I was in the queue ready to board the plane for a month-long trip that started in Reykjavík, Iceland, when a friend called and said she was really struggling with her mental health. We spoke for as long as it took for the line to board and I could hang up. This friend was someone I had met while living abroad and helped me realise how much of the world was mine to see. I’ve said it before - it really is a wild universe.
Here I am, alone in the airport in Iceland. There is pretty much only the one bus service to get from the airport to your accommodation. My lack of bearings resulted in an embarrassingly quick cab ride from the bus stop to my hostel, but he was kind and gave me his number in case I needed another ride during my trip. I booked a morning trip to The Golden Circle and went to bed.
Walking around the Gullfoss Waterfall and The Geysir Geothermal Area confirmed my suspicions that there is very little that can’t be fixed by water. Shower, swim, cry, look at it or drink it- it’s cleansing. Being physically thrown to the ground by the wind and metaphorically and literally having to pull it together and get back up on my own was thrilling. I looked around this place and knew that there was actually nowhere else in the world I could have been.
I had severed the threads of the puppet strings that had previously ruled my thinking. I could feel that there was no mistake, no guess, no other influence that had resulted in me being in Iceland. A place I didn’t know, and I didn’t know anyone that had ever been there either. This was a brand new experience to have followed myself somewhere.
It wasn’t so easy. If anyone had the miserable fortune of reading my journal of the time they would correctly assume I was pretty miserable. The whole ‘growing’ thing means a lot of old and new stuff not fitting. That bit sucked. My boots being nicked from the hostel sucked too. But the freshly-single, ready-to-rid-herself-of-anxiety person I was at the time can only look back with pride and awe. And also, so freezing cold that I never thought I would feel my fingers again.
Please visit Iceland. Please take warm things. And please, please, please take a moment to be your own tomato. I don’t know what that means but I saw it on a sign at a convenience store when I was there and I thought it was sweet.
ALSO! The crossing lights use little viking ladies and that is enough reason to go.