When I thought about Iceland before my first visit, a few random associations came up for me: trolls, cold, waterfalls and a strange feeling of “mythical magic” surrounding all of it.
I don’t know if the first three associations are just because of my narrow-minded German view of the world but I had a feeling that the last association is something special.
Now that I am on the last day of my road trip around Iceland with my Happy Campers rental van I can truly say that this magical feeling I had was true. Nowadays, where the industrial nations are flooded with big cities where the tendency is to function like a robot, I really had a strong desire to get out of all that.
Out of the hectic.
Out of the rat race.
I learned so many lessons in the Icelandic nature.
When I watched the tremendous waters falling down the Godafoss I realized that in nature, everything has just the right pace. Nature doesn’t rush, yet everything is accomplished in absolutely the right time.
One of the most powerful antidotes for our stressed minds and bodies is a strong deceleration and calming of our internal speed. As I stood on the Black Sand Beach and watched the waves roll in I was reminded to just breathe. Breathe and take it all in. And when the compulsory photos and Instagram stories (#gottafeedthatnewsfeed) are done I let myself enjoy the peaceful rhythm of the sea.
I also learned that kilometers are not enough. What we really need is space. And when we accept the invitation of the incredibly wide and spacious fields of Iceland, we discover that internal space that we have been seeking all along.
I have been searching for the kind of vacation that provides both kilometers and space.
And I found it with Happy Campers.
The freedom of being able to drive wherever you go (no F-roads of course! You will get what I mean by that when you have taken your own Happy Campers road trip!) is just so beautiful. Always seeing something new, never really settling for anything and just staying in motion give the journey a unique dynamic.
Many times when I am at home in Germany and I drive by a beautiful forest or some other beautiful spot I think: “Man, I would love to just stop my car, get out and take a nice hike around here!” And the beauty of traveling with a Happy Camper is: I can do that!
Camping taught me that to really get the most of my experience I have to be flexible and adaptable. The experience of being on Iceland’s camping sites together with my girlfriend required an ability to let go of my expectations and be present with what the situation demanded of me.
Another big lesson which I cannot highlight enough was: be present. When we were standing in front of Strokkur geysir, there were like over 50 people gathered around it. Impatiently were they holding their smartphones/tablets/cameras/portable-film-studios towards the geysir, anticipating its outbreak.
I am not against documenting or taking pictures/videos when travelling but I really feel that people miss the actual travel experience itself. By constantly photographing, looking out for the next best shot, doing Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook Stories or planning the next blog post, we can get lost in an imaginary reality.
I learned that to get the most of my travels and my journey I just take whatever shots I need and then be done with it. And then, be with the nature.
Breathe with the winds that run over this marvellous island.
Witness the powerful waters move and wonder what it is that makes this water flow.
Investigate deeply into myself instead of being focussed on how other people might perceive my trip.
So in addition to a beautiful landscape and a lot of wonderfully peaceful atmosphere, you also get a big opportunity to grow as a human being.
I absolutely recommend that you book your Happy Camper as soon as possible and drive through the magnificent landscape of Iceland.