In 2005, Jeff, Cody, Macey, and I went to Iceland for the first time. It was sleeting sideways with heavy dark clouds and wind that cut right through our bodies. “We are from North Dakota,” we said! “Let´s go — this weather is not going to stop us!”
Well, we did go out and explore the Golden Circle and Reykjavík areas. We met family members and did enjoy parts of the trip — but certainly not like I had envisioned. It was supposed to be perfect. It was supposed to be the land of my dreams – ICELAND! The home of my ancestors. The land they loved. Their beautiful land with so much to enjoy. But we were not enjoying much of the outside during those days in Iceland.
I have always known about Iceland and been so proud and interested in my heritage. I was unprepared for the intense emotions that I endured during this first, much-anticipated visit to this island that my ancestors called home. As a child, I heard wonderful stories about Iceland from family and neighbors. Beautifully handwritten letters and Icelandic newspapers were a common site on my grandparent’s table. We were taught special prayers and songs in Icelandic. Food and delicacies from the Icelandic recipes were abundant not only during the holidays but throughout the year. Icelandic art, linens, and other special treasures that were brought to the United States adorned their homes.
I was so disappointed. I know that I romanticized Iceland.
Granted, our trip was just after Easter and we had just left Paris. We had gone there for Easter. The sun was loving life and in full glow every single day.
The flowers were blooming and everywhere we went we could sit outside for a wonderful dining experience. Going to Notre Dame Cathedral for Easter service brought us chills and a deep amazement for the glorious cathedral, music, and surroundings. Seeing the amazing Eiffel Tower and all the great architecture throughout the city was amazing. My husband, the engineer, was loving every minute of the trip – including all the chocolate! Paris was fabulous.
Then …. we went to Iceland. It was cold and gloomy and miserable. The price of the food and drinks were shocking. The highlights were seeing Heimir og Kolla and Kjartan, too. I just was overwhelmed with emotions during this trip.
I had many tears while in Iceland. There were emotions of sorrow, disappointment, misconceptions, and distress. I was so excited to show my husband and children this wonderful, beautiful place and wanted them to love it as much as I have for all these years. Iceland was unparalleled and held in such high esteem for all these years. My expectations were over-inflated and proliferated by years of pride and respect of our Icelandic ancestors.
I know that nothing could have been as wonderful as the story in my dreams. I had inflated everything about Iceland because it was only visited in my dreams before this trip. I now love Iceland again and see all the beauty and wonder that lived in my dreams.