I used all my pent-up fear and frustration, and propelled myself down the hall and towards the boarding gate, stopping briefly to make sure I was headed in the right direction. I ran like Justin Timberlake was waiting at the boarding gate, holding a giant hunk of my favourite red velvet cake.
When I told my 12-year-old cousin that I stayed in hostel dorms throughout my time in Iceland, she immediately (and very seriously) exclaimed: ‘Aren’t you worried you’ll get stabbed?!’
Couchsurfing gave me the opportunity to do things I never would have done otherwise, but when I shared my stories, what struck me was the amount of women were keen to try it, but hadn’t signed-up out of fear.
When I left for Europe, the only travel app I had was Appy Hour – the app that tells you where and when the best happy hour deals are on in Reykjavik. By the time I got home, I had a whole pile of apps given to me by other travellers – apps I’m not sure how I lived without.
I may have journeyed through Europe for four or five-months, met a heap of new people, stayed in dorms, and made lots of friends while travelling alone, but don’t be fooled – I am not an outgoing person.
Grab your scarves and boots and get ready delve in to the breathtaking world of fire and ice – this is the best planet Earth has to offer. Iceland is home to more than 30 active volcanoes, and is still being shaped by the odd eruption – it’s one of the only places where you can drive along a highway and watch jets of steam and boiling mud shoot from the Earth’s core.
It’s both comforting and surprising to know that tourists generally don’t die in Iceland. Beautiful as it is, most of it looks like the opening of an 80s horror film. You get out of the car, look around at the magnitude, splendour and isolation of the place, and think ‘well, this is how I’m going to die’. It’s like the opening of The Shining.