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Iceland

Iceland has always been this dreamy travel destination of mine, but always just out of reach due to random circumstances (i.e. bad timing, lack of planning, I’m just too broke, etc.) But surprisingly enough, this trip was rather spontaneous considering how many times I’ve tried to visit and had it not work out. Somehow the stars aligned and just a couple weeks later, I found myself at the Berlin airport with a 40L backpack strapped around my waist and an excitement I simply could not contain.

Traveling around the “Land of Fire and Ice” does require a fair amount of research and planning, especially if you’ll be driving on deserted stretches of road with no mobile service, temperamental weather, and infrequent towns (and yes, restrooms) for extended hours at a time. But without a doubt, all the hard work pays off in the end.

If you’re planning on doing a roadtrip around the country, the single most important thing you need is a trusty 4WD car. You want something durable, reliable, and efficient so you can drive both safely and comfortably for long distances across various types of terrain. Although most of the main roads are paved, how solid the car is will make or break your experience – because you’ll find yourself wanting to make unplanned detours every few minutes and you’ll definitely need a car that can do that for you. Plus, most likely most of your time will be spent in the car anyways (which is much better than it sounds, I promise).

*Traveler’s Tip: I rented a Toyota RAV4 4×4 from SAD Cars – recommended by a friend (hi Kyle!). Don’t be fooled by the name – it was the furthest thing from sad. Responsive service, the most affordable prices I found, and guaranteed Iceland-ready vehicles. They were also really flexible about pick-up and drop-off times, and the price included a free shuttle service from the airport to their car pick-up lot as well. Even cooler – you don’t have to return the car with a full tank of gas and they offer discounts at partnering gas stations that you’ll find often along the Ring Road. Yep, true story. One of the best decisions I made for the trip.

cariceland2

Anyway, I’m sitting here racking my brain trying to put how incredible this country is into words, but have come to terms with the fact that no matter what I write, it’s just not going to do it any justice. But I did scribble some thoughts at the end of almost every day in my travel journal, so I think I’ll share those – if anything, it’s real :o)

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