Last night we returned from Iceland, a place I’ve wanted to visit for quite a while.1 It was my first trip outside the country in almost five years, and it felt wonderful to be able to explore a totally unfamiliar, far-away space again.
As expected, the travel process was not normal – in the pre-pandemic sense – although not as bad as some of the reporting you see in the news and on social media. Let’s face it, flying, whether domestic or international, stopped being fun a long time ago. And Reykjavík’s airport is… shall we say quirky?
This particular trip was an almost-experimental, small-steps easing back into the complexity – and joy – of international travel. It was relatively short, with a small group (21 people, all fully vaxxed) led by an experienced tour company.2 We had a non-stop flight, reducing the chance for delays, and most of the activities were outdoors.
And, despite the occasional glitches that come with any travel, the experience was exhilarating. Iceland is a totally unique place with wonderful people and almost too many contrasts to handle.
Anyway, that’s enough rambling for now. Later, I’ll post some reflections on this trip, thoughts about the travel experience in general, and ideas on where I might head to next. Not to mention more than a few photos. If you’re not interested in travel, you may want to skip the next few entries in this space.
For now I need to restock the empty fridge and maybe get a nap.
The photo is one of more than five hundred images I made on the trip. I think it’s a good example of the stark beauty of the Icelandic landscape, with a field of moss-covered lava rock in the foreground and a scrubby field flowing out to snow-capped mountains.
1. But it was never on a “bucket list”. My travel aspirations are fluid and ever-changing, even with destinations and experiences I want to return to. There is no list.
2. I highly recommend checking out the RoadScholar collection of tours if you are “older”, looking for a wonderful learning experience on any continent, and are good with group travel (sometimes I am).