ICELAND (Hello, Northern Lights!)
I have to give props to my friend and fellow blogger, Dad Is Cheap, for inspiring me to (finally) work on my second post after the very special first one I wrote about Ma-Dukes a few weeks ago. He and his lovely wife, Glady, just welcomed a second child, and I figured if a newly minted (and probably very sleepy) father of two can find time to post, then so can I.
What does this have to do with Iceland? Nothing. But hold your Icelandic horses, because I'll now get to the land of Fire & Ice.
My husband and I visited Iceland January 2016 a year after our wedding for a late honeymoon. Many people questioned our destination when I told them where we were going. "Isn't it going to be f*@#&%$ cold" and "why don't you go somewhere near a beach" were the two most asked questions. Well, we both had our reasons. And for the record, one can buy jackets and Iceland has beaches, but I digress.
For the hubby, it was after he watched the CKY2K video years before we even met that piqued his interest. This was a skateboarding video where Bam Magera and crew visited Iceland years before Kanye decided to make a music video there. For Jon, it was an epic scene from said film that was the hook, line and sinker - the Skógafoss waterfall in all its glory. He told me once he saw Skógafoss, Iceland landed right on top of his bucket list. It also helped that he's a future geologist and there's no better place to visit when you are one, but that's his story to tell.
For me, witnessing the Northern Lights was always in my bucket list, but I didn't particularly feel the need to go to Iceland to see it. There were always Finland, Norway, Alaska or Canada as options. But I have to be honest that Hollywood helped push Iceland on top. Let's just say, if anyone ever asks you if Iceland can be a sexy honeymoon destination, all you need to tell them is "You know nothing (insert their name here)" and proceed to show them this clip from Game of Thrones with Jon Snow and his Wildling love, Ygritte. The scene was filmed in one of Iceland's many beautiful caves and hot springs.
Ultimately, though, it was a clip from the remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty that hooked me. The scene has Walter (Ben Stiller) in a Greenland bar trying to decide if he should jump in a helicopter to head to Iceland for a life-changing adventure. His lady love (Kristen Wiig) is then seen (imagined) in the same bar coaxing him to go by singing the late David Bowie's "Space Oddity".
David Bowie pretty much sang me towards Iceland.
Ironically (and sadly) we arrived in Iceland on January 10, 2016 - the day David Bowie passed. I'm writing about this not to be a downer, but just in the belief that sometimes you get the right signs you need in order to follow what you want. Walter needed to hear that song to jump in the helicopter to head into what would ultimately change his fictional life. But like you, I don't have a fictional life - this one's it and it is real. The fact that Bowie's words helped me get there and in turn really appreciate life more and be grateful about where I was (Iceland!!!) after I found out of his death while watching TV in our hotel room was surreal; and yes, life changing.
And arriving in the country where we would eventually get to witness the wondrous Northern Lights, see mind-shattering waterfalls, swim in the Secret Lagoon hot springs, view glaciers that prove climate change is not fake news, visit the building where Reagan and Gorvachev met to discuss ending the Cold War, meet the friendliest folks, among many more experiences; these were just delicious icing on this tasty cake called life.
It might not be a big trip somewhere that you need to check off your bucket list. Heck, I have items that include pretty simple (for some) things like being able to change the oil in my Subaru or learn how to keep my new orchids alive. But whatever you call it - goals, bucket list, dream destinations - get on it. Take your protein pills and put your helmet on. Life is not fiction.
If you're interested in visiting Iceland, I recommend the tour company we used. I'm not getting any payment out of this (but won't turn it down, either) - we were just very happy with and thoroughly recommend them. Link here.