When my girlfriend and I started dating, she had already been all over the world, but I didn’t even have a passport. I got one immediately, and our first trip was to Thailand. I know it’s super cliché to say, but that Thailand trip gave me the travel bug big time.
One day, she came up to me and said, “Surprise, I got us tickets to Iceland.” I had always wanted to go for selfish, creative reasons. I’d seen all those time lapses on Vimeo of the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. It looked like a completely different planet, and I wanted to go and take pictures and see how insane it actually is. And…it’s pretty nuts.
We got really lucky with the Northern Lights. It was cold enough, and there happened to be a solar storm two of the nights we were there. I knew it was going to be awesome, but it was completely different to actually see it. It’s amazing how it moves in real time.
We did some glacier hiking and went to the ice caves. That was pretty intense – being out on that glacier at sunrise in negative 8-degree winds 150 miles from another soul. It was awesome.
One piece of advice I have for anyone going there is to think twice before you eat the fermented shark meat. It’s a traditional Icelandic thing called Hákarl, and you drink it with Brennivín, which is their national schnapps. People love it. And you’re going to want to try it just to say you did, but it wasn’t for me. And I ate scorpions in Thailand. Scorpions were good. But shark fermented shark meat…