Let’s Take a Road Trip - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Let’s Take a Road Trip

Let’s Take a Road Trip

Published June 30, 2006

For many years now I have spent hours at a time nagging about how boring it is to live in Iceland, complained to my friends why there are never any happenings here and declared to my family that I would rather be stuck alone on some desert island than spending another year on this cold and windy rock. I have preferred to hike up mountains in different parts of the world rather than climbing those in the neighbourhood to my own home. I have tended to look for adventures in distant places, spending most of my savings on plain tickets to fly across the ocean to experience something new, big and exotic. A road trip across Australia has always seemed more thrilling than driving the ring road in Iceland. Relaxing in a cabin somewhere in Europe has been more of a draw to me than visiting my friend’s summerhouse, only two hours away. Although every summer I talk about travelling in Iceland I usually am the first person to come up with a lame excuse when someone is planning a trip to the countryside.
I never get bored of praising the country and its natural beauty to foreigners though, sounding as a hypocrite when glorifying some places I visited with my parents long ago but never really appreciated at that time and actually don’t have any clear memories of today. That hasn’t stopped me from telling tales about Jökulsárlón or describing the incredible landscape soon to be destroyed due to heavy industry plans when the truth is that almost all I know of these places are stories told by someone else or from articles read in a newspaper.
Due to my work I have had to change my old habits. In writing articles regarding sites outside of Reykjavík I have been obligated to go on a whale watching boat trip, a hike in Reykjadalur on a hot spring hunt. I’ve visited some of the areas where Iceland’s Vikings grew up hundreds of years ago. I have had to explore places I wasn’t really planning on visiting in the nearest future and in the process my view is starting to change. I’m starting to like those journeys and beginning to see the exciting things all around me. I had to travel half the globe to finally realise how much Iceland’s nature and wildlife has to offer. Instead of beefing about the everyday life in Iceland I will therefore try to use the summer to collect my own tales to tell next curious foreigner that comes across my way. Hope you will join me.

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