Transformed from a WWII military base to a haut-culture inspired nordic airport, Keflavik Airport (and its storm delays) offered a final chance to reflect and write on my brief time in Iceland. On the first day of every travel, I begin a fresh journal, the front of which is used primarily for note-to-self, the latter for notes from others whom I meet. Even after just one week this newest journal is starting to fill itself. Like the most travels, the ambiguity of blank pages is just as intimidating as the ambiguity of what you’ll find on the road.
I’ve found that as long as you place yourself in the right place and the right time, both adventures and stories will write themselves. I keep only two rules about other’s notes:
1: I promise never to read them until the journal is full.
2: One can write, draw, or leave anything memorable – or not- in the back pages.
Before leaving Reykjavík, two new friends of mine told me I should their notes to inspire the rest of my trip. Loved what they wrote so much I thought I would share. Thank you James and Connor!
“I want a life measured in first steps on foreign soils and deep breaths in brand new seas. I want a life measured in welcome signs, show me the streets that don’t know the music of my meandering feet and I will play their song upon them. Perfume one, please, in the smells of far away, I will never wash my hair if it promises to stay. I wan ta life measured in the places I haven’t gone, short sleeps on long flights, strange voices teaching me new words to describe the dawn.”
Author: Tyler Knott Greyson.
Contributor: James Wang.
“No person is brave who has not walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as a medicine, crueler than mirror glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet.”
Author: Patrick Rothfuss.
Contributor: Connor Keane
Sad this morning to wake up this morning in the hostel and find other people in their beds. The beauty and the curse of the traveler’s game is that all things are posed in impermanence. I find it amusing that there are so many acquaintances at ‘home’ that believe I remain alone just because I begin my travels alone. Although I actually am back to solo today there are always other likeminded people floating along the same circuits.
Through my Christmas time in Reykjavík and the South Coast, I found myself in a diverse and hilarious friend group made up of about 13 people, most traveling ether by themselves or in two’s. We became so close that even during our last days, we looked up to see Raul-who had checked out the night before- comically walking down the hall with a towel and his friend Augustine cooking in the kitchen. (Despite their advance reservations at another place, they missed our conglomerate group so much that they came back to Kex just hang out and cook dinner with everyone after the day’s exploration). Could not have imagined what the trip would have been without them!
People, especially people who travel, become loyal to each other quickly. Everyone knows that that there is an hourglass to the nomad’s game. You’d better make the most of it with whomever is with you.
In sum, a successful and merry Christmas. Although the holidays might be over but take this high five from Santa for the road:
(A Be-lated) Merry Christmas!