Iceland: Campervan Diaries Pt. 1

Iceland: Campervan Diaries Pt. 1

Earlier this summer, I was in Iceland for a week. I, along with three others, were on the road and lived out of a camper van driving from waterfall to waterfall, which is something I thought I'd never do. Telling people that I was going to Iceland seems to ellicit one of two different responses: either they asked "Why Iceland?" or they rolled their eyes as they knew every traveler or photographer always ends up in Iceland eventually. 

C'est la vie. 

Our Itinerary For This Post:

  1. My wicked survival skills, or lack thereof, when it comes to sleeping out of a camper van for a week
  2. Almost entirely forgetting what actual nighttime/darkness looks like
  3. Surviving what felt like Arctic weather (relative to California)

Perhaps this is the sign that I am a true born and raised Silicon Valley gal-- I'm not one who fares well when unplugged. So you'll be surprised that it was my grand idea to live out of a camper van for a week while trekking through Iceland. No regrets here. Let's get started.

1. My wicked survival skills/lack thereof

The group of us four lived, breathed, slept, and ate out of a camper van for 6 days, and it was magical although, admittedly, that statement is much easier to make in retrospect. I know it sounds like we pitched tents and started fires in the middle of nowhere, but it wasn't quite as rugged. Road tripping through Iceland involved a lot of wrangling with a GPS device, praying that we didn't stall the van at a roundabout, awful yet oddly satisfying hot dogs at gas stations, and some surprisingly warm showers at campsites. Sure it wasn't that tough, but it was new. And trust me, there's no faster way to fall in love with a place than to experience it on the road.

2. Permanent Summer Sun

Self explanatory. The photograph above is a nice 1 AM sunset type of action, all thanks to the Earth's axial tilt combined with Iceland's location. Cross your fingers that your hotel/Airbnb/campervan has heavy duty blinds should you dare go to Iceland in summer. Waking up in the middle of the "night" only to see the same perpetual rays of sun was unsettling for my Circadian rhythm to say the least.

3. Layers, layers, layers

My first day in Iceland, I sported outfits that were excessive: layers upon layers of sweaters, tights underneath my jeans, beanie and ear warmer combos, and even multiple layers of socks. Drama aside, by the sixth day on the road, I was easily just wearing one sweater and calling it a day. Lesson learned here? We're adaptable. If we have the next Ice Age, we Californians have some hope.