No matter how many plane tickets I buy or places I go, the list of new countries, cities and experiences I want to escape to continues to grow. In the Weekend Wanderlust series, I will be featuring a place I’ve never been to & armchair-travel there via photos and videos (I’ll take what I can get!). If you’ve been to the place I’m lusting over, please feel free to leave tips or recommendations — encouragement to take the plunge & book the flight is always welcome!
From what I’ve heard, no one ever goes to Iceland and comes back like, “Eh, I could’ve missed it.” It’s always something more like:
“GO. NOW. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.”
In the book The Geography of Bliss (have you read it? So good!), author Eric Weiner travels to 10 countries to unearth what each culture defines as “happiness.” I was so intrigued by his account on Iceland: in the US, one of the first things someone asks upon meeting is “What do you do?” as if your occupation is your sole defining feature — as if the work you do to make money is the most important aspect of your life.
In Iceland, the stigma of failure is practically nonexistent. An Icelandic person can go through life working several different jobs in several different realms — if he or she decides they don’t like the work they’re doing, they simply quit and pick up something they’ve deemed more interesting at that point in their life. Doesn’t that sound so freeing? It provides so much more room to allow the creative juices to flow. The people of Iceland do what makes sense to them/what works for them when the time feels right.
Of course, there are so many different factors in Icelandic life that are different from the United States, and those differences are probably what make this lifestyle work up there. The people of Iceland are really what draws me to the place, but when I think about everything else there is to do and see in that country, and a whole new surge of longing zips through me. I’d love to spend a long time in Reykjavik and the surrounding countryside, get a taste of a strange and unique little culture, maybe catch the Northern Lights, let the fresh crisp air and landscapes bring me back to life.