One of the undeniable truths about living in a landlocked city situated at 53 degrees north is the inevitable winter that follows a summer that always feels too short. The days grow shorter and the temperatures grow colder, sometimes to the extent that we become the second-coldest place on Earth that day. Yes – we’ve been Antarctica’s runner-up. And the snow – sometimes the shovelled piles grow so high they become driveway mountains. Hoth in Star Wars? North of The Wall in Game of Thrones? I’d say those landscapes look fairly familiar, like a normal January day. Winter is coming, indeed.
In May 2014, I began this blog after returning from a fateful trip to Iceland, in which it seemed to be a necessity for writers in the modern world to maintain some kind of online writing presence. This was a fact realized all-too-late when delegates of the Iceland Writers Retreat wrote down our contact information for a collated list, and I had nothing to put under “website.” I kicked myself again for not starting a blog earlier when my very first blog post (about Iceland and depaysement) went viral, and I had no other content for my sudden flood of visitors to peruse.
I only have one more sleep until I get on a plane to return to Iceland for nine days. I will be attending the Iceland Airwaves music festival, with a few days beforehand to potentially site-see, reunite with friends and family, or just simply find a quiet cafe in inspirational Reykjavik and write. The first time I was preparing to go to Iceland, back in March 2014, things were very different. It was my first time visiting my country of origin, for one. It was the longest trip I had ever spent travelling completely solo. A portion of the trip was dedicated to attending the Iceland Writers Retreat, where I was surrounded by fellow writers and some of my favourite authors. And, my departure preparations were shaped by another life event that I’ve kept absent from social media and this blog – my grandfather died three days before my plane left the ground.
I think sometimes we forget that there is more to us than the little bubble we confine ourselves to on a regular basis.