I want to tell everyone to immediately go to Wow Air and book their cheap flight to Iceland (mine was round-trip less than $500), but at the same time, I don’t want that at all. Iceland is tripling its intake of tourists over last year, and frankly I can see why they can’t handle it.
Iceland is not Disney Land.
There aren’t a lot of bathrooms, or food stops or gas stations. You have to be okay walking to see everything. You have to feel comfortable driving over snow and ice (which becomes markedly easier with the right rental car). It’s not overdone. There's no frills. It’s nature that we may visit but not overbear.
As I stared at my first Icelandic mountain, I was taken by the beautiful work of Mother Nature. When you learn in school about the creation of the world, you learn about tectonic plates, mountains that moved and volcanoes that made land out of eruptions. You learned about how the earth split and created continents. You learned about the work of Mother Nature.
But in Iceland, you see Mother Nature in action.
You can see how rugged the Earth really is. You get a real sense for how bad-ass of a bitch Mother Earth can be. The Earth isn’t done being formed. It’s still happened. Land masses are still moving and growing. And volcanoes will coat the land with more ash and extend the shore a few more inches. To learn about geology is one play, but seeing it is a totally different game.
I almost couldn’t stare at the mountain enough, for fear of forgetting it. Sure, I took like 1,000 pictures this vacation, which goes against my beliefs about not trying to capture it all, but I am honestly scared I might forget about the awe I felt. But what’s most inspiring is knowing that one hell of a picture doesn’t do the real thing any amount of justice.
I’ve never been one to stand up and preach appreciation for our world. I’d tell you all about women’s rights and equality, but standing up for nature just didn’t seem to suit me. But then I walked on a glacier and couldn’t believe how for granted I’ve taken it all.
But beyond how beautiful Mother Earth is, she’s a total bad ass. There’s nothing like driving on slick, icy roads that careens on a mountain’s ledge to remind you how quickly she can take it all away from you. Or how the falling rocks can just squish you like a shoe on an ant. Or a quick slip of the foot on a glacier and you’re knocking yourself unconscious. Or she can tug your feet right out from under you in the unpredictable currents of the crystal blue water as the crash onto the black sand beaches and claim you to the sea forever.
There is nothing like that amount of power that demands a massive amount of respect. Mother Earth commands your attention. Not only for her beauty, but her strength. Isn’t that just the most poetic definition of an incredible woman you want to stand behind?