We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to pen our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again - to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more. - Pico Iyer
When I attempt to sum up my feelings about Iceland, I am at a loss for words. I had been to Europe before but spent my time exploring bustling cities and architectural wonders. This was something entirely different. I had traveled to countries that left me feeling changed because of the poverty I had witnessed. Again, this was different.
Most of our trip, the skies were raining, or misting, or both. While this is not my preferred forecast, it added to the mystical quality of the island. This, along with the desolate terrain, left me feeling incredibly alone. I spent every minute of the trip with my incredible husband, but other than our interactions, most days were very quiet. After a busy year of exams, starting a business, and photographing lots of weddings, I think my soul was craving the stillness. But when the silence came, I had no clue how to respond.
In Iceland, I was surrounded by incredible wonders, that should have left me in awe of my Creator. Yet, when I returned home, I felt empty. It was a much needed realization that I had been living my days on autopilot. It was like my eyes had been so accustomed to the busyness, that when they finally had the space to truly see, they did not know how to react. In the year I had dedicated to simplifying my life, I had done little to slow down. God had been knocking, begging me to give him space. Instead, I filled my days with work. It was admiral work, but work just the same. When I finally got away and carved out space for God to fill, I had grown deaf to his voice.
In 2016, I am vowing to do less and love more. To spend less time concerned with my own goals, and more time fostering relationships with those around me. To carve out space daily, weekly, and monthly to find a silence where God can speak. And to make my decisions based on sharing God's love with others, whether that is capturing memories on someone's wedding day, or simply sharing a cup of coffee and good conversation.
So instead of flying to a far off land, we are planning on spending more time at home, filling our living room with laughter of friends and family. It is amazing how sometimes we need to travel to another place to realize that God was with us all along.