In the last couple of weeks I’ve been asked by several people WHY I’m going to Iceland.
Sometimes it’s been genuine curiosity, people trying to understand what drew me to Iceland as opposed to somewhere similar like Sweden or Denmark, more traditional tourist destinations which would, I suppose, make more sense logistically, seeing as how I’m ending up in Germany and all. (minus 4 points for too many commas)
But more often than not it’s been a “what, why would you go to Iceland dude, there’s nothing there” sort of why. And this irritates me for two reasons.
1) I guess the irony of the first reason revolves around the fact that these people don’t KNOW anything about Iceland. I knew nothing about Iceland before the idea popped into my head, and one of my best friends lives in the Icelandic Consulate in Melbourne (her mother’s the consul).
Forgiving blatant ignorance, isn’t this why people travel? To explore places they know nothing about? Rambunctious trips to Cambodia aside, I like to think this has always been my primary motivation. I’ve often criticised Europeans for never leaving their home country when different worlds are just hours away (by car), and in response they’ve often asked me why, as an Australian, I’ve never been to New Zealand. My answer has always been that I don’t want to waste time and money visiting a country that by all accounts is very culturally similar to ours*. I’m getting off track a bit, but in summary, it occurs to me now that when people asked me what was in Iceland, I probably should have replied;
“Mate, I don’t know, that’s why I’m going.”
2) It also irritates me because (despite the 2 paragraphs I just spent on my high horse)
the real reason I’m going to Iceland is that it was a cheap stopover on the way from New York to Frankfurt and that’s just not a very interesting answer.
Regardless, Iceland does seem like a very… (wait for it)…. cool country. Volcanoes everywhere, more geothermal springs than ancient RomeT, Arnaldur Inidrasson settings? Oh hullo.
The weather’s going to be a serious trial (I have an American mate who would describe it as straight ‘brick’), but after dealing with the Arctic Circle in January 2012 I reckon I can handle it…
Well, not really. The weather absolutely terrifies me, but that’s another reason I’m looking forward to it so much!
So have at thee, Ísland!. Gaman að kynnast þér!
TThis assumption is not to scale.
*Also no-one seems to realise it takes 3 hours by plane. You can’t take a paddleboat to New Zealand, people.