About my Iceland trip in August 2015
This country, this trip, have torn me apart. In the best possible way. When I booked my ticket, I expected a solo adventure. Making a a few interesting pictures and enjoying the beautifully bizarre power of nature these lands display. Then, others joined (Daniel Shearer, Natalia Stafeeva, Ele Na, Alex King). To them, others (Anastasiya Kasyanova, Marianne King, Gary). And also, others that were there at the same time (Cem Staveley). New faces, conversations, situations and opportunities to grow. Itâ€™s been an absolute privilege to travel this amazing country with all of you guys. Thanks.
It seems hard to believe to me that it was only fourteen days ago when I landed here. It feels more like two years. Every day was a new trip, full of adventure, incredible places, interesting findings and lessons learned. Weâ€™ve driven so many km (around 6000), and these were full of so many beautiful places which hurt. Sheep, birds. Horses, ponies. Haystacks, sheep. Birds, seals.
Every picture I took was a moment I wanted to remember, a place that shook me. Every step, walked in the right direction.
â€śInstead of bringing back 1600 plants, we might return from our journeys with a collection of small unfĂŞted but life-enhancing thoughts.â€ť
â€• Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel.
Iceland is internationally known as the land of ice and fire. This may be true, but I havenâ€™t seen much ice (itâ€™s still summer here) nor fire (not in activity, at least). But I didnâ€™t need to. I felt these two in their people. Icelandic people have a thin layer of frost, but they are quite warm inside (volcanic, I guess I could say), and theyâ€™ll open easily, given their sharing nature. Beers, great conversations and intensely bizarre moments in Akureyri and Reykjavik will be hard to forget.
â€śSublime places repeat in grand terms a lesson that ordinary life typically teaches viciously: that the universe is mightier than we are, that we are frail and temporary and have no alternative but to accept limitations on our will; that we must bow to necessities greater than ourselves.â€ť
â€• Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel.
I use to say (half joking) that as a good Spaniard, in another life, I was a sailor. Thatâ€™s why I couldnâ€™t believe my luck when I met Karl Orri Wade Einarsson and Andrey Nadyssev in a pool in Patreksfjordur when I was relaxing after a long drive. I had dinner and a few very interesting conversations with them and the rest of the crew (Evar, Bjarni, Mundi and others) of the Nupur. After letting Mundi beat me at chess, they even showed me their ship. Iâ€™ll never look at a fishing boat the same. What an incredibly interesting bunch, these seamen. I felt like one of them all the time I was with them. I even tried neftobak (aka horseshit). It was shockingly addictive. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve ever enjoyed so much a walk in the rain as that night, when I was heading back from the Patreksfjordur port to our airbnb. For this, thank you all.
â€śVery many people spend money in ways quite different from those that their natural tastes would enjoin, merely because the respect of their neighbours depends upon their possession of a good car and their ability to give good dinners. As a matter of fact, any man who can obviously afford a car but genuinely prefers travels or a good library will in the end be much more respected than if he behaved exactly like everyone else.â€ť â€“ Bertrand Russell
Iâ€™ve rediscovered photography in this trip also. It was another of my goals, and itâ€™s been successfully accomplished. I methttps://www.flickr.com/photos/valentinmeaux/, Francis Ablen and Yusuf Hashim, which gave me really good tips and encouraged me to keep working hard on this passion. Thanks guys. My very long night walks capturing Reykjavik brought me so much joy also. Itâ€™s difficult to put this in words. I canâ€™t forget my regular visits to Leo, my Serbian friend from the 10-11 supermarket close to our base in the capital. Great conversations there, accompanied by a good tea and the odd cigarette. Thank you sir, to you too.
â€śIt is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, who may not be who we essentially are.â€ť
â€• Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel
In our daily lives, we tend to forget that weâ€™re dead since weâ€™re born. There is nothing to lose here, but everything to win. Travelling reminds me of this universal truth constantly. Itâ€™s all about embracing the moment. Choosing the right thing to do. Being true to myself. Letting things go. Welcoming others. Making the best out of every possible situation. Getting out of my comfort zone. And keep going. Always. Thatâ€™s travelling, thatâ€™s life. Ok, Iâ€™ll shut up now. Packing. Iceland, thanks for everything. Iâ€™ll come back. Now, family (needed) time in Spain (via London). I canâ€™t wait for my Asian adventures next year.