Iceland: Part 1, Why Iceland?

I finally made it to Iceland and it’s nothing I imagined it to be. Everything I read prior to traveling to Iceland reminded me of New Zealand. They both have (melting) glaciers you can visit. You can hike on volcanoes. Sheep are everywhere. In Iceland, the sheep are not always fenced in and frequently cross the road. I was quite impressed that they stopped to look both ways before crossing and would move to the side of the road when a car approached. I did feel the numbers of tourists was greater in Iceland than New Zealand but I always travelled to New Zealand in the low season and I travelled to Iceland at the end of the high season. I thought New Zealand was most beautiful place I had ever visited but there’s something about Iceland that seems mysterious and I find that intriguing.

So let’s backtrack a bit…

I wanted to plan a trip somewhere for the fall of 2015. I wanted to go somewhere in Europe to take advantage of the strong dollar and was considering Croatia. I asked some friends if they would want to travel together but with friends popping babies out on both coasts… schedules didn’t work out so I decided on a solo trip to Iceland. I didn’t jump at the chance to travel solo in Iceland but I also didn’t let having to travel solo prevent me from traveling at all. I was feeling restless and I needed to travel and embark on another adventure.

I scoured the Internet reading up on everything I could find on Iceland. I filled my Instagram account with photographers who had travelled to Iceland. I read countless blogs on solo travel and Iceland came up as a recommended country for solo female travelers. It was already a place I was interested in traveling to one day. I’m not new to solo travel but I’ve never traveled extensively on my own, and here I was planning a 10-day road trip in a country I’ve never even visited.

Having now had the experience of traveling to Iceland I did feel safe at all times. Even when I was out late at night in the middle of nowhere by myself shooting photos of the aurora borealis.

Because I’m a millennial and I suffer from FOMO I only booked a one way ticket to Iceland and continued researching before booking my return ticket. I wanted to make sure I covered all my bases in Iceland. My initial thought on planning for my Iceland trip was to include everything I wanted to see so I would never want to visit Iceland again. Now that I’ve returned I realized it’s impossible to say I will never travel to Iceland ever again. Last year I was ready to pack my bags and move to Queenstown.. I’m not saying I want to move to Iceland, I’m not sure how I would survive without seeing the sun everyday. I’m already struggling now with the early sunsets. It worked out that I waited to book my return ticket since it allowed me to tack on another week to spend in Norway.

Hopefully this is part 1 of many more parts. Stay tuned!

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