Over a year ago I was as settled as society would like me to be. With a full time job, a mortgage, a partner and even a pension, I had everything I was ever taught to have. However, I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. I was searching for something more, and I knew I had to find it! I know others who too feel unfulfilled in their daily lives, but due to personal circumstances or just fear of change, they choose to stay where they are.
Fortunately for me, I was in a position where I could take the leap without fear of the consequences. At twenty-one years old I left full time work and decided to follow my dreams. This consists of exploring as much of the world as I can, meeting incredible people and soaking up as much culture and language as possible, whilst doing all of the outdoor activities I love. The first stop would undoubtedly be Iceland. After visiting the country for the first time at the age of sixteen, I immediately knew it was a place I loved. With its raw natural beauty and rustic landscapes, kind-hearted people and fascinating language, it was definitely a place I wanted to discover more of.
In January 2016, after much organisation but little planning, I left for Iceland. I travelled out of the Southern Capital City of Reykjavik on a seven hour bus journey through the darkness, heading for the ‘Capital of the North’, a delightful town called Akureyri. I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know the language. I didn’t know where I was or where I was going. I was on my own. My own little adventure, and I loved it! It didn’t take me long to suss the town out and find my bearings, and with the help of some pretty cool people from the mountain where I would work, I found myself a room in a flat with a lovely lady, whose family would soon become like my second family.
I had just over a week of settling in, hiking through the snow in minus double figured temperatures and browsing through Icelandic shops before starting work at Hlidarfjall, a small yet hugely popular ski resort in the town. I was working as a lift operator, and spent so many days there experiencing an overwhelming and very conscious feeling of happiness. I slowly but surely gained some good friends there, and work didn’t feel like work. I never struggled to get out of bed to go to the mountain. I never suffered from the dreaded Monday blues. That’s when I knew I was doing something I loved. To be feeling like I was living as opposed to existing is exactly what I went searching for, and my goodness did I find it!
My time in Iceland is one of the fondest times I can look back on, and it has made me all the more passionate to continue doing what I love and searching for true happiness. After all, what more can we possibly ask for? I just want to be happy for as much of my life as possible, and I’m pretty sure most of you reading this would agree that it’s important to strive for that.
There’s so many people I would like to thank for being so supportive through my adventure, be it back home or over in Iceland. I’ve had incredible support and kindness from family, friends and even strangers that were soon to become friends, so to you all, a big thank you! I will be continuing my travels, and I’m confident I will gather more exceptional memories and great friends. To be continued!