This Saturday will mark exactly one year since I embarked on a journey to the Nordic North. I woke up before the sun, switched all my stuff from one carryon to a more efficient one (on wheels; the one I wanted to bring was a super cute heart-print bag from Target that ended up being way over-stuffed and way too heavy😭), and mentally prepared myself for a long day of air travel. My dad was kind enough to drive me to my friends’ house, where our group would assemble and begin our adventure to two countries none of us could have ever imagined we would be going to: Finland and Iceland. We were headed to a special religious convention in Finland, and afterward we would stop in Iceland to visit friends.
It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before! From OIA to JFK to KEF to HEL; from a group of five to six to seven (my sister invited herself on the last half of our trip); from eating McGriddles every day to eating fresh smoked salmon every day; it was quite an adventure. If I were to try to record all of the details here, you would be reading for days. I’m not joking. But I’ll share some of the main highlights.
- The weather was beautiful! It was such a huge contrast to the smoldering hot summer that I left behind in Florida. The temperature in Finland was in the 60s, and it was even more chilly in Iceland, of course. I was so excited and amazed that I was able to wear a coat in the summer time.
- There were two “tex-mex” restaurants that we went to in Finland, and one of them served salmon pasta…🤔Although not culturally accurate, it was very yummy!
- In that region of the world, the sun never sets during the summer. There were blackout curtains in the hotel and in our friends’ house in Iceland, but if we forgot to close the curtains, it was a strange sensation to see daylight at 11:00 pm.
- I tried the famous salted licorice. Never again.
Having worked in libraries for the past two years, I appreciated seeing a foreign “bibliotek”! Too bad we didn’t get to go inside.
I’m so sad I didn’t get to go inside Eurokangas! But it was probably for the best. I didn’t have any space in my luggage to bring a bunch of fabric home.
I strongly believe that I left my heart in Finland. It’s such a beautiful country!
After a long morning of switching time zones and a mishap at the rental car dealership, this was such an assuring sign to see.
Can you tell I was freezing?
These beautiful lupines were everywhere! As gorgeous as they are, they were pretty lethal to my sinuses. Most of my time in Iceland was spent sneezing and searching for tissues.
I had to include a gratuitous picture of a gorgeous vintage Singer!
What a whirlwind! An entire year later, I’m still recuperating. It’s definitely an experience I’ll never forget.
What was the most adventurous trip you’ve ever been on? I’d love to read your travel stories!