Icelandic Infatuation

Iceland has always been my favorite country, even before I made my first trip to the place.  I remember checking out library books as a kid about Iceland.  The books had photos of majestic scenery that I just salivated over.  The people had such an alluring appearance and style that I was drawn immediately into the culture, even at such a young age.  I was always such a beach baby, but there was something so captivating about this island nation in the Atlantic that made it my favorite place on the planet.  A place I had never even traveled to.

IMG_0092

In July 2011, I moved to Norway and the one-way flight took me through Reykjavik and gave me a twelve hour layover.  With a dog in cargo and my nerves arisen, I decided to not go into the city.  I was adamant that I didn’t want my first meeting with Iceland to be with my mind frazzled for my dog’s sake and on a twelve hour layover at night.  More often than not, I go to a place and leave with little desire to go back, even if the trip was fantastic.  I didn’t want my only meeting with Iceland to be a short layover in which I only saw Reykjavik at night.

To make the story short, I ended up in Reykjavik anyways… and I fell in love with the city.  I walked around all night (it never gets pitch black at night in early July) and just relished in the fact that I was in a country I had obsessed over for around twenty years.  And after I left Iceland, I desired to come back almost immediately.

IMG_0194

In the summer of 2013, Andre and I were booking a trip to the US for a month in the fall and we immediately knew we had to fly Iceland Air and take advantage of their long layovers and see a little of the country.  Between my first trip and this one, I had lost a little interest in Iceland after seeing nearly every travel blogger out there succumbing to press-trip junkie syndrome and writing reviews of the place solely based on all of their sponsored activities.  Nothing wrong with press-trips for bloggers, but I don’t usually read articles by bloggers who take many sponsorships because it comes across as void of authenticity.  You can only read about so many glacier hikes and road trips around the island that move so fast that the people spend much of the time in the car and not exploring the pristine nature Iceland has to offer visitors.  I think this is why I really loved Alex in Wanderland‘s recap of Iceland, as it was a genuine experience with her family.

IMG_0438

IMG_0372

That lost interest in Iceland quickly vanished as we officially booked those tickets through Skyscanner.  We had decided, since Iceland is a middle-point between Norway and the US and we can go there yearly if we wish, to take it a little slow on this trip.  We rented a car and planned a rough itinerary.  We had planned to use our five days seeing a little bit of the south coast and getting to know Reykjavik.  I love exploring the countryside, but I really enjoy exploring cities just as much.  Our future trips would consists of exploring new regions of the country, allowing us to focus on small areas each time.

IMG_0461

Our trip is long over and I’m finally here to start writing about it.  It was mind-blowing.  We were there at the end of September and the weather was immaculate.  Blue skies, sexy sunsets, welcoming people, and scenery so spectacular that there is no way the images could ever escape my mind.

IMG_0417

IMG_0239

We traveled around the Reykjanes peninsula (although no Blue Lagoon this time, which we weren’t upset about), some of the places around the Golden Circle, Vík, and Jökulsárlón.  We took our time and enjoyed every minute of this trip.  The Golden Circle is very touristy and we figured if we saw it now, we would not find a need to go back on future trips.  Which we don’t, and yes, it is most definitely touristy, albeit very worth the trip.  I thought Vík and Jökulsárlón would have some tourists in the area with it only being September, but there was no one in sight.  We pretty much had Vík to ourselves and we definitely had all of Jökulsárlón to ourselves.  I never in a million years would have thought I’d have the Diamond Beach in Iceland all to myself.

a7022c2822eb11e3b8cc22000a1d2017_7

IMG_0496

IMG_0759

Now that I am long back from Iceland, I can honestly say that my Icelandic infatuation continues.  We have already decided that our next trip there will be to explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the northwest fjords.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get enough of the country.  I never thought in a million years that my expectations would be exceeded after visiting a place I had mentally hyped up for so long.  Iceland somehow managed to do just that.

IMG_0725

I can’t wait to share more about the places visited in upcoming posts!  Stay tuned!

Have you ever fallen in love with a place before having traveled there?  Did it exceed expectations or underwhelm you in the end?

Comments (28)

Alex @ ifs ands & butts

I want to visit SO badly after having a couple Icelandic friends in Karlsruhe. I love hearing about all their quirky customs and neat traditions. Your pictures seriously make it look like a different planet at times, too cool!

it really is a different planet. one im obsessed with!

the tickets out there are becoming cheaper and cheaper…you def oughta look into it!

Funny you should ask, I fell in love with Italy long before I ever visited. I was definitely influenced by my mother. She used to listen to Italian language cassette tapes in the car on the way to school. “Un caffe, un the’, ed una birra, per favore.” Haha. I guess I first fell in love with the bella lingua, then il bel paese. I just about died of envy when my parents sent my sister on a 3-week European tour (Italy, France, Spain) with a group of other 13-year-old kids. My 17-year-old self wouldn’t even look at her photos when she got back. Then years later I studied for a semester in Florence. And finally, while living in Switzerland, I met up with my mom in Venice during her much-anticipated dream trip to Italy.

As for Iceland, your photos have me convinced that I need to visit. And lucky you getting to spread out your trip over the years as a halfway point. You’ll get to see so much and at such a nice pace. My dream is to take my mom there for some healing in the Blue Lagoon to treat her psoriasis.

Sorry for the ramble… Looking forward to more Iceland photos in the future!

thanks for your comment :)

i hope you make it to the blue lagoon someday! just havent had ample opportunity yet :)

i understand completely what youre saying about italy. i studied latin growing up and was very obsessed w/ the place and still am years later and many trips later! i have been staying away recently though because my waistline has a love/hate relationship with italian food and wine :)

I have been dreaming of Iceland for so long. I have seen so many travel bloggers visit recently and it just makes me want to jump on the first plane there. Your photos are incredible!

thanks sammy! you definitely should get out there at first chance! you wont be sorry!

Megan! I have the same feeling about Iceland, and yet I’ve still never been. Ugh! Several friends of mine have spent weeks there during the summer and come back with wonderful tales and phenomenal photos, and by the sounds of it I can add you to that list!

ohhhh you have to get over there; youre going to be obsessed! nothing there (ok, maybe except prices, which norways will still be more expensive) will disappoint :) hope you can make it there soon!

Looks so beautiful, Megan!

I love that Iceland was in your heart before you even visited it. We’re talking about a trip there in June – renting a car and going slowly. Like you, I can’t fathom the idea of rushing around in a group.

thanks jay! you guys DEF need to head out there in june if given the chance! i just saw that iceland air started flights to alberta through iceland from either stavanger or bergen (agh i cant remember). i think you guys would adore iceland. its almost like a different planet!

Leave a comment

16 Shares
Share2
Tweet14
Pin