Iceland (or NICEland as we've been calling it) has exceeded expectations so far. We've seen the northern lights 3 of the 4 nights we've been here (and we didn't even try the first night because of jet lag and northern lights). We have had plenty of day light and starting this trip on a full moon has given us plenty of light at night also. The sky seems bigger here even when you are surrounded by mountains, and the Big Dipper has hung bright and true.
I think we have finally got a handle on jet lag. The first couple days we could barely drag ourselves out of be by 9:30, it's become more like 7:45 in recent times, even though each night is a late one bundled up outside in the wind huddled against the wheels of cutie patunia, our rental, chasing the lights of the north.
It's been hard to find good coffee in the morning since most shops and cafés don't open until 10 or 11, but the Te and Kaffi store, usually inside a souvenir and book shop, has come to our rescue multiple days around 9 am. However it's still been a battle against small cup syndrome.
And it's been great to be off the grid. I've only had internet two of the nights we have been here, so it's allowed ample time for journaling and sifting through the days photos without being interrupted by what's happening with casual acquaintances a world away.
Lastly, every sight we have seen and activity we have participated in has been breathtaking, nothing like we could have even imagined. From the highest waterfall to the most powerfull and all the "average" ones in between, pseudo craters, nighttime rainbows, fall colors on moss and birch trees, rolling hills and high fjords, turf roof houses and the old couple who sang to me for my birthday and gifted me a rose (which of course I have been putting in water every night and taking pictures of all along our journey). Most nights we have had a dorm room in a hostel all to ourselves and have been making friends along the way, most of which we have run into a second time at anther point of interest. The Myvatn nature baths at sunset (like the blue lagoon of the north, but less people), the glow of the constantly erupting volcano at night, and of course the northern lights and shooting stars that have ended each of our evenings. This morning we are heading out on a whale watching trip in an old wooden schooner from the fishing town of Husavik and finally having an unplanned afternoon to rest and relax and make our own.
I've been reminded again and again just how beautiful life is. We made this life. It didn't come easy (this trip has been in the dreaming an the making close to four years), but if you really want your life to look a certain way there is almost always a way to make it happen. There are things that happen which are beyond our control and can throw us off emotional and physically, but we have the power to make life out of lemons. It takes little pulling up by the boot straps, a little creativity and substitution, and a little bit of dreaming.
After seeing those dancing lights for the first magical time I said, "you know, it's like we have insurance on our happiness. So many good things have already happened that we are guaranteed a degree of happiness, but they have the possibility of always getting better."
We just have to keep our eyes open for the opportunities to see them.