This week, I ticked an item on my bucket list and went to Iceland. I could tell you about the cascading waterfalls, the black sand beaches, hot springs bubbling from the earth. It’s what we think of when we think of Iceland. And all of these things are indeed awesome, in the truest sense of the word.
But I can’t say anything about these wonders that hasn’t already been said. When you’re a tourist, you’re funnelled towards the big game: the natural wonders, the ancient buildings, the epic landscapes. So instead, I look for the little moments that make a trip sparkle. The quirky objects you stumble upon at street corners. The random conversations. The strange but delicious food. The characters on the bus.
Here’s a word collage of my top ten small but perfectly formed Icelandic moments.
Two polar bears standing guard outside a shop
Carp flashing golden in a pond
A tour guide with flaming red hair who did a scarily accurate impression of a Viking having his guts ripped out
Drinking water that smelt of eggs, but tasted pure as air
An exhausting, but enjoyable search for puffins
A group of farmers entranced by fields full of fodder, but empty of sheep
A museum that blasted punk music from a cellar
Splashes of wall art filled with swirling patterns, fantastical creatures and electric colour schemes
Slices of morning herring, picked to enhance the delicate flavour
A band with no musical instruments
I’m not the most adventurous of travellers. You won’t find me dangling off a cliff or Airbnbing in a yurt. But I don’t think I need you need to go on mad adventures to make your trip unique. I just look out for small details that turn into lasting memories.