Needed a Vacation: Iceland
I really needed a vacation. Like really, really needed a major one. The past couple years I hadn’t really been able to step away from work for a week and it’s not been optimal for my health or productivity. I had a good work/life balance until last year when I began to change up the sorts of services I offer and a bunch of major changes and tragedies happened.
A few major things happened last year. I got rid of the office space for my company and our salesman Tristan passed away in an accident. I couldn’t really focus behind a computer screen as well as I had prior, so I took up part time taxi driving to meet new people, make some extra cash, and clear my head. We stopped pushing into as many different businesses as we had been in before and worked to service our referral and word of mouth clients.
Four years ago I did a pretty epic month long road trip to Newfoundland and since then I’ve done a ton of weekend roadtrips, but nothing to that extent. This year I decided to go to Iceland with Katie. I’m happy I did, she’s truly amazing and has been there by my side through everything. I couldn’t have a better partner. This year we’ve been focusing on getting her new business running smooth with framing and art sales. She’s been crushing it in business but we’re on the lookout for new retail space as her landlord won’t rent out the new space.
Tips on Iceland
- Iceland is not cheap. Flying there is but that’s about it. Burgers cost $25-30. Fuel is something like $8/gal. Most coffee is $4-5. A typical night grabbing food for two might be $90 if you’re not going all out, lunch maybe $40 or so. Lodging is comparable to the US I guess. Booze has a 125% excess tax on it, so if you intend to drink it might be good to bring some in via duty free.
- Go visit the geothermal pools, seriously. Reykjavik has a ton so if you have a good amount of time there on a layover, there’s nothing better than getting off the plane and relaxing in hot pool. Tourists don’t frequent these, it’s mostly locals and it costs like $4/person. Skip the Blue Lagoon unless hellbent on taking pictures there I guess.
- I’ve heard a ton of horror stories about rental companies. I didn’t have the best experience but Avis seemed professional in dealing with a check engine light issue on the other side of the country. I rented a Dacia Duster and it was pretty fuel efficient. Go diesel where possible. Don’t even think of trying the F-Roads with a cheap 4x4, you won’t have the ground clearance.
- I really wanted to see the northern lights, it is one of my life goals to see it proper. Unfortunately, I was only able to see some of them from the plane during sunrise. Once we finally got proper weather on the trip, the solar wind died down and there was no chance of solar storms. If I could have stayed an extra day or two, I would have done so to have a chance at it. It’s the pain of going during solar minimum, have to check wind forecasts and hope for the best.
- Checking out glacier lagoon was cool as hell, going around deep blue icebergs in an amphibian was worth it, even with obnoxious Chinese tourists ignoring the guide and pushing into us. (To be fair I’m kind of happy they exist to take the bad tourist stigma away from Americans)
I think I’d really want to go back to hike Svartfoss and to see the northern lights. That and hit the pools up again.
Anyways you can check out my raw photostream at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/35783722@N08/albums/72157700339808691