Iceland is a very different country in the Summer compared to the Winter, however much of what makes Iceland so spectacular remains a constant throughout the seasons. The good people, the unpredictable weather, the inadvertent adventures and the epic landscapes, they’re all there. Always.
One of the things I have loved about Iceland ever since my first journey here is the people. They somewhat fascinate me, with their tales of old days and the way in which people lived, their family histories and town antiquities, their knowledge about the landscape, geology and way of the land, even down to their family traditions; how important those around you are, be it friends, family or fellow villagers, and how much they look after the ones they care for. I get the feeling from all the people I have been so fortunate to meet here, that nothing is really too much. If there is any way in which someone can help someone else, it will be done, without a thought. And I admire this. Why should we feel so hard done by when we help others, as if we are owed something in return? Look after those you care for. It’s as simple as that.
I can’t thank the people along my journey enough for what they’ve shown me. And I mean that not only in what they’ve shown me in a physical sense, but what they’ve shown me in a far deeper sense, too. What I’ve learnt from them, and how I have incorporated some of the most important elements into my own way of life. Right from the start, the first ever trip in 2011, the locals took us in as if we were long lost family returning home. We were shown old viking ruins, told sagas of the past, and taken on adventures that for them were simply a kayak across a lake, but for us was an adventure across an unknown, ice cold body of water to a rustic landscape of lava fields and geographical history. In Akureyri, when I thought I was completely alone and knew nobody, I was picked up and taken to another world up in the mountains, a world where my colleagues became great friends and, for the period we spent there together, almost a second family, looking after each other in all weathers, through long days that could have been arduous, but instead were spent in high spirits. I sometimes lose myself for a moment in the summer sun, and I miss returning home in Akureyri in sub zero temperatures, after a long day in the wind and snow, to my apartment warmly aglow from the fairy lights on the windowsill, kicking off my boots and perching on the kitchen chair to chat to my good friend and flat mate, mug of tea clasped in my hands, about how our days had been, or setting off on the icy, snow covered roads to get a pizza and chat to my best friend about all sorts of things, filling the corner of the restaurant with laughter. I couldn’t look back on my time in Akureyri any more fondly, so for all of you reading this that were involved at all in my experience there – Takk Fyrir!
I’m experiencing a new chapter of my Icelandic story now, in a small town called Borgarfjordur Eystri. Just as expected, it is incredible. Again, I have been taken in as if I have always belonged here, and not only am I now immersed in the Icelandic culture and Icelandic people again, I am also getting to meet all sorts of people from all over the world, sharing my stories with them, and vice versa. I have already met so many different people, some of which have really inspired me, and who I’ll remember for a very long time, and I really love how much human beings can influence each other so positively in such a short space of time, without even knowing each other.
So as I write this, I really hope to inspire those reading it to do whatever it is that they love. Whatever it is that you do, or wherever it is that you go to feel really alive, to brim with happiness and positivity, GO! It doesn’t matter how old you are, or what your personal circumstances may be, forget the non-existent barriers that society may put in front of you, and go and do whatever you are passionate about. There’s no time to spend dreaming of what you want to do, or where you want to go. It is so important to make things happen. So be inspired, be passionate, be alive, fulfil your hunger for whatever it is you yearn for, and motivate those around you to do the same. Most of all, be happy.