The holiday I had to have

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The way I see it, Iceland chose me.

I had no idea how I’d get there or what I’d do there. I just knew I had to go there.

I hope you don’t mind…may I rewind?

The year was 2007 and I was in seventh heaven. I signed up to volunteer at a Reykjavik film festival and found myself starring in my very own fairytale; a trip to Iceland with yours truly as the leading lady.

The opening scene wasn’t quite what I expected. The ride from the airport to the CBD was a tad underwhelming. I remember feeling like we’d landed on Mars; the terrain was flat, bare and desolate.

If I took that bus ride again, I’d approach it more like a cleansing aperitif, preparing the palate for tastes that would surprise and delight in equal measure.

My Icelandic endeavours saw me on horseback in sub zero temperatures, chilling in a geothermal spa at the Blue Lagoon and drinking more coffee than my annual intake. Beware: the cups really are bottomless over there. So too are the adventures, shopping, night life and the amazing non-retail therapies. The landscape is beyond beautiful.

If I sound all misty, it’s with good reason. I can’t wait for holiday season!

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Where do you dream of holidaying?

Linking up today with Essentially Jess for I Blog On Tuesday.

30 Comments

  • My dream (more like far-fetched fantasy) is to be able to whisk my kids off for a week somewhere different every school holidays. Like, head off to Hawaii one school holiday then London or Tokyo the next, maybe Christmas in Lapland.
    I know…but i can dream, right?

    • Reply May 5, 2015

      Tonia

      Sounds like a pretty good idea to me, Gael. Years ago, I read about a celebrity who used to rock up to the airport and pick any random destination on the departures board. Sounds dreamy, right?

  • Wow. Those photos are absolutely spectacular. I think Burial Rites is set in Iceland. That’s definitely how I pictured it from her writing! #TeamIBOT

    • Reply May 5, 2015

      Tonia

      Thanks Bec. I had to struggle to just choose a handful here. I have hundreds of happy snaps from that trip. I’m not much of a photographer but Iceland sure does make every pic a stunner.

  • Reply May 5, 2015

    merilyn

    that sounds amazing tonia!
    that first photo is brilliant with those coloured buildings!
    we have beautiful memories of europe! … my partner is Austrian!
    we would like to do the canals through Europe starting in Norway or Holand and winding our way to the south of france Sete! etc! … ever the dreamers love m:)X

    • Reply May 5, 2015

      Tonia

      Oh to be in Europe, hey? Can you tell I’m hankering for a holiday? Glad you like that snap of the rooftops. I actually took it with the intention of enlarging it on canvas. Embarrassed to admit, more than seven years on, I still haven’t quite got round to it! That canal tour sounds sublime. I’m enjoying a bit of daydreaming today x

  • You had from the moment you mentioned Iceland. Those Arctic islands looks so rugged, beautiful, stunning and mystic. They are definitely on my list.

    • Reply May 5, 2015

      Tonia

      Oh Sally, promise me you’ll put them in bold, italic, font size 100 on that list! It really is magical over there.

  • Reply May 5, 2015

    Kathy

    Just beautiful Tonya – that waterfall is spectacular. Iceland would feel so faraway and adventurous – I can just see you as an Icelandic Queen.

    • Reply May 5, 2015

      Tonia

      Oh thanks Kathy! Funny you mention that waterfall. I was tossing up between that photo and a similar one with an empty chair in front of it. That alternate shot is somehow sad and beautiful all at once (the chair did look awfully lonely). x

  • Wow! What beautiful pictures and memories for you. I’d love to visit Iceland. It’s on the list đŸ˜‰

    • Reply May 5, 2015

      Tonia

      Thanks Jodi. You would love it! So much to see and so many happy surprises along the way. The people we met were super friendly too and loved hearing about Australia just as much as we loved hearing about their lives.

  • Reply May 5, 2015

    Vanessa

    Croatia – I would love to go there. I love coves and beaches and from the photos I’ve seen it would fit!

    • Reply May 5, 2015

      Tonia

      Ah, yes, I’ve seen photos too and it does look pretty enchanting. Hope you get to go there some day. x

  • Reply May 5, 2015

    Renee Wilson

    I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland and see the Northern lights. My brother in law has been there and thought it was amazing. So different. Sounds like you had a fantastic time. At the moment, I would settle for a holiday anywhere đŸ™‚

    • Reply May 5, 2015

      Tonia

      Can you believe we missed seeing the northern lights – but ticked off just about everything else while we were there. Sounds like you could use a break – how about a little staycation? We did that last winter and it was really lovely discovering some new restaurants and doing some leisurely shopping. Hopefully you’ll get pampered this weekend for Mother’s Day!

  • Iceland isn’t somewhere that has really registered for me, perhaps because I really don’t like the cold, but your photos make it look beautiful, especially all those colourful little homes.

    • Reply May 5, 2015

      Tonia

      Thanks Malinda but I can’t take too much credit for those photos. Iceland really is so special that it looks incredible from any angle. Even an amateur photographer, like me, can snap a masterpiece. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply May 5, 2015

    EssentiallyJess

    Oh it looks amazing!
    I never dream of going overseas, because at this point it’s not even possible. Maybe one day, I’ll allow myself to think about it. đŸ™‚

    • Reply May 6, 2015

      Tonia

      I know what you mean Jess, I’m all work and no play these days too! x

  • Wow! Amazing photos! I’ve never really considered Iceland when planning our holidays in the past!

    • Reply May 6, 2015

      Tonia

      Thanks Ingrid. I loved every minute of my visit. I love winter too so even the temperature was ideal!

  • Reply May 7, 2015

    Grace

    Oh my gosh! I would love to go to Iceland! I’m with Renee – how awesome would it be to see the Northern Lights. I’ve seen photos and it just takes my breath away.
    And horseback in sub-zero temperatures??! I want to know more about that!

    • Reply May 7, 2015

      Tonia

      Oh Grace, that horse ride was hilarious. I’d never been on a horse, I didn’t understand the instruction session and my horse bolted for home the minute he caught sight of the stables. Did I mention I was wearing a balaclava because it was sooooo cold? I like to think of it as my Frank Spencer experience – all round hilarious!

  • Wow – I never considered Iceland as a holiday destination but I just might now after reading this and seeing those beautiful photos! I can’t wait to head back to the snow – my snowboard is in storage covered in dust. Hopefully when the tornadoes are a little bit older we can head back to the awesome powder in Japan or maybe try Colorado. Happy travels Tonia xx

    • Reply May 8, 2015

      Tonia

      Oh I didn’t know you were a snowboarder – how cool! I loved watching it at the winter Olympics. As for Japan, coincidentally we were speaking about it this morning. Had a glorious holiday there a few years ago and would love to go back some day. Thanks for popping over today and have a great weekend.

  • Reply May 10, 2015

    Hugzilla

    I have to admit, Iceland intrigues me. I would love to check out the country that threw up such eclectic artists like Bjork, The Sugarcubes and Sigur Ros.

    • Reply May 10, 2015

      Tonia

      Yep, the music, the culture, the art…there’s so much to explore over there; I’d love to go back some day.

  • Gorgeous photos! I would love to check that out in person. My current dream trip destinations are Italy, Morocco and Russia!! Want to see the whole of each of those countries.

    • Reply May 10, 2015

      Tonia

      Thanks Deb and, by the way, I like the sound of that trio of trips. Oh to be travelling right about now, hey?

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