To finish up my last remaining school credits of my senior year at CofC, my roommate had fully convinced me to take the plunge and study abroad for a few weeks in Iceland. She had taken the trip last year and came back raving about it. I, at the time, forgot Iceland was even on the map haha. But had I known how much I would have loved it since going there, I would have gone every year if I could. I figured I could share with you my scoop on Iceland and my 2 1/2 week experience:

Before thoughts: It’s cold, they eat dried shark, there are tons of waterfalls, it’s beautiful and green, hot springs are a thing, their language is pretty unique, their horses have better hair than me, Reykjavik is cool.

After thoughts: ^all of the above + the shark was badeveryone eats “Skyr” (their version of yogurt), Icelandic pride is very real, the women seek out the men, hot pools are their version of a park/social hangout area, everyone is curious about American politics, horses outnumber humans, no cell service so wifi and sim cards are very necessary, they love soccer, can’t be a picky eater, you need a car, the beauty is unreealll

We stayed at various hostels around the island but my all time favorite was Backpackers in Akureyri. If i were to ever open a hostel, this would be the place I would go for inspo. They do it right. And they have a lively local scene in their downstairs restaurant/bar. Also, this city is almost up there with Reykjavik I loved it! Great night scene as well.

Top 10 Highlights of the trip:

1. Godafoss

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

2. Reykjavik City

SAM_0144.jpg

3. Blue Lagoon

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
The bar is literally in the pool. SO awesome

We did the blue lagoon our last night and it was so great. At this point in the trip all of us in the group had really bonded and meshed really well so it was such a good way to end the trip. You must try the masks they give you in the pool.

13321625_10209812922865478_445286023600652685_n.jpg

4. Whale Watching

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

5. Horseback Riding

We did this tour through the volcanic rocks and moss in the mountain. These horses stare right at you when you take their pic because they know they are that good looking I think haha

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

6. Skogafoss

HIGHLY highly recommended. I could have stayed here all day and picnicked up a the top of the waterfall if I could. Pictures don’t do it justice, guys. After we sat at the top and sung “the hills are aliveeee” we hiked back down and grabbed a beer at the restaurant at the bottom.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

7. Suðureyri

So I loved this place. My favorite little fishing town we saw of the entire trip. It was a long drive and you go through this underground tunnel to get there. Keep in mind the views are amazing, all the time, so driving is A-ok. All of us girls walked out to the local dock after dinner and took tons of pictures, it was magical.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

8. Glacier Lagoon

This place is a photographers dream. (I feel like i’ve said that about every place haha)

Side note: The lagoon part is a little bit of a walk away from the black sandy beach with the washed up glacier pieces. That being said, careful of the birds as you cross the road to go to the beach or vice-versa. Apparently they have nests on the sides of the road, so we straight up got attacked and had to sprint to the beach!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

9. Playing soccer with the local kids

13417602_10209631793173823_2814171038899573883_n.jpg
This was on our way up to the local hot pool- so much fun I can’t even explain haha.
img_3549
Another soccer field tucked into the side of a mountain <3

10. Glacier Hike

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Without a doubt, probably one the most unique and beautiful places i’ve ever been to. Definitely going back. 

Here are some random snaps from the trip as well:

IMG_3430.jpg
Met the captain of the Icelandic soccer team! A random guy approached us at a bar and said we should get a picture with this guy, whom none of us had heard of, but apparently he’s a HUGE deal there.

SAM_0558.jpgSAM_0430.jpg

SAM_0387.jpg
Geysers everywhere, too. Not the best smelling things haha

SAM_0299.jpg

IMG_3985.jpg

IMG_3990.jpg

IMG_3713.jpg