I don’t want to leave this incredible place. It’s been a week since our arrival, and it feels like just yesterday we set foot on this beautiful island. I wanted to start out by thanking our professor, Althea Legaspi, for this life-changing opportunity. I’d also like to thank Iceland Airwaves for allowing us to cover one of the coolest festivals I have ever been to, and all of my awesome classmates that made this trip one that I will remember for the rest of my life-I look forward to our endless movie nights. Lastly, I’d like to thank all of my interviewees who took time out of their day to talk to me and answer any and all of my questions-I will forever appreciate it.
I can’t believe how much I have changed and grown in the past eight days. I have walked miles upon miles around beautiful Reykjavík (I remember sitting in my room watching a YouTube video just trying to pronounce it, and now I can spell it too!), tried tons of traditional Icelandic cuisine, and seen at least 30 different bands. Throughout all of this, I have written daily blogs, band reviews, and even produced pieces for radio in the comfort of my own wardrobe (which, unfortunately, did not lead to Narnia).
I have realized that I have a passion for traveling and exploring. When we were on the Golden Circle Tour, I felt this amazing drive to climb the mountain – something I have never experienced before. I may not have grown up in the city, but I have always been a city-girl at heart. I was a city-girl that didn’t like change or new places or trying new things. However, this trip changed me. It made me want to do things like climb a mountain, or try fermented shark, or even go and see a band that I normally wouldn’t be interested in. I have learned that trying things, even just once, can change your entire outlook on a million different things.
Some of my most incredible moments include seeing Reykjavíkurdætur, Of Monster and Men, and Agent Fresco. Since coming to Iceland, Reykjavíkurdætur has become one of my favorite bands – I even bought their vinyl record (and I saw them three times on this trip). Of Monsters and Men was an incredible show and a day I will always remember because I went to six or seven different shows that night, and the thought of seeing them is what got me through that insanely long day. Their performance was killer, and I nearly cried when they were done. Agent Fresco will always be a show I remember, because I got to spend it with some of my favorite people in celebration of our last night in wonderland (and the lead singer, Arnór Dan Arnarson, kissed my hand at the end of the show – eep!)
Iceland is a place I never thought I would get to, and getting accepted into this program changed my life forever. I can now write a research paper in about five minutes flat, and find sources for interviews in seconds. I’ve also realized that sometimes your health and well-being needs to come before your work, and that it’s okay if it does. It is important to always work hard, and keep to your deadlines, but it is even more important to take care of yourself. My advice to anyone that wants to travel is this: study, work hard, dream big, and chase your goals, you will be rewarded for your hard work in the end. Keep your head up, and keep dreaming.
So, here’s to you Iceland, you magnificent beauty. I will never forget you.