Road Trip to ICELAND: A Love declaration
There is a voice in some people’s head, which we shall call Wanderlust.
It plants ideas in its silent voice, into the mind of those of us who have Explorer’s or Traveller’s blood. Thus, the urge to leave becomes exponentially stronger, making us feel caged and imprisoned.
It whispers: ‘Freedom…’. And eventually you give in. You will always give in to Wanderlust.
We as explorers are victims of our very success. This earth has little wilderness left for the meandering hearts to discover. It is so, that I found myself flying to the land of fire and ice, one of the fringes of civilization; one of the last few places that can still awe an explorer’s soul and rape it with breath-taking surprise. Iceland.
Iceland is an island outside of time and space. It does not ask for permission for being the way it is. Furthermore, it also does not allow mankind to conquer it. It concedes a peaceful symbiosis, more likely. It is rough, cold, stormy. And still, it shines with beauty like the smoothest virgin. In fact, the air you can breathe on an Icelandic prairie, or on top of a volcano, or among the ice chunks of a glacier, reminds you of the breath of a lover. It gives you chills, pleasant impulses that are just the juice the true explorer needs. Its harshness is poetry.
This island has little inhabitants. A few humans, a few horses. Puffins, sea lions, birds. Whales and fish around it. Thus, when you wander amongst its picturesque landscapes, you can feel an intimacy which can rarely be found elsewhere. You finally feel the Wanderlust being satisfied, cherishing one true form of freedom. All else is lost, all else is forgotten. You stop being an engineer, a lawyer, a driver; you stop being a man or a woman; you stop being human. You transform into a soul, a breath of air over a land which is oh-so-ethereal.
This place has got no time: you can feel today mash up with yesterday mash up with a thousand years ago. The stones have seen the flow of time and now watch you watching them. The waterfalls drop relentlessly, like they have done for uncountable years. You do feel bound to these presences. Slowly you forget your own human heritage.
If by any chance you do meet another living being, which can happen to be human, you do not awaken from the trance of a place so near the land of Gods; instead, you recognize a brother immediately, another lost soul in the beautiful limbus which is Iceland. He or she or it is joyfully lost like you are. Even on the weather-toughened face of the inhabitants – Icelanders – it is not sorrow you read, but smiles and joy. Creativity. Love. This place is harsh, but it is the ultimate expression of Mother Nature and rightfulness of how things should be. It does try to kill you, with its winds and ice and fire roaring from the volcano mouths, but just to show you how much it loves. If you survive once, you fall so madly in love with this place that you cherish a memory pretty much equal to your first sexual loving experience, when you leave.
Now: Iceland is not the most extreme place there can be. The earth has got another couple of corners which can be worse (or better, depending on the point of view). What makes this place magical, however, is that it is balanced exactly between the extreme and the ordinary, thus being a portal rather then a world. This portal brings you to see what else is there, on the outside, but also on the inside. You think. You question. You elaborate thoughts which will not seem yours. During the whole process, Iceland holds your hand and does not let you go. You do not panic, you rather wonder, numbed by beauty and tranquillity.
I have seen much of the world, to be honest. But few places have shaken me like Iceland, in a good way. I dare anyone to go and not come back with a small chest of emotions in a corner of the heart. In fact, all these words are not necessary. They are just a poor attempt at exposing the small box of feelings I brought back. As are my pictures. I have dissociated my soul from my body in that place, and the only solid proof of that for myself, are these views I show you here, a remembrance of a place with its own dimension. Iceland. Land of fire and ice: a paradox. And not for the fire and ice, not for all the elements. But for the simple fact that it is a place both real and unreal, at the same non-existing time.
Only your own Wanderlust will show you how sincere I am being, when it calls you there too.
Cross my heart.
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Credits: GV photographer and writer
Juliet Labdien photography management
Date: May 2014
“A special Thank you to HN for the adventure sharing.”