Back in Reykjavik

IMG_0207

We made it to the Hertz rental by 2. Actually, we cut it pretty close at 1:45, but we did it.

We then spent the evening last night relaxing, making dinner and watching Netflix. It was badly needed and helped us feel immediately at home here.

We’ve been in Reykjavik for just over 24 hours now. We picked up our City Pass which allows free access to almost all of the art galleries and museums, public transportation and thermal pools (shout out to my friend Talia who tipped me off about this sweet deal).

And of course, we immediately located the nearest Reykjavik Coffee Roasters which is thankfully in the same block as our Airbnb (#blessed) and pulled me out of my morning slump. Yes, we made a second stop later on this afternoon.

All of the footage from our trip back to the capital and our adventures in it will be all tied up nicely in a final video whenever I get down to it. For now, enjoy some photos I took yesterday into today.

IMG_0082IMG_0093IMG_0098IMG_0104IMG_0123IMG_0212

Iceland Part 2

Today was glacier day.

Last night we drove in late after the sun had set. All you could see was the road in front of you and even then, the wind was so strong that it was blowing snow all over it. So when we woke up this morning, it was a shock to see that there were mountains surrounding this small little fishing village. Oh, to live in a place where even the grocery store has a view.

IMG_9899

(this is literally the view from the grocery store, I kid you not)

We left Hofn around 10am to make our way to Skaftafell (about a 2 hour drive west) to do a hike up and around the waterfall and around the glacier. Of course, it was incredible. From the top you could see miles and miles to and probably past the ocean.

IMG_9991.jpg

Everything here makes you feel like a small freckle on a tiny ant in the middle of the desert.

The glacier was so blue and the water was so clear. We sat for awhile and just stared at it. Sometimes it’s difficult to realize that we’re here in the middle of it, part of it. Taking a few deep breaths and sharing the same mountain air as the glacier felt like slowly waking up from a delicious sleep.

IMG_0007

We then headed back east and stopped at the glacier beach. It was incredible to see the amount of glacier running down into the ocean. Absolutely incredible.

IMG_0043

Tomorrow we start back to the capital before the crack of dawn to hopefully return the rental car before 2pm.

Iceland Part 1

Yesterday we woke up bright and early in Keflavik.

Okay, so it wasn’t bright since the sun here rises at about 9am and sets at about 5pm this time of year. But whatever, just take the expression with a grain of salt. You can ask our 7:30am cab driver for some, he apparently has lots.

We picked up our car at KEF and started our drive to South Iceland. We’re spending three days (ish) sightseeing and staying in a small fishing town called Hofn (there’s an accent on most of these words, but I’m unsure of the keyboard shortcuts for them).

We knew Iceland was going to be beautiful, but we never expected to find mountains around every corner. Everywhere you look is more stunning than the last. More times than we could each count you could hear, “Where the heck are we?” being muttered under Adrian’s breath.

And the landscape and weather changed like, 8 times since we’d left Reykjavik. At one point we left rain, came through a clear patch and was nearly swept off the road by wind and snow all within the span of 45 minutes.

I honestly can’t believe how incredible the landscape it. I’m sure there are many more surprises awaiting.

Ahhhhhh we’re in Reykjavik

So I rode the plane, it was awesome.

Well, it was okay… It was really difficult to sleep face down on my table in a 1’x1′ space. At least there were movie options and I was able to slumber off to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (more specifically the part where Lena falls in love with Kostas by accident). The kid beside me picked at the wifi sticker on the back of the seat in front of him for 3 hours and by golly he succeeded at it by the time we were over Greenland. Everyone has goals, you know?

Here’s the photo I took from the air on our flight from Ottawa to Toronto:

Nothing special, but I felt like I needed to mark the moment.

We screwed up transportation to the Blue Lagoon (we booked months ago), and ended up just hanging out in Reykjavik for the day. It really wasn’t that bad. We decided not to be angry about it and just enjoy some sights and get our bearings.

It’s really beautiful here.

We set out this morning with our rental car to do some serious driving and see a bunch of stuff.

Already there’s amazing hills and mountains. We’re about 15 minutes out of Reykjavik where these photos were taken:

Höfn, here we come.

Iceland, the intro.

So big surprise, I haven’t been able to write a blog post every day. Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t. It doesn’t really matter.

It’s been a big lesson for me this year that some things are just out of my control. That as long as I keep making an effort to simply do my best with what I’ve got and the time I have, then I feel just as fulfilled with what I’ve already done and less inclined to give up on the things I want to do.

On Thursday, we leave for Iceland.

This trip is big on many levels, but I would say the number one thing that makes this an important trip is that I’ve never left the country before. I’ve never even been on a plane.

It’s kind of embarrassing for me to admit, as this lack of experience makes me feel less like an adult the older I get. I’ve had a hard time watching my friends travel the world while I worked on my career.

I very enviously watched as one friend taught English in Japan, another in Korea, and a handful of others going abroad for post-secondary or just satiating their need for wanderlust on what seemed like a whim.

I have a good friend who lived and taught in the Yukon and has basically traveled the world and now she lives with her husband and new baby in frickin’ Norway. Upon her return home last month with both, we were all joking about how large her sweet baby boy is in comparison to her own teeny frame. Her husband looked at me with a huge smile, pointed enthusiastically to the baby and offered me one word: “Viking!”

Both of my closest friends got to rip their way through South-East Asia hand-in-hand. I’ll never get the experience of being in my early 20s with them, binge drinking on beaches, partaking in general tomfoolery, meeting cool people and barely surviving the balmy heat by napping all day or enjoying a $10 massage.

I’ve been very, very jealous of all of this, feeling less worldly and immature because my decisions in my adult life up until now haven’t led me to all corners of the planet.

But here’s the thing I kept having to remind myself. I worked on my career. Some of the people my age haven’t acquired skills I have because they chose to spend their time on other things. I know what I’m capable of, and I know I can teach myself to do pretty much anything if I need to.

This thinking never used to help me when I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere because I wasn’t physically doing so.

Here’s where it came full circle for me – I’ll re-state:

Some things are just out of my control. As long as I keep making an effort to simply do my best with what I’ve got and the time I have, then I feel just as fulfilled and less inclined to give up on things I want to do. 

And now, on Thursday, I get to start doing the stuff I want to do. Working through the jealousy and the wanderlust got me here with a plane ticket and a trip I’ve already fully paid for without going into debt.

I’ll be blogging it, but probably not every day.

And I’m so grateful and excited.

 

 

October 22

If my cup of coffee was a tree, then the rings inside of it would mark how many years I’ve been sitting at this table,

Each sip traces the mouthful I’ve tried to write,

and the darkness of each line whispers about the amount of attention I forgot to give it.

Its lip wears the shade of the season – a deep red,

collected in smatterings around its breadth, at random.

If I drink all of it,

perhaps I can build a poem with its remains.