Why I Jumped at the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

April 23, 2014 | 35 SHARES

JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON Iceland

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.

JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON Iceland

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.

JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON Iceland

So the first thing I got when I posted the photo below on instagram was, “WTF. ARE YOU CRAZY?”

JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON Iceland

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.



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  • http://www.moveinmode.com/ Ines Pink

    Wow! tha’s incredible… I think that what you did is really great and I talk about your choice, your courage to “jump” and to choose.
    This is life, girl!
    p.s. I love your instagram profile too : )

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you so much Ines! I appreciate your sweet words so much! <3

  • Ian Pollard

    Awesome post!! Your descriptive words and beautiful photography leave one imagining and dreaming of being in this magnificent place with you ;)

  • Steven Bodo

    I’m so happy that you broke out of the cubicle and went on this trip. I’m sure you are already planning the next one to somewhere else.
    Funny you put up that quote from Instagram, was it me? Sorry. We all care about you, you know.

  • Andrea Ævars

    I love your blog so much.

    You really do capture the spirit of Iceland with your writing :)

  • Bob DePlachett

    I had to come back to read your words about leaving it all behind. Very inspirational and to tell the truth, I did it once and only then did I discover Heaven. An old friend told me when I arrived there, “Beware, You are in heaven.” I didn’t get it totally until I slipped and went to hell, only then realizing that one should never take Heaven for granted. Live while you can, all! Thank you, Jinna.

  • Dorine

    Thank you so much for this amazing story and your words of wisdom… i’m a dutch girl currently living in Sydney Australia for 9 months. Away from all the people i love and cherish.. scared of meeting new people and petrified of doing things i have never done before. Still i WANT to do things i never done before and i want to follow my dreams! Therefor I just booked a hostel for one night and im already nervous about spending the night there, but your last words were just the words that i needed to read right now.
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story with the world ^_^

  • BJ

    Quote after quote are going forward to my 17 year old on her long, long backpack trip with her class before starting her senior year. She is a product teen…make up, clothes, shoes, no direction. I have been looking for words she would hear in her heart. You have given them to me.

  • Jesse May

    I happened upon your blog today, and have enjoyed clicking around. :) Your words and pictures make me want to travel, too! What amazing experiences! Thank you for sharing.




@GREASEANDGLAMOUR ON INSTAGRAM | 14352 FOLLOWERS

Every so often the what if's get to me and I get completely overwhelmed by my decision to give up complacent security to follow my dreams. I traded in that security for the unknown, being scared sh-tless some days, feeling doubtful and sometimes a hint of regret when times get tough. Then I wake up the next morning and remember to be grateful for the opportunity to survive by doing what I love. I'd rather be crying once a month as a side effect of the most courageous decision I've ever made than be crying every single day because I'm miserable and too scared to leave my comfort zone.

If you're not living a life where every once in a while you get scared sh-tless by what COULD happen, you'll never create meaningful, positive change for your future. Great things never came from comfort zones. So get a little dirty, grow some b-lls, take a look in the mirror, remind yourself of how magnificent you are and get back to work. I believe in you.

With love, from #Provence.?
Don't hope for the best. Hope for peace of mind, understanding and that one day you'll wake up knowing your purpose in this world. The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.

With love, from #Provence. ?
Change doesn't come for the complacent. ?
I came to New York City four years ago chasing things that other people pretended to have. It took me four years to realize that these things do not fulfill you. Life flipped me upside down, broke me and shaped me from a girl with a dream to a woman humbled with a purpose. 
I'm no longer worried about what the next girl's got. I'm grateful for the food in my mouth, the roof over my head, the clothes on my own back, a selfless family, and the opportunity to work towards a dream worth waking up for. 
Stop shifting your priorities based on what you think looks good on other people. Live (and work your a-s off) with purpose - the one created just for you. ?
One of my favorite parts about #NYC - brunch. :) ?
Invest your fears, leave your comfort zone, allow yourself to be scared sh-tless, dedicate your all to what it is that you want, and refuse to look back. 
Taking a risk may be the only thing you need to get closer to success.

With love, from #Paris. ?
I hope you know that I can relate to exactly what you are going through, how terrifying it is to lose someone who meant so much to you, how badly you want to be able to live your dream, how frustrating it is to be overlooked despite your hard work, and that the pain you've tried to become numb to will never truly go away. I also hope you know how strong you are, how capable you've become, and how your courage is inspiring not only to me, but others all around the world.

I hope to become living proof that hard work, persistence, practice and ambition is enough in a world that prioritizes physical beauty, old money, sex and so-called connections. Because of your struggles, because you are the underdog, you will appreciate more, hustle harder, stay focused and be motivated by much more meaningful things. Don't ever give up on yourself. ?
A question I always struggled with was When is it going to be my turn? I'd watch people who appeared to be less talented, work half as hard, born from bigger means, climb up the ladder to become more successful than me, and I'd scramble around trying to figure out why. I put in more time. I taught myself things that they paid someone to do. I've slept 3 hours a night for the past year. Then I realized that you have to stop comparing yourself to others, but most importantly stop giving yourself the short end of the stick. Believe that everything you've been through - all the hard work, blood, sweat, tears you've invested in your future is worth more than you think. There is a path and purpose for everyone, so stop comparing yours to someone else's. This isn't a race. 
You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment you will ever make.

With love sailing the Adriatic Sea, Jinna. ?
Create a life you don't need a vacation from.
Confidence comes with practice. How can you expect to prove to others of your abilities if you haven't even proven them to yourself? Hard work always pays off. So keep pushing. ?

Inspired by @soleserum | With love from #nyc, Jinna.
There's something wrong with your character if opportunity determines your loyalty.
Great things never come from comfort zones. Inspired by @soleserum | photo by @i.am.codi


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