Roam to Reykjavik || part 1
In August 2015, at the international departures gate in Perth Airport, Western Australia 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 gone out of view. I decided to begin packing down my life in Sydney and dedicate my life to travel, thinking and of course 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.
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.
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 specific short bursts, many of not having the privilege of escaping to Iceland for 5 months with nothing but a backpack a romance to keep me going. We often buy to prepare (I bought a jacket and some warm socks for this trip) and return home with more crap than we need remove from souvenir shops.
The change in state of mind flying over the strange landscape of a country I would live in for half a year with nothing more than my personality and a bag of clothes and stuff was tremendous. My ego was removed, my network of friends and family was on the other side of the world and my sense of confidence in the wild outdoors was irrelevant here in this wilderness so different from the Australian bush, Mountains and jungles I'd been to previously.