Back to again to whence we came...
Saying Goodbye to Iceland is always a challenge. This time I had I lost My Everything skirt, a physical symbol of my past traveling adventures that I was able to drape over me, protecting me anytime at my most naked, and vulnerable moments of real and imaginary shiveries; now it was time for me to lose my footing on this place too. I always find a real connection here. This time I was with my longtime friends and together we'd experienced water droplets transforming into powerful landmarks, and towns that acknowledge sea monsters and believers in fairies. Even though I had amusedly pointed to an Interesting dot on a map which had kick-started our journey, being here was familiar, like being embraced by a soft, crinkly granny; somehow with every touch, every blink, I felt unspoken wisdom, recognition and safety. Here we felt free and protected by the many unseeing eyes that exist within the cliffs. All this confusion and happisadness still makes my mouth croak a laugh. I had fantasized about this place, yet in all its ancient apethetic-ness, Bildudalur, THE WESTFJORDS!!! and The Most Powerful Waterfall were all very real, very tangible. Somehow my imagination had woven me into the fabric of this land, and my feet on the ground made it real, made it just so. So if I never saw this place or my silly wrap-around skirt again, I imagine everything would be okay...
We spent our final day in the eclectic city centre of Reykjavik.
Where bright colours surround you, people are dressed-up like walking thrift stores, and the buildings are crafted like modern art exhibits, this city is designed to inspire. We got our first horizontal sleep in an industrial loft-style hostel and I felt my body melt into the fluffy sheets; how could this not be my home?
Most things in life just don't make any sense, but the questions don't pour out of me until I'm a safe distance away. As soon as I'm on the road I am free to challenge the silliness of my daily routine, and the customs I just take for granted back home in the society that forged me. Maybe that's the reason I just can't settle down; I need to keep challenging the norms and not be afraid to find out that so much of life is random, mysterious, and complex. But if I can piece together the strings of randomness, like Maxine Ferryboat, The Most Powerful Waterfall, the disappearance of My Everything, and that Interesting Place, then no matter what I always have a story, like a string of light bulbs hanging over me.
I can't speak for my two companions, but here is a short list of all the things I have learned from Iceland:
- Sea monsters and fairies exist
- Driving standard (well, driving in general) is a good skill to have (so I should probably get my licence!)
- Tropical tents are not practical here for the frigid nights
- When sleeping in a car, always park diagonally on a small hill for extra neck and back support
- Geothermal baths are the greatest gift on Earth
- Skyr is better than ice cream and greek yogurt combined
- Don't walk alone on a glacier because of the howling sled dogs!
- Be prepared to have at least one spiritual epiphany
- Keep your bathing suits and wrap-around skirts locked up between uses
- Takk-Skyr (Thank you-Yogurt) is a better swimming pool game than Marco-Polo
- Being naked is the best, most-stylish outfit so don't be afraid to show yours off
- There are many towns called Reykholt so make sure your GPS is Icelandic, not named Karen and from Australian
- People will point and laugh at you, no matter what
- Doing Tarot readings at the local pubs will cause the Bartenders to take photos of you
- Always go to the Interesting Places, even if you have no idea where exactly they are located
- Visit the WESTFJORDS!!!
- Feel free to transform at any moment; nothing is permanent so just let go!
Never have I been to such a friendly, open and peaceful society. We will be thinking of you and all our adventures for centuries to come.
Takk fyrir Iceland!