Next week, I will be going to a place I have wanted to visit for over 8 years.
I'm going to Iceland.
I was on the phone with my grandfather a few days ago. I was updating him on everything going on in my life. Work, music, family, friends, and the thing I was most excited about, my trip. I told him I was leaving for an exciting adventure in Iceland in a couple of weeks. His response? "Why would you want to go to Iceland!?"
Two things stem from that country: my love of landscape photography and my esoteric taste in music.
In 2008, I went on a ski trip with my church's youth group. Every morning and every night, we would all gather together in a large gym. About 200 or so kids would listen to someone speak. I don't recall what day on the trip it was or the topic that was being spoken about. However, I distinctly remember a video that was shown during one of the sessions.
The video was in fact a music video.
The song was called Glósóli and the band was called Sigur Rós. They were obviously not American.
Not only was I enamored by the music but I was amazed at the visual of the landscapes. One of the final shots of the video is one I will never forget:
I knew I had to find out where that was.
I returned home from the ski trip and did a bit of research until I arrived at the answer. The place I was so captivated by was Iceland. My only knowledge of the country was that it was where the "bad guys" from D2: The Mighty Ducks came from.
I kept reading and reading about the small isolated country. I researched its viking-rich history and viewed what must have been thousands of photos of its landscapes. I got into a handful of really wonderful and strange Icelandic bands and artists. I even continued to listen to Sigur Rós. They quickly became my favorite band and they still are to this day. The vocals are weird, the songs can sometimes clock in at 10 minutes in length, and the instrumentation is strikingly beautiful.
Then I saw one of their concert films. The film was Heima:
If the landscape shots in that trailer don't make you want to go there then I don't know what will.
Over the years, visiting Iceland has always been a dream. I had always assumed that I would visit the country some day far in the future. Perhaps when I was retired and had enough money and time. Little did I know that I would have the opportunity to visit much sooner.
My trip to Iceland has come in the form of a gift. A gift from two loving parents that I am constantly perplexed by. Honestly, I wake up some mornings and don't understand why I am the one who has been blessed to have them. They're pretty amazing.
So with all that being said, I will be in Iceland very soon. During my trip, I will be documenting as much as I can. I'm planning on generating a lot of creative work during my time spent there. Photography, music, and a documentary are all being mapped out in my head. I couldn't be more excited to go on this unique adventure.
So why go to Iceland? The answer isn't because I am so infatuated with the country itself. The short answer:
The world is a very big place and I have seen very little of it.