Why Iceland?

As you can probably already tell from my portfolio, i am extremely inspired by the cold northern landscapes and everything they have to entail. For as long as i can remember, i have always been so mesmerized by waterfalls, glaciers, beaches, volcanoes etc. So as you can imagine, Iceland seemed like a geological dreamland to me.

Anyway, i figured i may as well make a post giving some insight into my connection with Iceland, and why its my favourite place to photograph.

Lets start with my first trip to Iceland.

It had been about 2 years since i had extensively travelled abroad. My last trip prior to this, was when i went to work as an Au-Pair in Spain ; and what a trip that was. I was 18 at the time, and this trip definitely came with its fair share of challenges. Anyway – thats a topic for another time. However, my experience abroad left me with alot of feelings of anxiety and self doubt.

Needless to say, in my heart i knew travelling was something i not only wanted, but needed. And in order to get over my anxieties surrounding travelling, i just had to take the plunge, and book a trip.

My brother and I decided to drop everything and go backpacking around Europe for a couple months. While planning and coordinating getting time off work – i was able to get an extra week off at the begining of September. My brother unfortunately, couldnt leave Canada until a week later. And it was then that i decided, it was time to finally visit the Country of my dreams. Solo.

Iceland was all i had talked about for months

And when the day came for me to step on the plane, a bunch of dormant anxieties surrounding travelling came rushing back. I remember phoning my dad and telling him that i didn’t want to go anymore. And i will forever remember him saying to me “Steph, if you like you can turn around and come home. But i think you’ll really regret it if you dont at least try” and he convinced me to just take it one day at a time. He told me, to at least give it a week. And the next week, turned out to be the best damn week i’ve ever had.

I think its the fact that i pushed myself when my anxiety was telling me to give up… that gave me such a special connection to this place.

As soon as i set my feet down on icelandic soil, i knew i was in the right place.

It was over the next few days, that i fell in love.

I set off from Reykjavik and began exploring the south coast – undeniably one of the most magical places you will ever see. Around every corner you turn, there is a magnificent cascading waterfall, or a glacier, or a field full of horses running wild and free.

Its no wonder i became so enchanted by this country.

I have often felt as if iceland is the earth expressing itself in the most raw way. You have all of this untouched wilderness, and with the bubbling hot springs and waterfalls the whole country just feels so alive.

This whole week i spent in iceland, felt like it was just me and the earth. I felt this amazing connection that i still cant exactly put into words, but essentially (at the risk of sounding cliche) i feel like i found my soul in Iceland.

Anyway, Thank you for reading – and now you have the answer to the question that I get asked all the time “Why Iceland?”

Its interesting, how at home you can feel in a country that you’ve never even set foot in before.

Do you have a special place that feels like home? Share with me in the comments below!

All images found on this blog have been shot & edited by Steph Gaul

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