28 Oct Aspire — Working my way through freedom
I had never planned on traveling solo any time soon. Yet, a few weeks before my 25th birthday, I was boarding a late night flight to Iceland alone. This was my first holiday since I had started my new job, over a year before, so the least I can say is that it also was the start of a much needed time off. Looking back, making it a solo venture was the best decision I had made in a long time. Freedom.
I wasn’t scared about leaving alone. I knew I enjoyed spending time with myself and I was confident about my ability to get my shit together and actually go to places alone. But shortly after I landed in Keflavik, Iceland in the middle of the night, and realized I was actually nowhere near my comfort zone, reality kicked in and I started feeling anxious, which I wasn’t expecting. It took me a little while to get adjusted to waking up alone in suburban Reykjavik, where things were nothing near like my metropolitan, Parisian life. Then I just thought “fuck this, I can do it” and went out and started exploring.
Walking through Ellidaárdalur valley near the place I was staying helped me relax and focus. It had this relieving effect on my mind that I didn’t know could be so powerful. That’s when I started to understand what I needed.
Traveling up North was everything I was looking for, without even knowing, from endless walks to breathtaking sights. It truly was a blessing. In (only) a couple weeks, I was able to fly between three different countries and discover three different cultures and ways of living. I lived off apples, bread slices, fresh water collected from waterfalls and organic fruit bars during my time there and never felt so alive and strong.
People would often ask me “what’s good to do in Oslo / Stockholm / Copenhagen / *insert a place here*”?
Well, I find it difficult to answer because the most amazing times I’ve had while traveling in Scandinavia (or anywhere else, for that matter) were those where I spent hours walking and wandering without a purpose, admiring beautiful landscapes, discovering cute neighborhoods or sitting in parks watching people going on with their lives or resting on top of a rock in an archipelago for hours. I find peace with myself in these little things (they’re actually a huge deal for me). Things like taking a nap after a morning walk in the Oslofjord, then waking up to the sound of seagulls playing in the intensely blue water.
But what’s even more important in these travels is that it taught me that it doesn’t take much to feel happy and alive. It’s just right there, in the littlest things, but it’s also up to me to find it. No one else. Notice it.
Soundtrack (click through to disover tracks): Sigur Ros – Moddi – Canterbury – From Indian Lakes – Endless Heights – The Wild Feathers – Ásgeir – Júníus Meyvant.