The Best Place to Have a Cool Adventure is Iceland

Keeping it chill

As much as adventuring and traveling alone has it’s peaceful and enlightening moments, I have to admit it does have its downsides. For one, I’ve have a lot of time to think about what I’ve left behind in Scotland. The past year, I have made some amazing friends and met people I will never forget. While I hope to stay connected with many of them in this exciting world of technology, it is far from being able to send a quick facebook message and meet up 30 minutes later for a spontaneous sea dip. I miss that. I think it’ll be a long time before I stop missing the community I found in St. Andrews. Traveling alone is such an extreme difference, it’s hard not to miss it even more.

Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling alone – you meet way more new people and get to do exactly what you want without having to compromise. Just today, I’ve met an English guy named Terry who spends 6 months out of every year traveling and a German girl named Carol who also studied English and is now a marketing manager. On the other hand, when I’m by myself in my tent, it’s cold, and the wind is shaking the tent like crazy, it can be hard to remember there’s a world outside the tent where you’re not all alone.

In other news, it took me two hours to cycle just under 10 miles today because of headwind. Some horses looked at me like I was from mars then started running along the fence with me. So far, I’ve had at least seven people say in some way or another either, they’re impressed I’m cycling by myself in Iceland or I’m crazy for cycling by myself in Iceland. I’m inclined to go with the latter.

Letting Weather Rule the Day

It’s hard to beat reigning wind

I have to confess that I cheated today (and it’s only the first day!). I got my bike all fitted out from Reykjavik bike tours and as I started cycling, it started raining.

It took me approximately 4 hours to ride 12 miles and I wasn’t even close to where I’d planned to camp for the first night. My waterproof trousers were drenched and when I stood up my shoes made that squashy sound like when you step in mud. I was on flat ground, cycling on the lowest gear, and still struggling because of the headwind. Then add in the hills and I was a goner. The thing that kept me from full tantrum mode though was the little ray of sunlight that created a full rainbow right in front of me.

At the top of a hill I’d been pushing my bike up, a guy with a pickup truck flashed his turn signal and a little further up he pulled over. I struggled back onto my bike and fought my way through the head wind and rain to the truck. Ten minutes drive and one hill later, the guy pointed to the side of the road and said ‘that’s where you’d be 2 hours from now if you’d kept riding.’ We drove another 15 minutes until actually getting to Selfoss.

Why didn't the bicyclist win the race? Because she was two tired

I think the hardest part about riding a bike in the UK is going to be learning to drive in the US. Seriously, I was having issues with it before, now not only am I going to have to look out for cars, try and obey traffic rules now my instructor will also have to continuously be telling me “KEEP TO THE RIGHT.” I have found a new respect for people who bike huge distances, I have an even bigger respect for people trying to bike in San Francisco (either that or I’ve lost all respect I had because of how crazy an idea it is), and I have realized that even if you have a bike, if your class is across town you cannot leave your room five minutes before class starts and expect to get there on time. On the other hand, you can expect to be outrageously early every other time.
Some things I have found I want to do more often here are go on nature walks, watch the sunrise on the beach, go on recreational bike rides, and dance in the rain. I am missing my camera back home which I’m realizing did take nice pictures but I’m trying to make do with an Iphone (the picture here was taken by an Iphone and it was my favorite from my nature walk)
Lastly, I am constantly wondering if maybe if I ignore the school work for long enough it will go away but the metaphorical piano hanging over my head would probably say otherwise so I am steadily trying to work through it.

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