Whether you love it or loathe it, heart it or unfollow it, today’s Iceland is an Instagrammer’s dream. Sure, visitors to Iceland want to experience nature and feel waterfall spray on their faces—but they also want to keep their iPhone screens dry whilst documenting themselves doing it.
And hey, whatever. We don’t judge. The Grapevine has an Instagram, and we too take pleasure in communicating how humbling, mesmerising and sublime Iceland’s wilderness can be. Over the last decade and a half, we’ve visited the most remote parts of the country to express this stunning place to our readers.
Recently, however, a new type of comment has started appearing on such posts. Replies like “Please don’t give away this place!” and “This isn’t for everyone!” have become frequent, from Icelanders, expats and visitors alike.
It’s a strange phenomenon, given that these commenters read Grapevine for the very articles they’re asking us not to post. After all, the Grapevine isn’t some all-powerful megaphone that directs the Goretex masses to every bathing place we cover. Nor are we gatekeepers of what our readers shouldn’t know about—but rather a gateway to what they should. And if someone sees one of our shots and decides to rent a 4×4 and drive 400km to an obscure F-road in the Westfjords to take a dip? They’ve most definitely earned it.
That said, we sympathise with people who are concerned about the effects of tourism on nature. On this, we agree, and we take every opportunity to encourage respect for the landscape, and to hold those in power accountable for improving infrastructure and providing proper parking, signage, marked trails, and other basic facilities.
But for those who think this country’s wild places are somehow their secret to keep? Jog on, people. It was never yours, and you should really get used to sharing.
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