Iceland is magic.

2015 has been a strange year for me. It’s been a year of very high highs (engagement! book deal!) and very low lows (cancer. surgery.) and all the forward motion has my head whirling. So, I did what I always do in times of stress: I booked it outta there.

I’m writing this from Iceland. I’m staying in a little wilderness pod on a peninsula in western Iceland, about an hour or so north of Reykjavik. I’ve been to Iceland before, but I didn’t get to truly experience it. Now, I’m traveling abroad alone for the first time in my life and I love it. I’ve been here for less than 24 hours, but I’ve already swam in an outdoor public pool, took a sulfur steam bath, climbed to the top of Reykjavik’s highest church, tripped into a waterfall, and hiked over a Viking ruin. It’s a little lonely being here by myself, but in a way I really enjoy. I talk to myself. I eat what I want. I take naps in the car. I ignore all itineraries because the only one I need is in my own damn head.Andre_Iceland_photography
Anyway, for the next five days, I’m going to be bumming around the Icelandic countryside looking for hidden folk and snacking on delicious cheese. (Seriously, the cheese here is like nothing I’ve ever tasted—creamy beyond belief, flavorful yet mild. Mmmm I want more just thinking about it.)

In the meantime, please check out some of my previous Scandinavian-themed blog posts:

1. A post about “Friluftsliv” a rad Norwegian word that means connecting to nature, soaking in the wilderness, and feeling peace from green things.
2. Have you ever heard of the Jolabokaflood? It’s a holiday tradition that I think is absolutely BRILLIANT. (Also, did you know Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country on earth?)
3. A little bit of imagery-inspired fiction (or to use a title I don’t really like, “Old Finnish People With Stuff On Their Heads)
Iceland areal shot
And finally, the pictures above are by the very talented photographer Andre Ermolaev. Seen from above, the Icelandic landscape is even more otherworldly (and trust me, it’s pretty surreal already). His photographs look like beautiful abstract paintings. He captures the natural beauty so wonderfully, with striking compositions and colors that really sing. Check it out.


Sunday daydreaming: Kilian Schöenberger’s misty woods & “Indie Alaska.”

Image by Kilian Schoenberger, via his website
Image by Kilian Schoenberger, via his website

It’s snowing again. Es schneit. Il neige. Det snöar. I don’t believe it will ever stop snowing. It is going to simply pile up and up and up until we can walk out our bedroom window onto a shifting landscape of cold pale light. I’m drowning in snow. My eyes are starving for color, but instead it’s wind-whipped and white everywhere I look. My eyelids froze shut when I was walking outside yesterday, eyelashes glued together by snowflakes and tears. It sounds poetic, but it felt strange and disorienting.

There’s no color in the Maine landscape right now, which means I must find it elsewhere, and right now, “elsewhere” is a screen. But Kilian Schöenberger’s photographs are gorgeous and make me view the winter landscape with a little more forgiveness. It can be beautiful, despite my cabin fever. kilian schoenberger trees

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