Reverse Culture Shock: How coming home from Iceland has made me want to return

I have traveled to many places in the world, and have sometimes experienced culture shock in varying levels, but the greatest shock that I have experienced through my travels has been returning to San Diego after a week in Iceland.

Was the air in San Diego always this smoggy and dirty? The water so foul-tasting? The people so cruel?

A week of breathing beautifully clean air, drinking delicious straight-from-the-glacier water and interacting with some ridiculously nice people has ruined my hometown for me (being able to successfully have a mental hiatus from the hot mess that is American politics in the 21st century was a great benefit, as well). 

Iceland's natural beauty is not only enticing me to make a return trip, but has also started the wheels in my brain turning in an attempt to rationalize making a permanent 4,359 mile move to Reykjavik once I graduate from San Diego State University.

Of course, I am not taking into account the 24 hours of darkness and snowy weather that I would have to brave during the just barely subarctic winters if I were to make Iceland my home. But scarfing down an abundance of fresh seafood on a daily basis and living in the land of the midnight sun during the summer might just be worth it.

As I sift through the (digital) piles of photos and my notebook looking for inspiration for subsequent blog posts about my recent trip to Iceland, I will leave you with a couple of snapshots to look at. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more!


Peter and I in front of Seljalandfoss - "selling the land of
waterfalls" - in Southern Iceland on May 23, 2017.
Photo Credit: A very nice, albeit soaked, tourist
"Double double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble."
~William Shakespeare
A boiling "cauldron" of geothermally-heated mud in Námafjall
east of Akureyri on the Ring Road on May 24, 2017.
Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp
Chunks of moss-covered lava on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula off the western
coast of Iceland on May 26, 2017.
Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp

I hiked the Falljokull ('Falling Glacier') and all I got was this cheesy picture
of myself pretending to ice climb (just kidding, I got an awesome close up
 view of the glacier and an incredible lesson about global climate change).
Photo Credit: Erik, Our Swedish Tour Guide
The "Evil Eye" - a spot were there was a particularly large explosion
mid-eruption - inside of the Þríhnúkagígur volcano outside of Reykjavik
on May 27, 2017.
Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp

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