Ok, so we’ve kept this trip a bit on the down-low, if you know what I mean. Perhaps for the following reason: we get comments like, “WTF?” “So, what are you doing with the kids?” “Why would you go there?” “No, really, are you serious?” and “That place scares me.” Since Walter Mitty, people think we’re going to get Eyjafjallajökull‘ed, fall down a lava tube, or wind up lost. Which, by the way, would totally suck. Correction, getting lost from the rest of the world in Iceland would be kind of awesome; lost in a lava tube in Iceland would completely suck. By now my sister is making jokes about Austin Power’s and the Liquid Hot Magma.
In planning this trip, I’ve come to learn that as a non-native Icelander, don’t even try to pronounce anything. As expats, we’ve learned to do this quite frequently, but Icelandic is another level. My keyboard doesn’t even make those letters; I have to cut and paste Google searches, seriously. I make maps too, so I can understand where I think we will be going.
I fear being told to ask directions and being confronted when I ask…
“Excuse me, how can I get to Thorsmork?”
“Um, where is Thorsmork?”
“Ókei, yu want Þórsmörk, Já?”
“Sure, I think so?”
“Go straight. Past Þe hill. Þen you see it.”
“How far is it?”
“Nei, Nei. I wanted to hear you say Þat again, it’s sooo funny. It is 90 minutes from here. Bless bless.”
I also don’t want to get told how to spend my travel money. Everyone makes choices about how they spend their currency; we value experiences. I guess if someone questions our travel decisions they can blame my geology teacher in college. Yes, I took geology. At one point I considered becoming a Civil Engineer, but who wants to build targets anyway? (ok, bad engineer humor, I know). That course was where much discussion found its way to Iceland. Having been raised on the ring of fire (practically on the San Andres Fault), this somehow related to Iceland, a lot. So much, it left me longing to go to Iceland, much too long after any interest in andesitic volcanism and quartz-feldspar.
Fast-forward twenty years (yes, it has really been that long), and we found ourselves on one end of a direct flight to Reykjavík. So we said, “Fuck it!” (I think this was a direct quote).
If you have looked at our blog, we like photography (and traveling), and we try to only post our own content.* Any Flickr or Pinterest search for Iceland will beckon you to its shores, and mountains, and volcanoes, and glaciers, and caves, and so much more. This place looks sick. As in, I threw up in my mouth with excitement thinking about going there. Perhaps too many people are going these days; enough already! Twenty years is too damn long and now we are gearing up for a family adventure. Sweet! (So don’t be a buzz-kill). We’re probably not going caving with our five-year old, or whale watching on a dingy with our two-year old. But the sights are crazy beautiful, and we’ll see (as well as our blog followers), how this trip goes.
My advice to you all, don’t put off going somewhere for any reason. Life will find a way to push other shit into focus. You need to say, “I’m going!” You’ll probably get crap from various people, but at least, in this case, I can blame my Geology teacher. Go find your “geology teacher” and get out and go! – Robert
* With the exception of endorsements with pictorial links representing the likes of SBB.ch, hiking apps, and badges on the side bar.