When I was a sophomore in high school I had a crush on a guy named Nick. He was one of those people who were originally cool and hipster before hipster was even a thing. He loved Sigur Ros so naturally I fell in love too. Sigur Ros are a unique Icelandic band centered around the beauty that instruments can produce. I would blast the music in my car as loud as it would go and take off my shoes and feel the rhythm on my feet while I was driving home from school everyday. I started looking up live videos of them playing and this is when my love for Iceland started. That was five years ago and since then my dreams to see Iceland with my own eyes have only gotten bigger and bigger.
I knew that when moving to London for the semester I had to fulfill my number one on my bucket list and go. Lauren and I eventually booked a ticket and I started planning.
Going to Iceland was one of the hardest things that I’ve done since being here. It wasn’t totally glamorous or perfect. Don’t get me wrong, it was stunning and wonderful but it wasn’t easy… isn’t this true of anything worth doing? You’d think I would have learned this lesson by now.
We arrived in Keflavik and tried to get our rental car and it was a stick shift. My father has tried to teach me a million times how to drive stick and I am just plain bad at it. I walked back inside and told the guy I needed an automatic. He looked at me said said, “Sorry you’re gonna have to drive that to the other airport and switch it out.” I said, “I don’t think you understand… I can’t drive that car.” Lauren and I had to pay for a bus to take us to Rekeyavik to get another car. It ended up working out but once again it wasn’t easy.
We walked into Kex, the coolest hostel we have stayed in, and found our room. We were in a room with three other people (two of which were from Nashville of course). They asked what we were going to be doing the next day and I told them that I was drving the southern coast. They said, “Oh yeah, we were going to do that but the road are bad and two people died last week.” Crap. All the while Lauren is feeling really sick.
The next morning we hopped in the car and drove around the southern coast. It was mind blowing. I wasn’t sure if I was on the earth of a foreign planet. The ground looked like it was about to bubble and make eerie noises you hear in the background of movies. We stopped and saw waterfalls that effortlessly fell over the side of the mountain as if someone was pouring over a pot of coffee. There were horses with long hair and sheep that roamed along the highway.
Our hotel in Vik was out of this world. Yes a hotel. This was the first one we had stayed in since coming to London. It was on the Black Beach. It was so strange but so beautiful. We drove back along the coast the next day and headed to Blue Lagoon. It was just as wonderful as you would think. The swim up bar, face masks, and warm had us sold.
All in all Iceland was an amazing experience. I learned so much and finally checked off the number one thing on my bucket list.