What lights you up?

Sunset on Lake Erie

I first caught a case of wanderlust back in high school when I joined the travel club and went overseas with a group of classmates- it opened my eyes to the inspiring experience of exploring the history, culture and wonders that exist in the world. At the time, I did not even consider the possibility of a career in travel as I felt that if it were part of my job, it might take the fun out of it. Thus, I never pursued it. Fast forward over a decade and I now have a successful career in healthcare; however, I have never felt quite settled or content- often moving jobs every couple of years when restlessness inevitably creeps in. I tend to always be yearning for more from life- even if I don’t know exactly what that ‘more’ consists of. All I can do is make space in my life for the things that bring me the most joy and travelling is what I always turn to for a spirit and energy refresh. I have taken many trips over the years and am always dreaming about my next desired destination.

Exploring Paris- one of my favourite cities

Often this simply means exploring my own backyard. My home province of Ontario, Canada has many hidden treasures, enchanting small towns, vibrant cities, beautiful lakes and beaches, stunning hikes and endless other opportunities for adventure. A long weekend getaway every once in awhile to explore places close to home can be just as rejuvenating and restorative as a far away jaunt (not knocking Italy of course- it is magical). Travelling, however far away, simply makes me feel alive and as long as I am able I will continue to dream and plan and travel as often as I can.

What lights you up?

5 inspiring aspects of visiting Iceland in the winter

The Blue Lagoon

While in Iceland during the winter season, I experienced for the first time the visceral sensation of being somewhere extraordinarily unique in the world. Everything was so new, so unexpected and so special that the entire trip is engraved in my memory as one of the most exhilarating adventures I have ever embarked on. Here are 5 inspiring revelations I had from visiting Iceland in the winter:

  • The already otherworldly landscapes emanate even more magic

With the sun never rising too high in the sky during the winter months, the sunrises and sunsets I witnessed lasted for hours and created the kind of bewitching light that photographers lust after. The beauty of the pristine countryside was made all the more magical by the fact that the time in which to view it was fleeting. Dreamy, snow-covered fields simply blurred into the distant hazy ocean; it was almost impossible at times to differentiate the pure white of the ground from the snowy sky.

Kerid crater
Misty ocean in the distance
  • The weather, however unpredictable, elevated my experience

Despite warnings about travelling to this northern country in moody February, I was not deterred and felt confident that as a Canadian, I could handle anything it would throw at me! I did survive a storm or two but remember only the awe of seeing misty clouds rolling in and out of the harbour on a whim, the whipping winds awakening all of my senses and the joy of feeling unseasonably warm sunshine filling my pores for a brief moment. It was thrilling to be at mercy of the constant change and flow.

View over Reykjavik
Storm rolling in
  • The colour palette of the country is a privilege to witness

Winter in Iceland is composed of stunning colour contrasts. Jet-black volcanic rock surrounded by the purest untouched snow was a vision to behold. I encountered every shade of blue imaginable- one vista in particular encapsulated a visual layer cake of pearly white snow, azure lakes and sky topped with pristine clouds.

Thingvellir National Park
Reykjavik harbour
  • My sense of place in the world was magnified

It was truly an indescribable feeling being so far north during the season of its essence. While visiting a black sand beach on the south coast, our guide explained that if I was to head out into the ocean due south from our location, I would not hit land again until I reached Antarctica. I found this to be simply awe-inspiring and it created an acute awareness of where I was on Earth.

Reynisfjara black sand beach
Solheimajokull glacier
  • The power of Mother Nature knows no bounds

To witness the geographical marvels and cosmic performances of Iceland in the winter chill is to feel alive. Everything from crags in the earth, the deafening bellow of half-frozen waterfalls, the palpable building tension of geysers and vast stretches of uninhabited land, to the mystique of being surrounded by snow covered mountains in the dark is a true feast for the senses. I felt a deep respect for our planet during my time here. A journey to this part of the world in the off-season is decidedly incomparable.

Skogafoss waterfall
Beautiful northern lights