Monday, 11 March 2013

So This Happened..


Yup.. I'm off to Iceland.


Alone.


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.)

6 comments:

  1. How exciting - I bet you'll have an amazing time! x

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  2. I too am a independent, free-spirited woman who would travel the globe in a heartbeat were it not for my pesky debilitating social anxiety and the fact that airports send me into a bit of a frenzied panic - so I think what you're doing is fantastic and I am in complete awe! My advice would be not to punch the air and shout 'yes!' enthusiastically once you've successfully passed through airport security without the buzzer going off... for some reason they don't understand the joy you feel at not having to go through a full body search and instead get highly suspicious. Weird, right?

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    1. Bless you. I was mostly just excited and riding on a high when I booked the flights, but the nerves are creeping in more and more by the day -- mostly about awkward evenings in hostels and flying on my own. I'll certainly keep your airport advice in mind - seems like pretty sound advice to me! ;)

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  3. Well done, I once went to Mallorca (sorry) on my own and had the most fantastic time. I was in my early 20s. Scary, but go there gal.

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    1. I bet that was fun! At least you lived to tell the tale - that's always encouraging to see! ;)

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