It’s been just over a week since I landed in the homeland (Belgium) from Iceland. I was so incredibly exhausted from our 10 day trip, that it took me a sec to realize the magnitude of my time there. My intentions for this trip were: adventure and clarity. Iceland provided me with both of those, just not the way I had imagined. The first few days started off incredibly chaotic. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you’ve read my posts or seen my ig stories, so you know the weather was a BIG factor is providing us with adventure – it kept us on our toes, to say the least. The clarity part I didn’t get until two days before we left. Like most things in life, you kind of need to be broken before you can see the light. The adventure part, which was amazing and exciting, was in some moments incredibly challenging, frustrating and sometimes even, terrifying. But that chaos, the wild adventurous madness became the new normal. And on the particular day that I found clarity, I was at the glaciers. Maybe it was ’cause I had been in nature long enough to find myself, or just because of the pure beauty of my surroundings, but it brought me to tears. And in an instance, “it” happened – both my intentions were fulfilled. I felt incredibly grateful that we decided to book this trip last minute and start the year off with so much perspective.
The adventure part wouldn’t have been nearly as fun, even in the terrifying moments, if it weren’t for my partner in crime, Andrea. It’s incredible to think that before this trip, I had spent a total of two, maybe three hours with her. Before leaving, my closest friends would often ask me, “WHO are you going with again?!”. Let me start from the beginning – Andrea is a photographer based in San Francisco. I reached out to her through Instagram in August to shoot while I was in town for a few days. We met, clicked immediately and shot a few looks. The next time I saw her over Thanksgiving, where we spent another hour shooting some fall looks. My point is, we didn’t really know each other. I knew she wanted to travel in 2017 and I was dying to go to Iceland (specifically to start off my year there), so I texted her to see if she’d be down – she immediately responded “F*CK YES”. So for one month, we planned this trip. We texted every day, we spoke often over the phone but it was very much like planning a work trip (just with a super fun colleague).
And then Iceland happened. No one can prepare you for the madness – the temperamental weather conditions, the road trip disasters, lost luggage, broken cameras, chasing four hours of sunlight, the list goes on. We wanted adventure, and WE SURE AS HELL GOT IT! The things I experienced while there, I didn’t experience with my husband or my best friend, I experienced with someone I didn’t really know, someone I didn’t even know six months prior. We got incredibly close during this trip – shared intimate stories about our families and friends, and talked passionately about our goals and dreams for the year, and even shared underwear due to the lost luggage! And though now, we’ve gone our own separate ways, back in other cities, back to the day to day hustle, we’re bonded. Adventure bonds you – we have war stories to tell to our friends and family. There’s also a part of me that is convinced that had I experienced Iceland with anyone else, I wouldn’t have had some of the epiphanies I had while on this trip. I was out of my comfort zone in every way – my surroundings, the challenges and even the person I chose to share this adventure with. Ultimately, I got what I wanted: adventure and clarity. My new friend for life was a bonus.
And this leads me back to something I say every time someone bashes social media. I get it, there are so many awful things about it – reading YouTube and twitter comments makes me cringe!!! But for me personally, social media is what you make of it. Around this time last year, I told myself I wanted to meet as many women as I could throughout the year and social media played a HUGE part in this. I reached out to sooooo many women through Instagram – whether it was to meet up for coffee, or because something they posted resonated or inspired me, whatever it was – I would reach out. And here we are, one year later and some of my close friends, are new friends. And with one of those brilliant and talented women, I went on the trip of a lifetime! So don’t be shy, make new friends by reaching out to people that you find interesting, or inspiring – you never know, one year from now, you might end up in Iceland with a complete stranger.
Andrea, where is our next adventure?! #LoveCampaign
photography by Andrea Posadas
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