The wind slapped my face as my shivering body stood surrounded by a glacier. I was no longer watching a movie in
some artic setting; I was in one. Between snorkeling in the Pingvellir lake, hiking in an icy cave, watching natural geysers erupt in front of my very eyes, seeing the Golden Circle, swimming in the Blue Lagoon, and admiring all of the sunrises and sunsets, I spent a week of my life alone, in Iceland.
I was not a nature-loving kind of girl before my trip. I may go on the occasional hike and I love the beach in the summer. However, I am not one to seek out rock climbing and white water rafting every weekend, if you catch my drift. I don’t know if I really thought through the kind of person I was when making an overly-caffeinated decision to buy a cheap ticket to Iceland for my solo winter break trip. I was drawn to the amazing lure of the northern lights, and the opportunity to cuddle up in a cozy bed with a book, enjoy a trip without having to cater to anyone else’s needs, and surround myself in a place of peace and inner solitude.
All romantic ideas, as I look back at my vision of my relaxing vacation to Iceland. I didn’t realize it would be the kind of trip where I would be waking up at 7:30 every morning and stepping out of my comfort zone every day.
I must admit this entire trip was a huge leap out of my comfort zone to begin with. And although I slipped on ice a few times and even got my entire leg stuck in the snow, every time I fell, I pushed myself back up with a huge smile on my face. Even when I was only wearing soaking wet, cotton leggings and a wool coat, I found myself revived by nature.
So on my very last day of complete and utter physical exhaustion, standing on this glacier drenched in the middle of a windy rainstorm, I realized that I can and could do anything. Just like all of the beautiful landscapes and real-life picturesque masterpieces, I was touched by how magnificent the world can be and how breathtaking a pure ice glacier is. As I looked down at what I was standing on, I remember being amazed at how it was “just ice.” I stood there proud and more in touch with nature and myself than I ever was before. It was just clear, fragile ice.