Got a minute? - humorous travel tales and tips
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Then the groups all reassembled and talked a bit before again being separated and asked two questions. I did it because I wanted to add some experience and adventure to my life. I wanted to move toward being my genuine self, instead of continuing the cookie-cutter life that society had designed for me. I wanted to share the things I discovered about the world and myself with my old friends, but I found that, because there was no common thread to follow, not many were interested.
You met your old friends at a different place and in a different phase of your life. While there still may be affection, your interests and theirs - unless you continue to share common experiences - grow apart. Nothing in common to discuss. If you want to be able to share your adventures with people that appreciate hearing about them, you need to find friends that enjoy participating in the same type of experiences.
That is why travelers tend to find each other and group together. They see tales of faraway places as aspirational instead of alien or uninteresting. They are capable of relating and can see themselves realistically emulating the experience. It is a human trait to be more interested in things you can relate too, more than things that inspire. So, let your hometown friends get all excited about the new grocery store opening, or the road construction project that is almost finished; and if you can, try to share their excitement too.
But, if you want to bond over tales of walking the ruins of Machu Picchu with people that care, you need to find an audience that has relatable experiences. To avoid frustration, share those memories with people that share the same interests and for your own personal growth. I took early retirement in , sold everything I owned, and began traveling the world.
A self-drive trip has you hiring a car and then travelling around Iceland under your own steam, staying in different locations and sight-seeing based on your interests. You have the flexibility to reschedule sights and activities if the weather is poor, add or remove! If you decide to self-drive, check out our guide to driving in Iceland , as well as specific tips for driving in Iceland in winter.
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If you prefer to have someone else handle the driving while you enjoy the scenic views, then you might prefer to take a guided tour. These come in various types, from single-day excursions to multi-day trips, and you can book both private tours or group tours. Iceland Travel for example offers a wide variety of group tours, including single day trips that cover a majority of the highlights of Iceland, such as the Golden Circle and Snaefellsnes Peninsula. They also offer longer, more in-depth multi-day group tours, including a full tour of Iceland, and one focusing on the South Coast highlights.
See their website for more information on all the tours they offer. Many people, especially those with only a few days to spare, base themselves in Reykjavik and then take a series of single day excursions to places to visit highlights like the Golden Circle , Blue Lagoon , do a glacier hike, and to see the Northern Lights.
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Although you do need to be prepared to spend some time in a bus, it is amazing how much you can see doing day trips from Reykjavik , and returning back to your hotel in the city each night! Of course, this can be a great way to meet people and have a social aspect to your trip. There are also sight-seeing bus companies which offer transport rather than entire tours.
These can be a good way to sort out your transport independently of the rest of your trip, and are definitely a cost-effective option. See here for a list of options. Note though that as far as we can tell, most of these bus passports only operate in the summer months. Finally, you could try to get around Iceland by public transport. These can all be easily done as either a day trip tour from Reykjavik or as part of a self drive tour. We have a detailed itinerary for 3 days in Iceland which will give you some ideas of what is achievable in this time period. These would be perfect as part of a self drive tour , or you could join multiple single-day tours together from the city.
This is a popular option, and can be done either as a self-drive trip or as part of a group tour. Alternatively, you could thoroughly explore from the east of the country right along the south coast and see everything from the highlights to the less visited attractions, really taking your time and taking it all in. This section covers our planning and decision making process for our winter trip to Iceland, followed by an overview of the trip we ended up doing, including a detailed trip itinerary. We chose Iceland in mid-March as it seemed like a good trade-off between the amount of available daylight around 11 — 12 hours each day whilst still having the chance to see the northern lights.
We were unlucky to be in Iceland during a quiet period for solar activity, and many of the nights were cloudy. We were in Iceland for 12 nights, which gave us plenty of time to do everything we wanted to do. As we were visiting in the winter months, we focused our attention on the south and west parts of the country, as these were more accessible. Much of the northern part of the country is harder to access in winter, and road closures due to snow and ice can be a problem.
If you are interested in seeing all of Iceland in Winter, then we would suggest the Iceland Complete Winter tour , which goes around the whole country, and runs October through to April.
It even covered a part of the country a little north of Reykjavik, although not quite as far as the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. As we had extra time after the trip though, we were able to explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in our own time — we just extended the hire car a few more days.
We chose a self-drive trip because it exactly matches our way of travel. Sometimes we want to spend more time at a location because Jess wants to drop in at a museum. Basically, we like to have control and flexibility over our plans, and a self-drive trip exactly lines up with those needs.
With Iceland Travel, they took all the hassle out of the trip — things like finding a place to stay or getting a local SIM card. They provided us with loads of information about where we were going and what we might like to see. And then, we were essentially left to do as we pleased. Overall though, a self-drive tour was definitely the best choice for us in Iceland. Which means they know a thing or two about travel in Iceland. Despite being a well established company, Iceland Travel have kept pace with the times, taking advantage of modern technology where it can be used to enhance a visitors experience.
This is a tablet available on all of their self-drive itineraries that serves as itinerary, GPS and route guide, highlighting everything you might want to see as you go. Pretty cool! They have lots of choice when it comes to tours as well, with well over day tours , 35 group tours and 38 self-drive tours.
The Iceland Travel self-drive tour that we took included:. Iceland Travel offer two main types of tour: self drive tours , and guided group trips, the latter of which can be single day trips or multi-day trips. Self-drive tours span from 1 to 19 nights, with availability for each tour depending on the time of year. The majority of these trips are available at four different price points, depending on the accommodation comfort level you are interested in. These four levels are budget, economy, comfort and superior.
In addition to the accommodation options, you also have the option to choose what kind of car you want. These range from basic small cars through to top of the range four wheel drive vehicles. Each tour has a recommended car type so you can be sure you pick a suitable option.
As well as the self-drive tours, Iceland Travel offers guided tours. These are available from single day trips through to twelve day tours, and departures are guaranteed with a minimum of two people on the trip. Group sizes are for the most part limited to 36 people. Group tours often include dinner and some attraction entrances also, check each tour itinerary details for information. So, we did all the planning, we figured out when and where we wanted to travel, and we had our tour all lined up! A previously mentioned, we chose the eight day Glacial Exploration and Auroras self-drive trip, and we opted for the comfort package with a mid-range four wheel drive station wagon style vehicle.
This started and ended in Reykjavik, and had us exploring the fjords, glaciers and waterfalls just north of the city, followed by the golden circle, and then along the south coast to the mighty waterfalls and stunning black sand beaches, heading as far east as the Glacier Lagoon. This would be a great way to unwind after a long flight. As it was, because we had arrived the day prior and taken the bus transfer to the airport, we actually visited the Blue Lagoon on our second day.
We spent our first day exploring the city, which both of us enjoyed — Reykjavik has a lot to offer, and we had no problem finding things to do. So much so in fact that we spent a further two days exploring the city after our trip was over. We then doubled back on ourselves and headed north. In retrospect, we definitely feel that following the suggested itinerary and doing the Blue Lagoon on the first or last day makes more sense so as to avoid this detour, however, this worked for us. We then headed inland stopping at Deildartunguhver Icelandic names are fun!
It looks very cool, and was particularly pretty at sunset, which was when we visited. Finally, we headed back to our hotel, the Icelandair Hotel Hamar , just outside Borganes, for a relaxing nights sleep. Our itinerary for our third day had us visiting a glacier in the afternoon, with the morning set aside for exploring the region.
The hike up to Glymur Falls was a wonderful experience, with seabirds swirling, stunning views across the landscapes and plenty of photography opportunities.
It was a natural entry for my post on my favourite photography spots in Iceland. Returning to Jess and the hotel, we were sad to learn that our scheduled trip onto the glacier had been cancelled due to poor weather. It was rescheduled to the following morning, weather permitting, but we now had a free afternoon.
On our fourth day the weather was good enough for our Glacier tour! We were excited about this because neither of us had been on a glacier before. This was an optional excursion arranged through Iceland Travel with Into the Glacier. Definitely a recommended option! Ok, who am I kidding, Iceland is home to spectacular scenery pretty much everywhere. The former you can actually go behind, which makes for some unique if wet! Finally, we arrived at Klaustur, where we overnighted at the Icelandair hotel Klaustur. Pushing further east, our sixth day had us crossing a huge lava field, as well as the site of a massive glacial flood, which washed away chunks of the ring road in a huge deluge.
As we travelled we saw a number of waterfalls as well as those beautiful Icelandic horses, that of course we had to stop safely off the road! We also took in the Svinafellsjokull glacier, which was as close to end of a glacier that we came on the trip, with the chunks of blue hued ice almost in touching distance. Even better, the icebergs float out to sea and are washed up on nearby Diamond Beach, making for countless photo opportunities, and the perfect place for us to watch sunset, before heading back for our second night at the Icelandair hotel Klaustur.
Our last full day on our trip had us making the journey back along the south coast to Reykjavik. Then it was back to Reykjavik for our last night on our tour! Our last day would normally have had us heading to the airport and returning our hire car, perhaps with a stop at the Blue Lagoon on the way. So we extended our hire car a few more days, and went off on further explorations under our own steam. More on those in a future post! That pretty much summarises what we got up to on our self drive tour with Iceland Travel. Now let me go over some of the things we enjoyed about it!
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There were a number of things we really liked about our trip with Iceland Travel. First, it was super-easy. With all our accommodation taken care of, plus a detailed suggested itinerary, we had no problem filling our days. The information we received on the way up to and as we started our trip was wonderfully comprehensive, helping us to ensure we were fully prepared. We were sent a 27 page PDF walkthrough of our itinerary and all the highlights we could expect to see on the route, as well as shorter detailed itinerary of our exact hotels and booked excursions.