Yup.. I'm off to Iceland.
You see, in my head, I am (and always have been) a free-spirited, independent woman and the backpacker lifestyle has always appealed to me. I picture myself travelling the globe with only my camera and a single bag of clothes, snapping up the many sights and cultural experiences it offers up to me.
In reality, I'm just a bit of a daydreamer, tied down by a job and - far more significantly - a high level of social anxiety. In truth, I've long been held back by my pack full of fears: What if I can't navigate an airport on my own? What if I can't muster up enough of the language to get by? What if I have to eat alone every day with people staring at me? What if being vegetarian means I can't eat at all? What if I commit some awful cultural faux pas? What if I break some unwritten rule of hostelling and everyone hates me?!
But I came to the conclusion recently that I will carry this backpack of fears around with me forever, unless I give it a go. "If you never try, you'll never know," and all that. (Are those Coldplay lyrics? I don't even like Coldplay.)
I have a job that I fought too long and hard for (and happen to love too much) to give up on a whim and go travelling, so a short five-day trip will have to do. I figure that's probably a reasonable amount of time to put my solo-travelling abilities to their first test.
And so it is that I've found myself with return flights to Reykjavik, a destination I picked because of its renown as a safe and welcoming city, because its people speak English very well, because it has group tours in abundance and because I really really want to go but can't imagine ever persuading anyone to come with me.
I'm glad I booked it at long last. I'm terrified, I must confess; but I'm also incredibly excited and will be dreaming of geysers and waterfalls and woolly jumpers and interesting architecture and whale-watching and geothermal spas for the next four months.
If you have any tips on things to do in Reykjavik, or advice on traveling alone - particularly as a young woman - then please do let me know.
Bring it on!
|(For photo credits, see Wanderlust on Pinterest.)|