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Iceland on my mind.

I was going through some of my old writings and there is one particular entry that caught my eye. It has always been a dream of mine to go to Iceland. I wrote this exactly 2 years ago today, exactly, day for day. Is this a coincidence?

seljalandsfoss---a-waterfall-in-south-iceland

I never thought about going to Iceland before until I saw the mid-life crisis movie with Ben Stiller “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend it. I somehow visualize myself on a skateboard riding down the hilly Icelandic roads with my hair in the wind and a camera in my hand. Jokes aside, Iceland is on my list and even more today, after I read what I wrote two years ago.

I am sitting here with a nice glass of Italian red wine and I have about 6 different tabs open in my internet browser.

I am planning my trip to Iceland – solo. Where to start? I have been wanting to go to Iceland ever since Wow Air had announced their super cheap flights from Montreal or Toronto to Reykjavik, capital of Iceland. For under 400$ Canadian, you can fly from Montreal to Reykjavik, round trip, taxes included. Why pass on an opportunity like that I told myself. Exactly.

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One day I’ll dip my toes in this beautiful lagoon!

The Blue Lagoon

What is there to do in Iceland actually? In my case, I wanted to hike, chase waterfalls, snorkel under the midnight sun, see some aurora borealis and go to the world famous Blue Lagoon. But the list was much longer than that. Apparently you can also dive in between two earth cracks. Yes, dive into our planet’s deepest scars. The Silfra fissure is a popular dive site that is actually located where the North American and Eurasian continents meet. Yeah, no thanks. The Blue Lagoon is more my thing. The geothermal spa that is located in a lava field in the southwest of Iceland is waiting for me. There are so many waterfalls in Iceland that it will definitely be on my list to go chase some of them. Maybe I’ll try to cross off all  Top 10 Waterfalls to see in Iceland during this trip.

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Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafell National Park, it’s on my list!

One Day Adventures

I also found some amazing one day adventures on the Guide to Iceland website which contains quick facts about sightseeing destinations and customer reviews that are really helpful. Travelling on my own doesn’t bother me. Iceland is recognized to be a safe country, with a low crime rate and lots of friendly bearded Icelandic residents. Their national food is apparently hot dogs! Interesting! I’ll have to try that. I also ordered the Lonely Planet Iceland book on Amazon so that I wouldn’t miss out on anything bucket list worthy. It always pays off to do your homework, especially during a solo backpacking trip.

The Ring Road

After lots of exciting research, I opted to start planning a 10 day road trip around the island of Iceland. This amount of days that I chose gives me enough time to travel around the island and to stay in a different town every night. What really hooked me up about this trip is the Ring Road. It’s one road that circles around the island, going through the most iconic waterfalls and picturesque views. It only takes about 18 hours to drive around Iceland on the Ring Road, but there are endless adventures to go on, things to see and to take in, breathtaking views to remember forever.

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I continued researching even more road trip ideas on the internet and I found Three Girls Going Places. Their blog is well organized and so simple to follow, I loved reading it. It makes me think that I should convince a bunch of friends to come with me. The more people you have around you when you travel, the more ideas you get and the more diversified your input becomes on the journey. I have often travelled on my own because when I have an idea in mind, I make it happen. I book a plane ticket, and figure it out from there. People who know me know how I travel 🙂

Now I am up to the next question; how do you prepare for a road trip around Iceland?

How to prepare for an Icelandic road trip?

To sleep in the in a campervan, a car, a hostel, or a hotel? To backpack or to bring a fancy suitcase?  Is it cold? To get gravel and sandstorm protection for the rental car or not?  The first time I heard about sandstorm protection was when I was going through the rental car websites to see how much it would cost me to rent a van versus a car.

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Picture from IcelandMag.is

Sandstorms are a thing in Iceland, they are also called ashstorms or dust storms. Wikipedia told me that “wind speeds tend to be higher in the highlands, but topographical features can aggravate winds and cause strong gusts in lowland areas”.  It is easy to find information about sandstorms in Iceland in the different travel forums. In my case, I didn’t want to risk it, Iceland seemed like an unpredictable country. Let’s face it, it’s an island right beside Greenland, just below the Arctic Circle, pretty far out there in the middle of nowhere. How could I plan for the unexpected?

Plane Ticket: Check!

It seems like this idea of road tripping Iceland is starting to form into some sort of a plan. The next step will be the itinerary and budget.
Planning Iceland
Rainbow Plane Shadow over Vancouver.
Not long ago after this story was written, I finally bought my ticket to Iceland.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this trip had to be cancelled and I even lost the full price of the plane ticket. It was a disappointment back then, but today I look at this as a plan that is not yet finished and it’s just waiting for me to take action. I am anxious to make it finally happen.

The best way to get over disappointing events is to learn from them, not dwell on them. I didn’t go to Iceland, but I will one day. Actually, a special milestone is coming for me this November. It would be a dream come true if this Iceland idea of mine from two years ago would actually become reality. When you want something badly enough it just gives you fuel to go get it even more. Until then, I will keep planning for this dream road trip, and time will tell where my travelling toes will bring me next!

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