Where do I even begin... Iceland has been a whirlwind of epic experiences, stunning scenery, and incredible individuals. I am beyond infatuated with this country, and I want to share a few key highlights and "ah hah" moments....
1) My first night I camped at Skogafoss. Even if you're not one for camping, do it. Falling asleep to the sound of the falls and waking up to its beauty will put an enduring smile on anyone's face. I rented my camping gear through a company called Iceland Camping Equipment. Super easy and flexible with drop off/pick up. 10/10 recommend.
2) The Golden Circle is a gorgeous drive 100% of the time, and the sites along the way (Secret Lagoon, Gulfoss, Pingvellir National Park, Geysir...) are all breathtaking. I am not kidding when I say every corner I turned I verbally said, "oh my goodness." It's that awesome. Don't forget to grab some carrots from Bonus (local discount super market) to feed the wild Icelandic horses !
3) The lagoons live up to the hype. Seljavallalaug required a 10-15 min mellow hike and is totally free ! There are a few changing rooms there too so no need to awkwardly car change or anything. The Secret Lagoon (Gamla Laugin) costs 2800 ISK and is my personal favorite. There are no private showers though, so be prepared to rinse off in front of a bunch of other naked ladies. The Blue Lagoon is a real treat. Prices start at 5400 ISK. Book in advance and try to go early in the morning ! PROTIP: BYOT (T = toiletries) to the Secret Lagoon and Blue Lagoon.
4) Reykjavik's night life ! Holy moly did I have too much fun going out in this city. I met a crew from Boston when I was at the Blue Lagoon, randomly ran into them grabbing a drink at Kex (my hostel of choice), and we all went out and danced the night away at the Lebowski bar. We stayed up all night admiring the Reykjavik harbor and talking about Boston. A night for the books for sure. I also spent a decent amount of time with a group of locals at a bar called Bravo. Laid back. Good draft beer. Another must.
5) The food scene is a dream ! Reykjavik Roasters, Kaffi Vinyl, Juice Bar - Skyr and Sandwiches, Baejarins Beztu, and Braud & Co are a few of my favorites. PROTIP: go grab a delightful pastry from Braud & Co and a cappuccino from RR -- sit on the benches outside of RR so you can people watch and still have wifi ;) ALSO if you need to do laundry go check out The Laundromat Cafe. BOMB brunch upstairs. Washers and dryers in the basement. Definitely an ideal combo for the backpacking type.
Solo travel has done me good so far. The times I find myself feeling lonely, I happen to meet just the right person or group of people to lift my spirits back up. I am definitely way out of my comfort zone, and I fucking love it.
P.S. go checkout Milkywhale on Spotify ! They are a local Icelandic band that played at the SoFar Sounds show I went to here and they kill ittttt. And if you don't know what SoFar Sounds is, look it up asap !