Roam to Reykjavik || part 1

In August 2015, at the international departures gate in Perth, I made a SILENT decision.

It happened between slurps of snot and tears I'd managed to hold back until after Alexis (my wife) had disappeared from view. I decided to begin packing down my life in Sydney and dedicate myself to chasing her overseas. This is the point where I decided I would never again let a steady routine get in the way of adventure or a delightfully cliche, trans-continental pursuit of love.

Skip ahead 4 months...


Somewhere in the sky over Iceland I was unable to blink. My eyes were stuck open with the excitement of a kid first glancing the Pick'n'mix candy bar at a cinema. The Icelandic landscape is an alien, colourful and prehistoric canvas. From the air it looks like a series of clearly delineated oil paint and water experiments. 

My completely unfounded search for bright red lava flow fantasy was forcing my head against the now very cold Boeing 777 window. I got excited about four times when I spotted one of many, ochre red, industry standard, corrugated iron roofs. From the air, and with my boy-like sense of wonder, I interpreted the crimson flashes as active volcanoes. This excitement was all in complete disregard of the chances of actually spotting a lava flow from 30,000 feet too... I didn't end up seeing any lava. 

The decision to pack up my life in Sydney, and move to this insane moonscape completely changed my perspective on the amount of 'stuff' I needed to get by, live and enjoy the world around me. When we travel we often pack for short bursts, perhaps not having the privilege of escaping to Iceland for 5 months with nothing but a backpack and my sweet romance to keep me going. We often purchase to prepare (I bought a jacket and some warm socks for this trip) and return home with more crap than we need from souvenir shops.

The change in state-of-mind flying over the strange country was tremendous. My ego was removed, my network of friends and family were on the other side of the world and confidence in the wild outdoors was a little shaken. This wilderness is so different from the Australian bush, mountains and jungles I'd been to previously.

These images captured by Santo Santioli show the organic, chaotic and young masterpiece that is Iceland, thrown together from ice, volcanic ash, soil and wild weather.