Day 1: Money Trouble and the Open Road

Don’t worry. Day 1 does not suggest that there will be a post every day and you’ll need to unfollow me lest I drive you mad with travel images and musings. Given that today was landfall, though, a few thoughts come to mind.

 

After clearing from the incredibly quick customs at Keflavik Airport, my first two experiences on this trip in Iceland were to hit the morning commute to Reykjavik and hang out at a mall waiting for it to open so I could buy a sim card for my phone. It turns out that traffic jams and malls seem to be the same almost everywhere, the former offering cruel moments of hope between eons of despair, and the latter always smelling exactly the same.

After successfully purchasing my SIM card, I made the mistake of trying to buy groceries, and that’s when my money trouble began. My debit card didn’t work, either for purchase or cash.

At other points in my life, I think I would have let that really bother me, and even threaten the day, waiting to fight with a bank clerk back home. Instead, realizing I had a full tank of gas, I took off for the southwest coast of Iceland, where, freed from traffic and debit embarrassment, I spent the afternoon exploring the Krýsuvík Geothermal Area, which came complete with otherworldly lakes and Yellowstone-style hot pots.

A few hours out there, and I had forgotten about the money worry, which resolved itself during a Google Voice call to my bank.

Here in Iceland, the roads are filled with this sign(I’m looking for the image) that tells motorists that an attraction one shouldn’t miss is nearby, and unlike some other places I’ve been, those signs never seem to lie. We should always seize the chance for those moments of curated beauty and wonder, because you never know when you’ll have the chance to see them again, but it’s equally important, I think, to sometimes not have a plan, not have a map, and not have guideposts telling you when to stop and stare.

The road can take us places even more striking and beautiful if we put aside the Google Maps and don’t have a destination.

Not a bad first day at all.