Many of my inspirations come from travel. I crave getting out and seeing new lands, meeting new people and truly embracing all of the wonderfully different cultures. The great thing about travel is you can go as far as a few miles or around the entire globe in many directions. Recently, I was fortunate enough to make a dream trip with my mom, a dear friend and her mom to Iceland. Though several of the days were canceled due to hurricane force ice storms, we were able to see Iceland for it’s true wintertime beauty. Upon flying into Reykjavik we instantly started to feel at home. With my Danish roots, it felt good to look like a local and have people attempt to speak to me in Icelandic. I, of course, could not understand them, but it sure made me wish I could instead of them switching to English!
To give you a very small snapshot of this amazing island - Iceland is a small country only about 40,000 sq. miles with a sparse human population of about 325,000. A little Icelandic trivia - the Icelandic horse, which were brought to the country starting in the 9th century by early Norse settlers, have a population of about 100,000 on the island. Not far off from the humans. They were the only mode of transportation and exploration in the early years, as well as for farm work and even a food source. They are absolutely stunning creatures with some great personalities…remind you of anyone? ;)
Iceland is also unique because about 85 percent of its energy comes from renewable channels such as geothermal and hydroelectric power sources. So quite self sustaining in that regard, as well as with their fine agriculture (farms, fisheries, hydroponic green houses and more.) Iceland is very much a farm-to-table lifestyle. Dining in Iceland? You'll enjoy the local food fare rather a carnivore, omnivore or vegetarian. They have something for everyone.
As our journey unfolded, our travels took us to splendid waterfalls nestled by snowdrifts and dripping with icicles, to crystal blue geothermal hot pools, ancient volcanoes to farms and green houses. And of course, the moment we had all been waiting for, the Northern Lights. Though we had hoped to have more than one experience with them, we were blessed with about a 20-minute show just outside of Akureyri. And let me tell you, it was one of the most magical sights I have ever seen…it lived up to every expectation and more. We celebrated the time we had with small wine toast and some magical background music. It’s true what they say - it changed my life.
Driving back from Akureyri to Reykjavik was a fun yet sad closing to our journey. We had seen so much and grown a deeper connection to the people and their way of life. It felt like we were leaving a part of our family behind. Yet having the opportunity to touch and feel, for a brief moment, the fabric of our heritage was a blessed experience that will never be lost. This is the magic of travel and why I so much encourage people to not put off until tomorrow. It’s a beautiful world out there. Go and embrace it.