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Apr 23, 2019 20:53:48

Iceland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ

by @jasonleow | 411 words | 411๐Ÿ”ฅ | 449๐Ÿ’Œ

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 411๐Ÿ”ฅ
Total posts: 449๐Ÿ’Œ
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I think I'm almost done with exploring wandergrief. There's a few more memories to rummage through, but as work starts to pile up, and routines start to normalise life, the wandergrief starts to fade away. Slowly but surely. Routine can be an anchor for life, a grounding to life itself, when it's not the boring, mundane thing we usually complain about. This time, I'm looking back at Iceland, in October 2014. This was not the first time I'd been down this road of wandergrief.

What lessons from the past can I take comfort in? What hangover cures might there be?


Lunar. Alien. Mystical. Lonesome. Extreme. Ground-shaking.

Iceland is not quite the Scandinavia I saw in Norway, Sweden, Denmark or Finland. It had been called Ultima Thule in medieval times, which denotes any distant place located beyond the "borders of the known world". Indeed, what I experienced here is beyond anything I'd known.

Ice cold sun over the Atlantic. Standing in the chilling breeze, the sun was little comfort. It's sooo quiet and lonesome (but in a nice way) that it feels like nobody's home. Such a sensory opposite to the bustling cityscape I'm used to. 

Arctic lonesomeness.

Yet, the textures here, of Iceland, are something else altogether. Luminescent green moss on dark lava rock. Autumnal gold that's cold as ice.  White silica mud in milky blue waters, against a backdrop of black lava rock. Alien green curtains of the sky, flowing fluid and dancing in the night. Deep ocean blue, but in a cave where rock and ice collide. 

It felt like the journey to the centre of the Earth. An other-worldly adventure here in the real world. 

Seeing the Earth breathe and burp was a surprisingly moving experience. The geysers, bubbling hot pools, the steam vents, glowing red magma - reminds me the Mother Earth is very much alive, a living, fire-breathing organism that lives by its own rules, its own agenda. We are mere insects at Her feet.

One last parting shot on the camera. A self-indulgent shot. One that speaks deeply of how I feel about Iceland. Witnessing how the Earth breathe and move and howl and light up was a strangely moving experience. A moment of connection, with Mother Earth. Iceland, you got me there. 

"Without my imagination I couldn't go anywhere." ~ Vigdรญs Grรญmsdรณttir

Indeed. But the reverse is also true - go anywhere far enough and your imagination reappears, stirred and fired up. Iceland is just such a place.

From Jason Leow's collection:

  • 1

    @jasonleow Ok, now I got the wandergrief again, even after only 5 too short days rocking in Mother Earth's arms, which seems like an eternity ago. Beautifully written Jason.

    Jeff Riddall avatar Jeff Riddall | Apr 23, 2019 12:25:16
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      @Rawhead Oh man sorry if it triggered your wandergrief! ๐Ÿ˜… But Iceland is that kind of place to do that, isn't it? I also went for 5 days or so, so short a trip but made such a deep impression...imagine staying for months/years!

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Apr 24, 2019 11:48:14
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    @jasonleow Nice post! I lived in Iceland for 2 years. I couldn't really describe how I felt there until I came back to my country (Spain).
    In Iceland, nature is always against you. That made me stronger than ever.
    There I really experienced solitude, but in a good way. I embraced it and learnt how to enjoy it.
    I always struggled with tranquilty and relaxation trying to persue an active life. In Iceland I learnt how to calm down and go slower.
    In Iceland, I started to appreciate the things that truly matter and cultivated real gratitude for the things I have.
    The best experience in my life so far!

    Manuel Rodriguez avatar Manuel Rodriguez | Apr 23, 2019 15:56:02
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      @manuelrodriguez Oh yes that's exactly what I love about Iceland! The solitude (in a nice way), the calm and slow, even though the cold is tough. But wow super envious you spent 2 years there - how did you do that? Did you have a job there or something? Would love to get some tips haha..I daydream sometimes about spending a long time in Iceland too.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Apr 24, 2019 11:51:26
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      @jasonleow I went there as an intern and then I got a contract with the company. There are are lots of opportunities for young people in Iceland. Sure! What would you like to know about Iceland?

      Manuel Rodriguez avatar Manuel Rodriguez | Apr 25, 2019 11:48:27
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      @manuelrodriguez ah nice, an internship. Curious to hear your experience living there for 2 years as a non-native. How was it like? Did you feel welcomed? Do you have access to basic healthcare etc even as a foreigner? How does one go about staying there long term without a company to sponsor a work permit?

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Apr 25, 2019 20:28:12
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