Barely five months after last year’s adventures in the north, I find myself packing my bags again and heading towards Copenhagen and then onto Iceland to conquer the deep-seated fear of driving on the other side of the road. Apart from wanting to savour the elemental beauty of Iceland, of course, this time armed with a smattering of Icelandic vocabulary and grammar and an unsatiated hunger for seafood (and Icelandic Fish and Chips).
With the memories of Svalbard and the arctic still in technicolor, it’s hard not to be gripped with the sheer excitement of returning to snow and ice and well, extreme living – except that I’m looking at more civilisation this time around. The trip isn’t a solo one this time and with a travel companion (TC), mental adjustments are always needed. Navigating through the dynamics of travelling with someone else can, after all, be nearly as tricky as going through the cobbled streets of any quaint European old town.
Still, I want to feel the cold that insists on getting past all the thick layers of thermal wear and the delicious coziness that settles in front of a fireplace after a day out in the open. I want it to become my only thought, my only obsession. I want to stand as an insignificant speck on an outcropping of rock as the landscape harshly whispers its secrets into my frozen ears.
Here I come again.