Guest Post: Who Wants to Go to Iceland?

This guest post is from Grace at StorytellerGirl, who is a much more serious and focused writer than I am – someday I will be able to say I knew her before she was published! She is also a Nordic music fan, and is now gearing up for her first trip to Iceland. You can also follow her on Twitter – @storytellerGRL

Over to Grace…

So who wants to go to Iceland? I do! And so do a lot of other people, too, apparently. Iceland seems to be a popular tourist destination.

As I’ve been planning this trip, I have gotten reactions ranging from excitement, people asking if they could stow away in my suitcase and come with me, and people asking me why on earth I’d want to go to Iceland.

I thought I’d answer those questions – about why Iceland, that is, not about stow-aways in my suitcase. Sorry, but TSA is hard enough to get through without a person hiding in my suitcase.

So, why Iceland?

Why not?

There’s lots of stuff to see and do, and I’ve never been there before. Reason enough right there, right?

I love Nordic stuff.

While my ancestors that I can trace go back to England and Germany, I wouldn’t doubt that I’ve got some Scandinavian in me somewhere. My mom has been to Denmark, and I’ve been to Norway, so I might as well check Iceland off the list next.

It’s a short, direct flight.

I’m very excited about the idea of not having to change planes to get to another country. I live in America, where we usually have to change planes just to get to another state.ย I don’t mind flying – it’s the take-off, landing, sitting on the tarmac waiting, navigating through the airport, and going through security that I don’t like. And the only thing worse than having several hours to kill in an airport between flights is having eight and a half minutes to get to another building three miles away to catch the next flight. So yeah, direct flight to Keflavik airport? I’m in.

I’ve been reading this awesome blog for so long that I want to experience everything she writes about.

The wonderful Idratherbeiniceland has a compelling blog: creative, comprehensive, well-written, lots of pictures. I don’t know if her original intent was to promote Iceland to the point that all her readers wanted to go there, but it worked with me. Check back in the fall to see my thoughts about Iceland once I’ve actually been there!

We thought it would be fun for Grace to share some thoughts before her trip, and to give an update after her trip on whether Iceland managed to live up to her expectations!What was your inspiration for visiting Iceland for the first time? Did you have any pre-trip nerves? How soon afterwards did you go for a second trip? ๐Ÿ™‚

Update: Grace is back! Read the story of her trip here.

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24 thoughts on “Guest Post: Who Wants to Go to Iceland?

  1. As you know, our first visit to Iceland was last July and we’ve been dreaming of returning ever since! Hmm…what inspired us to go? We were deciding between the Caribbean and Iceland and we were drawn to all the beautiful pictures we saw of the country and the geothermal hot springs. And we wanted to try hรกkarl! Haha! We were a bit nervous about not being able to speak Icelandic but everything worked out fine, and we can’t wait to make a return trip! Hopefully after Finland and Japan? There’s just so much world to see! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh and we, too, got a lot of those questions and remarks. And I always look at people and say WHY NOT?! It’s great to see that more people are discovering the beauty of Iceland but I’d rather it stay our secret. ๐Ÿ˜›

      • I’m starting to get people suggesting that maybe I should go somewhere else on holiday…it’s like, I’ve BEEN lots of places and Iceland is the best one so why am I going to waste holidays going somewhere else now… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Japan is somewhere that always sounds interesting but perhaps a little too complicated for me, I’d want some kind of group to go with I think or I’d spend all my time trying to figure simple things out! I’m sure you and your Moomins will be back to Iceland at some point.

  2. Pingback: Another Guest Spot! | StorytellerGirl

  3. Why Iceland? Originally, it wasn’t on the agenda, but a spare week came up, as I was in Denmark which was sudden and unplanned. So i thought I could sit around Denmark for another week, in the same location, (which would be fine too) or go to Iceland for five days. I have a friend in the North so her photos and stories also told me I should investigate this place. And it proved to be the absolute highlight. I went all around the east and northern areas, courtesy of a tour company and my awesome friend, and saw things I have never and will never see or experience again. I was a little bit nervous about getting around, and finding the right bus etc, but I just kept asking people until I found someone who could help me. Even the most mundane areas are fascinatingly different in the snow. ( at least to me who lives in sunny climes!) Iceland surpassed my expectations and would love to go back. Time and money prevents this.

    • It’s great that you found somewhere you liked a bit by accident. I think you have to be a little bit adventurous to like Iceland, I must admit I’m surprised by some of the truly unadventurous types I’ve seen there. And I agree, places in the snow/dark are completely different to the summer/light.

  4. The first time was on a whimโ€”Icelandair had a “midweek madness” flight promotion in March 2000 which was ridiculously cheap (we even stayed at The Hotel Borg!) We knew almost nothing about Iceland. I’ve been back 4 more times, each time discovering more “Icelandness”, the ineffable quality (Is it the air? The culture? The landscape?) which seems to be the constant in every Icelandophile’s account of being there. I can’t explain it, but I’ve had fun trying.

    • The Borg! Get you. I think Icelandair hooks a lot of people in with their stopover deals. It’s quite clever really. I wonder how many people go to Iceland once and think “never again”? I do know of at least two people like this, who had gone to please their partners and it was really not their kind of holiday.

  5. I’m going to answer my own question here…my first trip to Iceland in 2005 was to do the Landmannalaugar 5 day walk. Although I liked the idea of Iceland, I didn’t really know a lot about it, and was very underprepared for what turned out to be a really hard slog of walking, and camping out in all the wrong clothes. Everyone on the walk was there to raise money for charity and no one was there for the love of Iceland. Although I’m not in touch with most of that group I think I’m the only one who ever came back, which was the following year to do a Ring Road trip. I wanted to see more and had also especially liked Reykjavik during the few hours we had there before going home.

  6. Grace here – thank you everyone who’s read and commented on this! I’m always excited to hear about other people’s experiences in a place, whether it’s somewhere I’ve been or not. I’m pleased to hear from even more people who have positive things to say about Iceland. I’m looking forward to it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. I went to Iceland in March 2009 with my son who was then on a gap year. Short response : I loved it. And will go back when time / finances allow. We stayed in Reykjavik for a couple of nights, ate cake, drank a lot of coffee and listened to great music in the cafes and bars. We hired a car (those studded wheels helped on a still-snowy south road between hostels), walked through moonscapes up to edge of glaciers, stood on black beaches, watch sturdy little horses come up to the window in remote road-side diners (hotdogs, always). We sat outside a hostel we had all to ourselves, crammed full of books ((Fljotsdalur) and looked out for the northern lights.
    I’d really love to see the interior in summer and do some long hikes but that spring trip with the dark, the snow, the geology of the coastal areas and the warmth of Reykjavik was brilliant ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Having just returned from a trip to Iceland two weeks ago, I can’t get it out of my mind and am trying to figure out a way to get back. Why Iceland? 1. Yes, why not? 2. My brother spent a year stationed in the air force there in the 70s, and I am jealous 3. I live where it is hot and humid during the summer, and am always looking for cool places to escape. Iceland did not disappoint: it was very COOL!

  9. Pingback: Guest post: A First Trip to Iceland | I'd Rather Be In Iceland

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