Iceland Beauty & Rage

Iceland is the coldest, hot place to be. The people have spoken, the masses want a shot at the Aurora Borealis and the Blue Lagoon. I can name a handful of friends and acquaintance who are packed and ready to fly to the frigid nation. Who could blame them? It’s a boundless nation to get your travel boots wet. The Icelandic people are the kindest I have ever met. For example, a member of my party left her wallet and passport at a Dominoes. She could have been so screwed. An email awaited my inbox the following morning from the Akureyri police station stating that a good Samaritan had turned it in. It could have been pure luck, but, deep down I know that anywhere else a passport and wallet would have been long gone. It’s a safe destination, an amenity people want nowadays. I wonder if the tiny paradise can handle the rapid influx of eager tourist. The sustainability question hit yours truly as I boarded my flight to Oslo. Ten or so planes were lined up away from the other terminals since all the other terminals were full. My flight mates and I were herded via bus over to the boarding ladders. Keflavik International only has one main terminal with about thirty-five gates. Figures from the Icelandic Tourist Board shows a 29% growth in visitors from 2014 to 2015*. Tourism for a nation is both a blessing and a curse. Chew on this, the entire population of Iceland according to google is 330,000 and change. Conversely, the number of tourists that visited Iceland in 2015 was approximately 1,289,140. Friends, that is four times the population. I question the sustainability.

Before leaving, the curious would often ask, why Iceland? Why are people traveling in droves to this tiny island in the north Atlantic? I finally have an answer. I know that it’s complex to capture beauty from a lens. There are places to witness for yourself. Iceland is more than the sights. Moments you capture do no justice to the experience.
Personally, it’s why I travel. I can’t sit by and dream of life browsing Pintrest.

Iceland is the smell of damp moss and sulfuric egg salad.

 

The ultra-violent Arctic wind that smacks one upside the head. The sun on the skin when it finally breaks out of its cloud prison. The warmth of the geothermal underground.

Iceland Travel Scout Kate MarraIceland Travel Scout Kate Marra

 Iceland is the giddiness as the Aurora Borealis dances across the sky a silk scarf blowing out of a car window. It’s the taste of salt and minerals. It’s the collision of modern religion and legends from the past.

Iceland Travel Scout Kate MarraIceland Travel Scout Kate MarraIceland Travel Scout Kate MarraIceland Travel Scout Kate MarraIceland Travel Scout Kate MarraIceland Travel Scout Kate MarraIceland Travel Scout Kate Marra

 Iceland is knowing that if a cataclysmic event were to cease life as we know it, nature would have already claimed its territory.  Iceland is cursed with both beauty and rage.

 

What is to be done? Practice conscious tourism. Stay on the beaten path or hire a guide to enter sites beyond your ability. Keep money in the pockets of the locals. Stay in guesthouses. Many are family run. Buy that wool scarf from the teenager trying to make a buck instead of mass produced retailers.
You Cobweb Clearer, Kate

How do you practice conscious tourism?

*https://www.ferdamalastofa.is/static/files/ferdamalastofa/Frettamyndir/2016/juni/tourism_-in_iceland_in_figures_may2016.pdf
Iceland is the coldest, hot place to be. The people have spoken, the masses want a shot at the Aurora Borealis and the Blue Lagoon. I can name a handful of friends and acquaintance who are packed and ready to fly to the frigid nation.
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12 thoughts on “Iceland Beauty & Rage

  1. Oh my god, I want to go to Iceland sooo bad! Your pictures are so luring – especially the one with the blue ice floe. Just the other day someone told me how expensive it is, though; well, I’ll starve, but I have to go. Thanx for sharing – and happy travels, Renata

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  2. I totally agree, Iceland is one of the biggest trending destinations today. it’s really not hard to see why and especially as thing are so safe. can;t believe they returned your friends wallet so fast! its such a beautiful place.

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  3. I can’t wait until I get to Iceland, hopefully in the near future. I love your description of the smell of the Icelandic air: damp moss and sulfuric egg salad. I can totally smell that now, having hiked to a few natural hot springs here in Utah.

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  4. Indeed, when a city or a country becomes popular, often people forgets to become more conscious and responsible. It’s great to be reminded on how we can help the locals and preserve what’s there. 🙂 Nevertheless, Iceland has always been on my bucketlist and reading this has affirmed why I wanted to go. 🙂

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  5. True there are a lot of people heading there and well, I am so glad that you put out this message of being more conscious as a tourist. I can see what you mean by those tips at the end and they are so required. Definitely a land of contrasts as you beautifully put -rage and beauty.

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  6. The video is so captivating and so are the pictures. Iceland is one of the most beautiful places and thats the reason everyone wants to head here. You are doing the great job of an aware traveler here and spreading the message to others which is really impressive

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  7. I hate the cold, so I have been reluctant to plan a trip to Iceland. However, your pictures may make it worth it to book a flight! Hopefully, when I do get there, it will have remained unspoiled by the influx of tourist.

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  8. Like you, I’ve been hearing so much about Iceland recently and can’t wait to make the trek myself. But yes, conscious tourism is so important to consider. It’s important to make an effort no matter our destination

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