Updated: 03/16/20 | 16 de marzo de 2020

As we stared up at the sky, patches of neon and dark green changed to light pink and back to green. They came out of nowhere, hung like curtains on unnoticeable hangers, and danced a duet to an unheard symphony. They would appear, vanish, and reappear all over the sky.

My companions, Lulu and Germaine (two pals from France spending the week driving around Iceland), and I stared, bewildered, as the northern lights danced above us.

It was the first time we had seen them, and even though it was bitterly cold and we were too lightly dressed, we stayed out, shivering — for hours — viewing nature’s fantastic ballet.

Every night before this, we would run outside and then retreat back in defeat, realizing it was too cloudy to see the lights.

But, on this night, the sky was clear, the stars shone around us, and nature finally let us see its mythic show.

I had high expectations for my check out to Iceland. I’d seen films and pictures in magazines of land with jagged mountain peaks, volcanoes with desolate lava fields, rolling hills with grazing sheep, and glaciers that stretched for miles. I thought of a utopian country where friendly locals in tune with nature roamed a majestic landscape.

Despite the eagerness to check out Iceland these images caused, I put off going to over the years. Something always came up.

This year, I resolved to finally visit.

And, as the plane descended into Reykjavik, I wondered, “Could the fairytale image in my mind live up to itself?”

It could, in fact, exceed it.

And it happened best away.

From the moment I landed, I was welcomed and helped by kind strangers.

There was Bragi, a Couchsurfer trip guide who drove me around the golden Circle.

And Paulina, the college student who let me sleep on her couch, took me to an Icelandic play and her family’s farm, revealed a secret “locals-only” swimming hole, and went far out of her way to drop me in the eastern city of Vik to make catching a bus easier.

And there was Paulina’s friend, Alga, who also opened up her couch to me at the end of the trip.

And Maria and Marta, who shown that Reykjavik’s nightlife is far crazier than anything new York can offer.

Then there was the Couchsurfing host in Akureyri who cooked dinner for me and his other guests, and the blog reader (who [turned out to be] a high-level government official) and her spouse who introduced me to traditional lobster soup (delicious!).

Every step of the way I encountered valuable and thrilled Icelanders who sought to show off the best of their country. They loved nature, held die-hard beliefs in elves and fairytales (over 50% of Icelanders believe in elves), and appreciated a good pint.

After saying goodbye to my new pals in Reykjavik, I drove around the ring road (Iceland’s main highway) with Lulu and Germaine after hitching a ride with them in Vik. Forests morphed into fjords and fjords developed into moonscape-like lava fields.

Over the next 10 days, my love for Iceland became an obsession, as I was continuously treated to bewildering landscapes and valuable locals. For such a small island, Iceland has a diverse range of landscapes and micro-ecosystems.

And, as we traveled, hiked, and eagerly waited for the northern lights, I couldn’t help but notice the silence of the land around me. With hardly anybody or any animals around, the land seemed so still.

And it was the silence that affected me the most.

Coming from NYC, I don’t know a world without noise. My day begins and ends with automobiles honking their horns outside my bedroom window.

In Iceland, noise hardly exists. And, in that silence, I learned to appreciate life a little more.

On one beautifully clear day in the north, a local guide took me to explore game of Thrones film locations. because there was no one else on the tour, the guide took me off-road. We got out of the automobile and climbed a rocky hill.

Below us, the ground opened up into a series of deep fissures. around us was there was nothing but an empty plateau.

Iceland expanded in all directions around us, with volcanoes and mountains in the distance.

There was no sign of civilization.

Me senté. The guide sat down. We were silent. All we could hear was the sound of the wind whipping around our heads. When that died down, nothing but an eerie yet serene silence remained.

Everything was still.

My guide and I didn’t look at each other. I suspect he was as content as I was. Throughout the day, I got the sense that he had a deep love of nature and was probably pleased just sitting there.

Afterward, I sat unwinding in the hot springs near Myvatn, and before I knew it my two-hour check out was up. I got ready to leave, thinking that time had gone by too quickly.

As we drove home that day, my guide pointed out rocks shaped like a boat. “That’s a troll boat,” he said. “Years ago, the lake was being overfished by a troll so the locals stayedFuera más tarde, haciendo que el troll olvide cuál era la hora. De repente, cuando salió el sol, el troll corrió de regreso a su cueva para que no recurriera a piedra. En el camino, ella dejó caer su bote. En algún lugar, está el troll, pero aún no la hemos encontrado “.

“¿Realmente crees que existen trolls y elfos?” Yo pregunté.

“Creo que estas historias nos instruyen a respetar la naturaleza. Islandia es un ambiente severo, y es fácil estropear la tierra o en peligro. Estas historias nos instruyen sobre el equilibrio. Pero, de nuevo, no puedo mostrar que estas criaturas no existan, ¿sabes? Esta tierra es especial ”, respondió.

No creo que los trolls o los elfos existan, pero él fue lo mejor sobre una cosa: hay algo especial en este lugar.

¡Obtenga la extensa guía de presupuesto de Islandia!

¿Quieres planificar el viaje ideal a Islandia? ¡Vea mi extensa guía de Islandia escrita para viajeros de presupuesto como usted! Corta la pelusa que se encuentra en otras guías y obtiene directamente a la información útil que necesita. Encontrará itinerarios sugeridos, consejos, presupuestos, formas de ahorrar dinero, dentro y fuera del camino trillado para ver y hacer, y mis restaurantes, mercados, bares, consejos de transporte favoritos, y mucho más. Haga clic aquí para aprender mucho más y obtenga su copia hoy.

Reserve su viaje a Islandia: sugerencias y trucos logísticos
Reserve su vuelo
Use Skyscanner o Momondo para encontrar un vuelo de bajo costo. Son mis dos motores de búsqueda favoritos porque buscan sitios y aerolíneas en todo el mundo, por lo que siempre se sabe que no queda piedra sin mover. ¡Comience con Skyscanner primero porque tienen el alcance más significativo!

Reserve su alojamiento
Puede reservar su albergue con HostelWorld, ya que tienen el inventario y las mejores ofertas más importantes. Si desea quedarse en otro lugar que no sea un albergue, use Booking.com, ya que constantemente devuelven las tarifas más asequibles para casas de huéspedes y hoteles de bajo costo. Mis lugares favoritos para alojarse son:

Hlemmur Square (Reykjavik)

Kex Hostel (Reykjavik)

Akureyri mochileros (Akureyri)

No olvides el seguro de viaje
El seguro de viaje lo salvaguardará contra enfermedades, lesiones, robo y cancelaciones. Es una amplia protección en caso de que algo salga mal. Nunca voy de viaje sin él, ya que he tenido que usarlo en numerosas ocasiones en el pasado. Mis compañías favoritas que ofrecen el mejor servicio y valor son:

Ala de seguridad (para todos los menores de 70 años)

Asegure mi viaje (para aquellos mayores de 70)

MedJet (para cobertura de repatriación adicional)

¿Buscas las mejores compañías para ahorrar dinero?
Consulte mi página de recursos para que las mejores compañías usen cuando viaja. Enumero todos los que uso para ahorrar dinero cuando estoy en el camino. Te ahorrarán dinero cuando viaje también.

¿Quieres mucha más información sobre Islandia?
be sure to check out our robust destination guide to Iceland for even much more planning tips!