One Week! / Ein vika!

Quick note. Vika (week) is a feminine noun, so the number einn (one) then becomes ein. Einn is the nominative form for one, and ein is the feminine form. Icelandic numbers one through four change based on the gender of the noun being described. Confusing AF, I know. I pretty much always have to look up the gender of nouns and go from there.

Exactly one week from now I’ll be flying somewhere over the North Atlantic Ocean, headed toward Iceland. It will be my third (and not last) trip there this year (well, and my third trip ever there). That’s perhaps a bit excessive—I know—but for me, Iceland is a place where I feel whole in ways I can’t ever seem to properly describe.

A few moments that captured my heart on day one…

  • I remember the first time I saw Hallgrímskirkja in the dark early winter morning. It was my bus drop-off point, next to my Airbnb, and I was in absolute awe at finally seeing this bright tall church I had for so long only seen in photos.
  • I remember walking out of Sandholt after a much needed post-flight cappuccino, seeing the water just a couple of blocks ahead of me and the sun finally rising (much later than I was used to!). I must have stood still outside of Sandholt for a solid couple of minutes, trying to take in my surroundings—still very much in shock.
  • I remember walking up Lækjargata from Harpa after finishing the (very fabulous) CityWalk walking tour during my first afternoon in Reykjavík, with the Prime Minister’s Office in sight ahead of me. I had tears in my eyes, in total disbelief that I had actually made it to Iceland. I felt such overwhelming gratitude that I vividly remember surprising myself a bit when I caught myself audibly saying, “Thank you” in repetition, quietly to myself. It felt as if I quite literally couldn’t contain the immediate joy, gratitude, and love for this seemingly perfect place.
  • I remember trying my best to stay awake my first evening in Reykjavík, after learning it would be my best chance that week to see the northern lights. I did, indeed, manage to stay awake (a miracle) and see the green dancing lights in Þingvellir, a national park just east of Reykjavík. I cried—again—in total wonderment of this land I had for so long desired to visit.

I’ve traveled to a number of countries outside of North America, but nowhere left me feeling like I needed to go back ASAP like my favorite little island country just south of the Arctic Circle. So I lived into that gut feeling—the very week I returned home to the U.S. after my first Iceland adventure in January 2018, I booked another trip for October 2018. (However, I caved by spring and ended up booking a trip in-between trips for July. My heart couldn’t wait until fall, it seems!) I felt (and still do feel) like a human magnet; I’m not sure how much time can pass without me needing to be back in Iceland.

So here I am, with just one weekend separating me from a nation I’ve come to love so deeply, and I’m still full of so much gratitude for the gift that is having experienced Iceland and the added gift of knowing I’ll return in a matter of days.

Skál til Íslands,
Sarah

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