Flashing back to a few years ago to when I joked about being able to live off of bread and chocolate. Well, I’m in Prien am Chiemsee now, and that’s exactly what I’m having to do. Here’s what I learned… it’s not as fun as I thought it would be when I was a kid haha. I have been thriving off of bakeries since I’ve been in here. I just bought a giant piece of bread for 3 euros just now, it’s my food for the rest of the day.
I miss vegetables. These adventures are more than worth it though!! Al7amdulillah.
Two days ago I came back from a ten day trip through Scandinavia, specifically, Iceland and Norway. For this post (and several more) I’m going to focus on Iceland, since it’s a place I have dreamed of visiting since I was a kid.
It is a place where I saw so many things that I have never seen before, and I believe I’ll never be able to see anywhere else. Things before my eyes, and things that my eyes were opened to.
Iceland. Full of half-and-half’s, and quite literally a composite of two different worlds. The island itself is located on the ever-growing gap between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Lava fields, glaciers, mountains, and lagoons - through a ceaseless series of beautiful disasters, new ground blends with the old, and creation and destruction of our Earth occur in harmony. All the while, its culture boasts a charming convergence of American and European influences. Superjeeps, hákarl, elf stoires, and Kentucky Fried Chicken - through an ever-growing tourism market, the two hemispheres connect here, and build atop of Iceland’s proud Viking heritage.
I have come to understand that one of the best ways to know a people is to take a good look at their land. That’s where it starts.
It only makes sense that a land so accustomed to the junctions of the past and the present would be home to a people of such a diversified national identity.
Looking at Iceland was basically like looking at what the majority of our world looked like hundreds of thousands of years ago, at the early stages of natural succession, before the extensive presence of flora and fauna. I learned about the few that first settled on the island, who sustained themselves through natural disasters and harsh weather conditions, who hunted and fished for survival. Looking at how these few grew into the thousands inhabiting the nation of Iceland today was like looking at how the entirety of our human race developed into the global society that we are today.
Humans fought and starved and chased and pursued through the millennia, leaving seven billion of us standing on the Earth today. Look at what we are capable of. Look at how humanity persevered through time - through catastrophe, famine, plague, and darkness - to the world the walk through now. A world with close to two hundred countries, seven thousand languages, and billions of works of art, literature, and innovation.
This showed me that I am capable of much more than I thought I was. There are many heights I can reach simply by believing that I can jump higher, and not by buying taller shoes. There are many walls I can push through simply by knowing that I can handle the pain, and not worry about the scars. The same is true for you, and for every human there is and ever was. I am learning that nothing is a disaster, nothing is a catastrophe, and inconveniences don’t matter. Iceland showed me the product of disasters and catastrophes, and do you know what I saw? I didn’t see the end of the world. I saw the world making itself new.