Iceland was the first worthwhile trip I have had in years. My PTO has been on reserve for holidays with parents and weddings. I have also been avoiding spending in hopes to have more of a savings but my wanderlusting pushed that all out the window.
The S.O. and I selected Iceland as our first European excursion. At times, he even asked me why we picked it when explaining to friends. We both moved out west to avoid winter and here we were opting into it in the middle of January when we could have gone on a tropical vacation. For me, it was a chance to be in Europe on a budget. If I had been anywhere else in Europe, I would have felt the need to hope between countries which would have been more time and money. I thought I could cross Iceland off my list and get a chance to see the Northern Lights. I never thought it would make me fall in love.
But that’s what Iceland does to you as the locals told me, “Iceland makes you fall in love”. I have never been to a place that has such breathtaking scenery, a cultural love for animals and the environment, and such lively, heartfelt people with a perfectly dark sense of humor. Each guided tour became more about that guides individual sagas which were both fascinating and entertaining. I was captivated. We even met a fellow American who has been living there for 14 years which gave us great perspective on what it would be like long-term.
Since returning, I have realized that I can divide people into two groups – the ones who have never been and think you are crazy for choosing a cold destination for your time off but still ask for every little detail, and the ones who have also been at least once who can’t find words to express how the trip was and let you know that they too wish they could return.
Ultimately, the joke was on me thinking that Iceland was small enough to experience in just one trip. I have never felt so instantly drawn to one city as I was with Reykjavik. Most of my European itineraries have been spending 3-4 days in one place then hoping to the next. I always admire each location but feel ready to move on and experience the next place. 6 days in Reykjavik, however, just was not enough. The S.O. and I have already spent a lot of time fondly reminiscing and anticipating at least stopping through during any trip to Europe. We would possibly even consider moving someday.