’s an ethereal place. It’s overwhelming, really. It seemed as if every few miles, waterfalls were pouring from mountains’ peaks and double-rainbows dipped into the ocean after every rain.
We saw wild horses and crossed barefoot over raging rivers. At sunrise, we climbed to a lighthouse that was drenched in gold, overlooking cliffs that looked like shark teeth. We woke to the Northern Lights from a 19th century guesthouse and drove to hot springs that took us miles down a sheep-infested road. We were the only people on a ferry that took us to a seemingly abandoned island in the Eyjafjörður fjord (Google map it). We drank a lot of airport-bought wine, too.
I ended up spending a few days in Iceland by myself, where I met some interesting people. I traveled around with an exceptionally cool Icelandic fellow in a camper van (sounds sketchy, it was/wasn’t), which ended up breaking down in the middle of a national park, leaving us stranded in a storm. My hostel-mate, Emma from Melbourne, said fuck it after years of being in a relationship, and has been traveling the world for a year alone. And my flight attendant to Iceland was also the bouncer at a club in Reykjavik.
Trying to put my experience there into words feels off, though. Iceland is a sacred place, and like most sacred places, far better experienced than described.
If beautiful photos of beautiful places tickles your fancy, lend your eyes to Lucy Laucht’s “6 Perspective-Altering Destinations That Should Be on Your 2017 Travel Bucket List”.