I’ll be the first to tell you that I have the travel bug. I can often be found laying on the floor of my apartment gazing up at my large world map, which is covered in pins, planning where to take my next trip.
That’s how Iceland happened. I had always wanted to see the Northern Lights and had been seeing pictures of the Blue Lagoon floating around the internet for months and one night, after a work happy hour with my best friend Tyler, we bit the bullet and bought our tickets. We were going to Iceland for Thanksgiving.
We based ourselves out of Reykjavík, staying in the world’s most adorable and convenient Airbnb which put us smack dab in the middle of the city. We were within walking distance of the city lake, Tjörnin, as well as the largest church in Iceland, Hallgrimskirkja. Basically, we were perfectly situated for all of the city sightseeing, foodie adventures and nightlife activity – hard to hate that, right?
We packed in a ton of activities in our trip, but I definitely have some favorites to share with you:
You can’t see it, but the look on my face says “BACK OFF, I’M NEVER LEAVING.” Seriously, I could have sat in this nook, played records and drank hot chocolate all day. Wait, I did do that for a day of our trip. It’s the perfect spot to spend some down time in the city, so get your ass in there and get cozy on a rainy day.
Recommended: hot chocolate & chai tea.
Stunning, right? Stepping onto the snow covered beach gave me the impression that I was stepping into a different world. It’s straight out of a fairytale… in which the main character busts her ass climbing on baby glaciers in a lagoon. That’s totally a Disney movie, right?
This place is not to be missed. Yes, it’s a haul from the city all the way out here, but I promise you that it’s worth it. I don’t know of anywhere else in the world you can take in this view. It’s stunning. Do it.
“Picture this, we were both butt naked…” as the oh-so wise Shaggy once said. Actually, though, in point of fact we were only naked for a short period time. Most of our time here was spent hiking up the mountains to get to the hot springs river. I will say, peeling off your clothing in the frigid, windy temperatures is an adventure in sheer terror. Also, word from the (now) wise, stick your toe in the water and make sure it’s actually hot before you hop your ass up in there.
A huge plus? There are almost no tourists here.
Warning: stripping down on the side of a cold, windy mountain is a new form of torture, but the views make it worth it.
The Blue Lagoon
Aren’t we pretty? Yes, yes we are. Can’t you tell that we have exfoliated our faces and done a mask? You totally can. Okay, so what’s the deal with the Blue Lagoon? Yes, it’s a tourist trap. Yes, it’s still worth it. Go get your soak on and enjoy some bubbly while you float. Swim over to the bar for a face mask and scrub and exfoliate while you heat your body. We stayed for hours… until we were beyond pruny… and we could have stayed longer. It’s expensive, but it’s worth it.
Pro Tip: splurge for the nice package, if you don’t you’ll wish you had.
The Golden Circle
SURPRISE EVERYONE, Tyler and I got married secretly and this is our honeymoon. Kidding, or am I? I suppose you will never know. Plus, I’m just saying that this is a totally believable couples shot if we were to be honeymooning. Either that or a Patagonia magazine shot. Your choice. So, what’s up with The Golden Circle? Waterfalls on waterfalls, Geysers, viewpoints and a generally great time.
Pro Tip: rent a car so you can set your own schedule.
Hey ma, look at me! This is the smile of someone who may or may not be getting hypothermia posing for this picture (hence my mildly insane smile). I loved this place, although it is definitely a bit random. Have you ever wanted to see what a lighthouse looks like on the end of the world? No? Well, you should.
Pro tip: pack a snack, there’s not a whole lot out here.
Iceland. Land of hot springs, gorgeous views and shit tons of shenanigans… more to come on that.