Destination: volcanic island – Really?

When people ask me about my holidays and choice of destinations, I always see some kind of disbelieve and surprise in their faces. “Why do you spend your summer holiday in Iceland? It’s going to be freezing cold up there. What are you doing there?”; “Azores?? I just know them from the weather forecast!”; “Andorra?? – Tiny, tax-free – anything else?” To make a long story short: what the hell are you doing there?

I never cared much about what people were thinking about my choices in general. However, something made me wondering regarding this topic. Most of my friends and colleagues spend the majority of their holidays at some mediterranean beaches. Basically, they are roasting in the blazing sun, swimming, reading, rambling, feasting and doing nothing in particular for two weeks. That’s their definition and way of relaxing. Afterwards, when I listen to their stories, they are either complaining about the heat or wind, the hotel or the food, or if they cannot blame the weather or location, it’s for sure the misbehaviour of their better half. Coming back from their relaxing holidays, they rarely seem happy and joyful to me. Mostly, they are glad to be back at home like their beach holiday was a burden that luckily is over.

In June, I spent 3 weeks in Iceland. When you scroll through my blog, you for sure will see, how much I fell in love with this northern volcanic island. In single posts, I just can describe bits and pieces of my overwhelming trip, the unbelievable beauty of this country and the loads of unforgettable impressions. The one thing that describes this journey the best is: the day after we arrived back at home, I directly booked the next flight to Reykjavik. After that trip, I was so excited, enthusiastic and inspired. I started reading Icelandic legends and books from Hallgrimur Helgason (whose sarcastic and engaging writing is funny, dreadful and brutally honest – I love it), listened to Icelandic music, and still I’m regularly checking the Geysir and volcano webcams. I started planning my next tours for winter, spring and fall to see Iceland during all seasons in its rich diversity.

Honestly, I cannot even remember one of these peanuts and shallow complaints that my friends experienced and even made the story and topic of their holidays. There’s such an abundance of adventures and activities in my mind that it’s still hard to pick a highlight. Looking at the obvious difference, I characterise my holidays as going on a journey in the truest sense of the word. My next travel destinations are Andorra, Milano and Iceland in winter. And to already answer the upcoming questions to Iceland in January: truly, yes – it will be dark, most probably it will be cold, I hope to watch northern lights. I have no clue about the details yet, but I am convinced it will be another amazing experience, where the journey is the reward……………….And definitely, no, I won’t come back sun burnt.