‘i still don’t know why exactly, but i do think people can have a spiritual connection to landscape, and i certainly did in iceland.’ – hannah kent
Iceland, the land of fire and ice, is without a doubt a place full of magic. In fact, the vast majority of Icelanders believe in magic, elves and fairies, and it’s said that if a politician were to come out and say they do not believe in those things, they would never be voted into office again. That’s how palpable and undeniable the magic of this country is.
First of all, there is the absurd amount of natural beauty.
Waterfalls around every bend of the two-lane ‘highway’, jagged mountains, black sand beaches, glaciers, craggy beaches, wildlife…need I say more?
But even more than this, the people of Iceland rival the friendliest of cultures in my book. Every person I came into contact with spoke flawless English, not to mention with a charming accent that I could have listened to for hours. From the employees of Happy Camper Vans that graciously helped us plan our route, to inhabitants of rural Iceland happily sharing stories of the island’s history, to chatty and informative baristas, our trip was full of welcomed exploration, (justified) pride in their beautiful country, and approachable dispositions. The people of Iceland made our trip that much more unforgettable and meaningful.
Coming into contact with people that were so incredibly hospitable and excited to share their country with foreigners helped me reflect on how foreigners are generally treated in America, and further reinforced how I want to embody the spirit of Icelanders when I meet people whose country of origin is different from my own. The only way to learn more of the world is to interact with others, and international friendship and communication is a large part of doing so.
If you lived in a place that looked like this, what so many imaginations and storybooks look like, among people with generous spirits, then wouldn’t you believe in magic, too?
PS–detailed post about my trip to Iceland coming soon !!