What’s the ‘real’ hidden agenda behind travel?
What makes the adventure of a lifetime?
Is it the new sites and exciting activities?
Is it the history of the country?
Maybe the vast landscape of foreign territory?
Or do you use travel as an escape? Escape from work life. Escape from family life. Escape from the boring routine that you find yourself trapped in.
A chance to meet new people where they don't know your past, have zero judgment and pre-conceived ideas of who you are and how you should behave.
Now, I might be biased here, but AdventureFit Travel offers much more than just the adventure. AdventureFit Travel delivers on making your experience unrivalled to any other travel experience. Yes, we get to explore some amazing countries from all over the world. Yes, we get to be coached by some of the best athletes and coaches in multiple sports and industries. And yes we get to participate in a huge range of bucket list activities.
But what makes us unique from our competitors? The community.
AdventureFit Travel is a magnet for fun loving, easy going, and not-scared-of-adrenaline type of people. I have been on multiple tours from around the world using multiple tour group companies and do you want to know the biggest difference? I have never connected more with people who chose AdventureFit to travel with.
With Iceland being the landslide victor of a dream destination in an ADVF client survey, it was not surprising that we sold out the trip in only 30 days.
When NASA invades a country to simulate and practice the landing on the moon, you know you are in for a very unique landscape, and Iceland is a country like no other.
The geo thermal plates means that they have 95-97% << Check that<<< of renewable energy. Because of this, they actually use the most energy per capita as it’s so cheap and clean. Icelandic people don't believe in turning off the heaters in their house. Instead of turning them down (or off), they just open the windows!
This is very strange to see when walking the city of Reykjavik at night.
Here we are with thermal tops and bottoms, two t-shirts, a jumper, a big puffy jacket, gloves and a beanie (and still cold), while all houses have their windows open trying to cool down their house!
Not only do they have the most renewable source of energy but they also have the cleanest air and water. Iceland was shipping their water to Australia (Melbourne), and our scale of cleanliness didn't even record how pure the Icelandic water was. Australia then had to make a new scale that saw Iceland’s water a whole 3 points above Australia’s purest water!
And obviously, the Vikings call it home. A bit of history: convicts were sent over by the Irish, where they could start fresh in uncharted territories. These criminals kept the same mindset in their new land and continued with violent assaults against their fellow men and women.
Nowadays though, this once crime filled ‘bad-ass’ country is one of the only countries on the planet to not have an army. After all, the past rulers of Iceland, Norway, couldn't even give Iceland away. Instead they just upped and left the country when they had had enough.
Centuries have now past and the Vikings have now vanished. But in 2017, AdventureFit Travel Iceland + Iceland 2.0 were born.
25 people spanning two back to back trips braved the icy cold conditions to get their opportunity to see the lights of all lights - The Aurora Borealis, and boy they did not disappoint! Some people were lucky enough to see them over the city of Reykjavik, but to really see the best of this magic it was best to get out of the city and away from any light pollution.
We pulled up to a beautiful lake where the full moon was literally so bright that it felt like dusk. Close to midnight, we could clearly see the facial expressions on each other’s faces. After ten minutes of looking directly up in pure amazement, we decided to lay down on the ground in silence to give our necks a break and to take in this incredible dance from Mother Nature.
And that’s what it was like. Watching this bright electrifying light dance through the sky right on top of you; it put your whole world into perspective. This was truly unlike any other experience I have ever had.
The Blue Lagoon was also another bucket list item for many on the trip. The Blue Lagoon is a privately owned area where there are natural geo thermal heated pools. The water is a bright baby blue colour where the outside temperature is close to freezing yet you are super toasty in the naturally heated pools having a beer with your mates!
A big cheer erupted one night we were there. The Northern lights prediction was low, so no one was expecting to see them, and then all of a sudden, over one hundred people spread out across the different areas in the pool erupted in screams and cheers. Everyone looked up to see the night sky be lit up by a sea of green lights.
Life is made up of moments and this was one that we will never forget.
As I mentioned in the opening of this post, the best travel experiences are predominately determined by the people you meet and the company who you share the experience with. Both Iceland 1.0 + Iceland 2.0 were very fortunate to have the world’s best in their chosen sport keep a watchful eye and give us some training insights while they coached us for a workout.
One of these two people was the two time ‘fittest women on earth’, Annie Thorisdottir. Even if you are not into CrossFit, this woman demanded your attention and respect. Annie was down to earth and very informative on how she coached us through certain movements and scaling progressions. We found ourselves lost in time at the end of the workout while she answered questions regarding her training, nutrition, mindset, and of course the future of her and the sport of CrossFit.
Being the country that is home to some of the strongest people in the world, we managed to score Magness Ver Magnusson – four time world’s strongest man, and he opened the doors to his gym for a private power lifting and strong man training session. Talk about presence!! This man just oozes strength, power and wisdom.
He took us through the traditional power lifting movements (squat, bench press and deadlift) and then he taught us how to be more efficient with our strong man training. Teaching us how to work with atlas stones, circuit dumbbells, logs and big heavy and awkward tools.
A surprise inclusion to the itinerary was a little 45 min trek to an abandon plane wreck. This USA passenger plane went down on the water’s edge of Iceland in 1974. All 15 passengers survived and it was later found that the plane crash was due to pilot error. Apparently the pilot forgot to switch fuel tanks.
Not only did we find the abandoned plane wreck, but only 100m away was an abandoned black beach. OK, I know! I know you can’t get an abandoned beach but this was almost hidden. There were no human beings for as far as the eye could see! The incredible sunset on top of the ocean while standing in the soft but harsh black, volcanic rock beach was, for me, a huge personal highlight.
Another moment that turned from expectation into appreciation – another moment where you were just truly grateful to be alive!
One of the most beautiful things about Iceland in November is that the sun rises at around 10am and it sets around 4pm.
At first this is quite strange! But then you realise that you are trapped in either a sunrise or sunset. This makes for the perfect light for photos, but it also gives the city of Reykjavik a permanent golden glow. On December 21st, they have their longest night: 22 hours of darkness. On the 10th of June, they have their longest day of sunlight, and you end up with people are wearing sunglasses at midnight!!
Iceland was an incredible country to visit!
The food was delicious, like seriously delicious!! The people are friendly, and of course the scenery is just spectacular. For me though, one of my most favourite parts of the whole trip was road tripping with my new best mates!
Some days we would drive the country side for 5-6 hours, other times we were only in the car for a short while, but each time we all started the new adventure for that day, we became closer and closer. On one of the days where we attempted to drive the Golden Circle (a major tourist attraction consisting of Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir – a naturally forming geothermal area with erupting hot pools, and the massive Gullfoss waterfall) we had a complete snow storm.
We were forced to drive at 10km an hour in huge winds and snow where visibility was about 2 meters in front of the cars bonnet.
There were laughs and screams, singing and dancing, storytelling, and of course some nervous energy, but despite not actually making it passed the national park due to the extreme weather, some people said it was the best day on the trip.
Each AdventureFit Travel trip builds from the last, and when you travel the world with absolute legends of people, it doesn't matter if you miss out on one sightseeing activity or have to change and adjust plans last minute. It all comes down to the people who you share this experience with.
After being a little anxious and apprehensive about the pressure of making these trips live up to expectations, after meeting these easy going strangers who are just wanting a good time, I can now very proudly say that I have some of my best mates now from all over the world.
Thank you, Iceland! You definitely did not disappoint.
And thank you to all who took that adventure with us, you now have made life time memories with lifelong friends.