• Matthew Kaufman

Serenity and Traveling in Iceland

In one of my traveling ventures, I was afforded the opportunity to visit the wonderful land of Iceland. As evidenced by the image above, like many other people and those traveling with me, I was awestruck by the quiet beauty of the land. It was a cold day in December and there was permafrost on the ground. My two friends and I were about the only people we could see for miles among the frozen tundra. No buildings, no people, no hustle or bustle, just quiet serene beauty.

Iceland is an interesting case because it is the tale of two seasons. During the summers in Iceland, it is a lush green paradise with rolling hills and flowing water. During the winters, it is a frozen winter tundra that, if you’re fortunate like we were, you can see the northern lights in.

Both of these scenes of Iceland can be incredibly picturesque, but they also tell a different story. After all, if I asked you if you wanted to travel to a place where there is no one around, nothing to do, and is frigid cold, most people would probably pass on the offer. But once drawn there, people always seem to speak of the serenity that the place brings them.

As we move about our daily lives, we interact with each other all the time. At the push of a button, we can talk to almost anyone in the globe, we can join large groups for varying interests and fandoms, and we never feel alone. We take comfort in that fact that everyone we care about is relatively easy to access for conversation. We live in an era where global mass communication isn’t a goal, it’s an accomplished reality for most peoples.

This is why places like Iceland are so rare and so wonderful. In the frozen winter tundra or the rolling summer hills, you are mostly alone. You’re most likely unable to be reached for communication unless you’re at your place of stay. In a word you’re isolated from the rest of the world. If the worst were to happen, you’d be hard pressed to call for help. But put in another way, you’re finally alone. No nagging in-laws, no boss going to call you and ask where that report is, no need to try and keep up with the Kardashians. It’s just you and the land. In those moments, life is simple. You don’t have to worry about seeing what the latest is on Instagram or Facebook or whatever social media you use, you just have to relax and enjoy the scenic views. You can just relax and not worry about the other things in life.

It very well may be a form of escapism, but escaping from the humdrum of our everyday lives and mass communication is far from a sin. So while it may be well below the marker for freezing cold, it is also a sense of relief and freedom that is otherwise unobtainable. You’ll go back to work after the trip and jump back into the never ending stream of life, but for those moments while you’re there, just relax and enjoy the views from the natural volcanic hot springs of Blue Lagoon.

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