I struggled to start this blog post. It was meant to be done and ready to publish over a month ago.
Yet, here I am, somewhere over the Atlantic on WOW Air Flight 214 from Toronto to Keflavik. The plane is asleep, with most people hunkered down below the dimly lit purple lights, except for the two little children sitting behind me, having an absolute field day sticking M&M’s inside their mothers mouth while she tries to sleep. Kids, not a care in the world.
If you have ever flown with WOW, you know there is no in-flight entertainment (1st world problems). So I did the next best thing: cracked open the laptop, went back in time and watched Almost Famous.
This movie, if you’ve ever seen it (if you haven’t, whats wrong with you? Its a classic!), holds such a strong comparison to what it is I want from not only this journey I’m on, but life itself. A semi-autobiographical film about new, unknown experiences and chasing your dreams. Taking a leap of faith and having the reward be something you could have never imagined, taking you places you could have never envisioned.
No, I’m not going to hop on a bus and tour cross-country with Stillwater. But I am going to hop in a 4×4 and tour Iceland for 12 days. That I am most definitely going to do.
I got a working visa for the UK a few years ago and spent roughly 6 months travelling and working abroad. Long story short, I ran into a few speed bumps late in my trip: I couldn’t find a job in London, I didn’t have a place to live and I was slowly running out of money. Back to Canada it was to re-evaluate.
That was my first taste of what travelling can bring you. Experiencing different cultures and worldly points of view. Opening yourself up to the unknown and embracing it as it comes. There were some overwhelming moments throughout those 6 months, but looking back on it those moments are what made me appreciate the freedom and incredible opportunities travel can bring.
I’ve always felt that things have never really worked out in my favour. I went through an extremely difficult battle with depression where I completely lost my way. I lost friendships and relationships, but most of all, I lost myself. For a long time I really didn’t know who I was or what I was doing, going through the motions of life day after day with no positive outlook or drive to become something better. After a few years things started to get better and my outlook on life started to blossom. Yet, I still wasn’t where I wanted to be.
I battled, I definitely battled, and boy am I ever glad I did.
Why? Because I am off on a 6 week trip to Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Greece and Amsterdam. Life is far too short to not do more of the things that make you happy and excited to be apart of this world. It has so much to offer. And even with all the crappy things going on globally, the world we live in is utterly beautiful. Believe that.
I wanted to see Iceland and volcanoes and glaciers and waterfalls. I wanted to see the Coliseum in Rome where gladiators once fought. I wanted to see Vatican City. I wanted to stand up paddleboard through the Old City of Dubrovnik. I wanted to stare at Dante’s Inferno in Florence. I wanted to ride a scooter along the Dalmation Coast. I wanted to stand in Zeus’ Temple in Olympia. I wanted to watch the sun set in Santorini. I wanted to tour the Red Light District in Amsterdam.
So I’m doing it. I’m doing all of those things. And more. Because why wouldn’t I?
We sit around and hope and wish and wait for things to happen. We daydream about our bucket lists and what we want to put on them. We scroll through Instagram liking photos from around the world and think, “wow, I would LOVE to go there, but work/life/relationships/commitments wont allow me to do it… Maybe in a few years”.
But that’s the thing. More often than not, that’s all it is – daydreaming. We have one world and one life, and what we decide to do with those two things isn’t up to anyone other than ourselves. These beautiful places in our world wouldn’t be here if they didn’t want us to experience them.
Over the next few weeks I will be posting tons of content for you. From revisiting some of my past trips to letting you follow along with my next ones. I ran into a few technical difficulties, and 12 days in the Icelandic wilderness didn’t allow for too much access to a power source and internet connection. So bear with me.
There’s going to be lots of awesome stuff, and I can’t wait to share it all with you.