Breathe in *A U S T U R L A N D
From August 2019 to March 2020, I had the amazing opportunity to be an exchange student in *AUSTURLAND. From the moment I learned where I was to stay, I googled every beautiful landmark and landscape. The beauty of Austurland overwhelmed me in every photo I could see. I deemed that the only way I could truly experience the region was to create a “bucket-list” of all the things I had to do and see before I left, and I did accomplish many things on the list while I was there. Whether it be lounging in the natural baths of the highlands, exploring the rich history at Skriðuklaustur, or visiting the picturesque rainbow road of Seyðisfjörður, the Austurland has an infinite amount of places to explore.
As I spent more time exploring and living in the Austurland region, I began to realize that my “bucket-list” approach to experiencing the beauty of my second home might not have been the best way. I found that purely being there, breathing in the fresh Icelandic air, speaking with the friendly people that treat you like family even if it is the first time you have met, and seeking out adventure along the way created an unforgettable experience in itself. I found that my favorite part about visiting the Austurland was to be in the Austurland.
Being in Austurland may require some more work than driving to the next checkmark box on your bucket list. It means diving face-first into the culture, livelihood, and cuisine of the region. I quickly found out that being in this mystical place might also be in the little things: Gas-station hotdogs with all the toppings, the waterfalls on the mountainsides while you drive, or the Góðan daginn you will get from a passerby on your walk to the bus stop. Because although I did not finish my bucket list in all of its entirety before I left, I know that I was able to entirely experience the Austurland.
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