And now, a final trip update and some self-reflection.
First, a quick summary of the last two days of the vacation.
- As had become our custom, my mother and I woke up much later than we intended to. If I lived in Iceland, I’d invest in a king-size bed and fourteen pairs of flannel pyjamas and just never bother getting dressed.
- Suddenly all too aware of our dwindling time in Iceland, I ate two tubs of skyr, breakfast of (Icelandic) champions. So. much. protein. I miss you, skyr. Greek yogurt isn’t the same.
- After some frantic we-haven’t-bought-souvenirs-for-anyone shopping, we took an informative and free walking tour of the city. We were then freezing cold so got some incredibly expensive tea—have I mentioned that hot beverages cost twice as much in Iceland as their do in North America?—to consume while planning our next move.
- Our next move was more frantic shopping.
- We made our way to a Christmas concert in the Hallgrímskirkja. It was absolutely beautiful. We understood very little.
- We rounded out the day with dinner at Café Loki, which serves traditional Icelandic food. Dessert was rye bread ice cream, which isn’t, I’m guessing, traditional in the strict sense but was nonetheless strangely delicious.
- Airport, goodbyes, flight, etc. etc.
As I’m sure has become glaringly evident over the past however many posts, I’ve fallen in love with Iceland. I’ve also fallen in love with the knowledge that I’m still able to travel like this—to have adventures, to see new things—as long as I do so in a safe and responsible way. In this case, we chose a country with a good and accessible medical system and never strayed too far off the beaten path. We still, however, managed to have a satisfying experience. Balance and compromise: often annoying, always necessary.
Several times while I was away, my husband observed that this trip was exactly what I needed. He was right. It was a good break, sure; more than that, though, it was a monumental confidence boost. Sometimes I doubt whether, given my current neurological limitations, I’m still capable of doing the things that I used to love and/or be reasonably good at—travel and work, for example. Every time I prove to myself that I can, it’s like I’ve found a tiny piece of pre-epilepsy me. It’s a slow process, but little by little, I’m moving forward.