I’ve never considered myself much of a nature-y type of gal. I don’t enjoy getting dirty; hate sweating; I don’t like camping; I need to wash my hair every day; I’ve never liked being isolated. I’ve just always considered myself a city girl; there’s something alluring about city life–the culture, bright lights, skyscrapers, hustle and bustle.
Iceland changed me though. When I first visited in 2011, I fell absolutely head-over-heels in love. I was in awe of the country almost every second of every day of that entire trip. It was two weeks of constant surprise as I rounded every corner and caught sight of a waterfall, a volcanic crater, a moss-covered lava field, a glacier, or a black-sand beach. I didn’t want to leave.
It was a place that I knew I had to return to–I felt a constant draw back to Iceland; back to those ethereal landscapes. Since I’d visited during the summer and was treated to 24-hour sunlight, I decided to return in the fall for my second visit to experience shorter days, longer nights, and the Northern Lights.
The south coast of Iceland, and specifically Jökulsárlón, has a gravitational pull on me. There’s something so profoundly perfect about that area of the country that it’s almost hard to put into words. When I visited in 2011, I got to see quite a bit of the south coast, but on my return trip, I knew that I wanted to spend an extended period of time exploring–really getting to know it.
And that’s exactly what I did. I spent six days taking my time exploring and going on mini adventures every day. I stayed in a couple of different “towns” between Reykjavík and Höfn and each day I set out to see something new. I parked in the middle of nowhere and took hikes on moss-covered lava; walked along black-sand beaches and photographed the waves crashing in, ice washing ashore, and birds flying overhead; I crawled atop basalt columns and inside of caves; shielded myself against the spray blowing off of waterfalls; and stopped my car repeatedly to catch photos of reindeer and adorable Icelandic horses.
Spending a week in Iceland certainly filled my need for the country for a little while. But when I recently saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (which was filmed almost entirely in Iceland), I felt those pangs of sadness–you know, like those ones you feel when you see a photo of someone you love deeply but haven’t seen in a long time. I don’t think it’ll be long before Iceland draws me in yet again.
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Ms Johnnie Wright
Founder – Coastal Christian Team
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