It’s cold, hailing and I’m on maybe 10 hours of sleep for the past two days, but nothing was more worth the extreme weather than the experience of hopping on ice chunks from a melting glacier in the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. It takes around 4 1/2 hours to get to the area from Reykjavik. I hopped on a small group tour with Extreme Iceland Tours.
I had seen plenty of photos of the lagoon before I even thought to leave New York City for Iceland, but the photos will never do this unbelievable place justice. The wind was crisp yet heavy, but it gets absolutely unbearable when you climb to the top of the hills to get an almost aerial view of the lagoon.
The mountains surrounding the lagoon look like they’re photoshopped into the background – picture perfect and they seem to go on forever. You can’t see where the mountains end and the sky begins. But I thought the glacier chunks looked lonely so I decided to give them some company.
So the first thing I got when I posted the photo below on instagram was, “WTF. ARE YOU CRAZY?”
Well, no. Maybe just a bit naive.
I didn’t find out until after I decided to hop across melted glacier ice chunks that Jökulsárlón is the deepest lake in the world. I don’t recommend trying this for yourself without proper footwear and some serious man parts. Fortunately, I didn’t feel the glacier chunks move an inch when I stepped on them, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.
Fear had paralyzed me in so many ways – the fear of taking a risk for an unconventional life kept me chained to a cubicle for years. I used to fear change, not being able to live in a luxury apartment, losing the ability to afford designer clothes and shoes I could barely walk in, making less money than my peers and the thought of never achieving my dreams.
But I traded in all of those fears to be scared of falling into the world’s deepest lake filled with floating glacier chunks instead. And you know what? I didn’t fall. The risk I took to leave an unhappy yet rationally/socially/fiscally responsible life back in New York City may have been unconventional, but now I’m living a life that I had only dreamed of, and it’s all because I had the courage to jump.
So go ahead. Take that leap.
It may not be over a floating glacier, but following your dreams will be worth every ounce of fear you feel. Eventually the fear will fade, and you’ll realize that you’ve been capable of more than you ever gave yourself credit for.
P.S. This stop was just one of the many as part of the South Coast two-day tour with Extreme Iceland Tours.