Iceland has left me feeling curious. I spent last week on holiday there and came away full of questions.
It was the first time I’d been to Iceland and I chose one of the best weeks of their summer. Reykjavik was full of blue skies and sunshine. It was warm and the daylight lasted until late in the evening. I took the opportunity to experience as much as I could of the island. It was only when I left and looked at my map that I realized I’d only scratched the surface.
I saw lava fields as far as the eye could see. Some covered in a furry green moss, giving the impression of fertile fields. Mountains rose from those plains or from the sea. Some flat topped, others jagged extinct volcanoes that had managed to poke their way through ancient glaciers.
Waterfalls, boiling mud, geysers, blue lagoons, whales, dolphins and captivating architecture all held me eyes as I gazed in wonder at everything Iceland had to offer. It filled my senses. The food, fresh and fishy, tasted wholesome in my mouth and the smell of the sulphurous hot water became familiar every morning as I turned on the shower. The air was clean and healthy; the only fossil fuel burned on Iceland comes from the cars, and there’s not too many of them. I felt able to breathe freely, my cough disappeared and my chest opened.
I noticed how calm and liberating the atmosphere was; quirky and colourful fashion, art, music and architecture mixed seamlessly with traditional crafts, characters and legends. The old accepted the new.
The whole place felt creative. Street art (not graffiti) appeared randomly on house sides, as buildings became an artist’s canvas. The culture enveloped me. I felt creative. I wanted to find out more. Why were some hills flat? Why was Gullfoss waterfall in two steps? How did people travel to the ancient parliament across such barren landscapes? Why were some fields full of rocks and others full of lava? I wanted to find out what I could do, what I was capable of, what was inside me. I felt creative, inspired. I wrote more than I’ve ever written in a week and even tried my hand at writing some poetry and a saga. And I know I’ve only experienced a tiny fraction of what the vast island has to offer.
Iceland has pulled me in. It’s left me wanting to go back. It’s tugged my heartstrings. And most of all, it’s left me wondering.
If I were an island, what would my map show, and how would I leave people feeling?