Finally, My Very Own Video of Iceland

I just watched Wild and her journey of mostly solitude took me back to my most recent trip to Iceland. I think it’s one of the best places on earth to be totally alone–just you, your thoughts, and the natural beauty that surrounds you. While I certainly didn’t spend 100 days hiking across this beautiful country, I did spend a week exploring the south coast, which has been my favorite since my first trip there.

I finally put together a condensed video of my trip there (I say condensed because the footage came in around 45 minutes and I got it down to 5). All it really does is make me want to hop a plane back and take my lovely new camera (with video functionality!) to do some more shooting. Hope it makes you want to hop a plane there too!

Favorite Travel Photos (Part 3)

Today features the last installment of my favorite travel photos! Today we’re visiting Morocco, Iceland, Italy, France, England, South Africa, and Germany.

moroccan cat

Kitten on a bunch of wool in Morocco

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Favorite Travel Photos (Part 1)

In 2006, I took my very first trip abroad. At the time, I was in college and my interest in photography was growing my the minute. A lot has changed since that first international trip, but one of the biggest things has been my photography skills. I have worked hard to try to hone and perfect them, and while I’ll never be Ansel Adams, it’s amazing to see the growth I’ve made.

So, looking back over my photos from my travels over the last nine years, has made certain photos jump out at me and I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite photos from my travels! There are quite a few, so I’ll post them in a few parts, but for now: part 1! We’re visiting Iceland, Italy, Morocco, Romania, and the United States!

siena italy

Siena, Italy

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Fulfilling a Dream

chai in india

Has there ever been a country that has just called to you? Imploring you to visit? To explore its cities and roam its streets? To taste its foods and experience its culture? To buy its wares and immerse yourself in everything it has to offer?

I have known many: Italy, Iceland, and Morocco, to be more specific. And after visiting each one of those, my heart grew a little larger to make room to fit all of them inside. Each one of them was special and amazing in its own way and, despite some difficulties in a couple of them, they each earned this rightful place at the top of my favorite-places-in-the-world list.

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Photo Friday: Northern Lights

northern lights thingvellir iceland

Well, the Northern Lights season has officially begun, and because of that, I thought it’d be appropriate to share a photo I took of the Northern Lights in Iceland last October.

If you’ll recall, I spent a week zipping around the South coast of Iceland trying to spot the elusive Northern Lights. It finally paid off on my last night there. It was spectacular–and it wasn’t even one of the high activity nights. Seeing them dance in the sky above me was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life, and I look forward to the day when I get to see it happen again.

I’m working on a post right now about how to shoot the Northern Lights, so be on the lookout for that if you’re headed somewhere to spot them! It’s not terribly hard to catch them, it just takes a little trial and error to get the right settings!

Photo Friday: Iceland

iceland

To say that Iceland is home to some epic landscapes is a gross understatement. This country that I fell head-over-heels in love with in 2011 and even more deeply in love with last year, is quite possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever laid eyes on.

While I spent night after night searching for the Northern Lights, I filled my days with adventures and explorations. One morning I was finishing up breakfast in the kitchen at my hostel when an older Australian man came in and asked what I was up to that day. I didn’t have an agenda–I just knew I wanted to go on a photo expedition. Turns out–this guy was a photographer traveling around Iceland for several months just capturing it in all its glory. He invited me along on his quest for some new subject matter and at that moment I knew it could go one of two ways: it could either be a terrible idea to join a complete stranger on an adventure to the middle of nowhere.. or, it could be possible the best idea ever. Thankfully, the latter was true.

We spent the whole day climbing steep hills in his trusty 4×4, talking photography and occasionally stopping and shooting. At one point, we were headed a bit higher than either of us felt comfortable with, so we parked the car and trekked on foot for a little while. When we crested the gravel hill we’d been laboring on for about 45 minutes, we were greeted with this view. And it was perfect. I had to stop and pinch myself and do a 360 to take it all in and ensure it was real. Iceland never ceases to surprise me with its landscapes. Every corner you turn, you’re met with an awe-inducing view. It’s a country I could explore for years and never tire of.

Like the photography on Meganotravels? Check out my Etsy shop to order prints!

Top Destinations for First-Time Solo Female Travelers

top destinations for first-time solo female travelers

I’m not the world’s foremost expert on solo female travel, but I have traveled around (at least) ten countries alone so I have a bit of insight on the subject. There are people on both sides of the fence regarding solo female travel–some are strongly for it and some are strongly against it. I fall on the side that stands strongly for it. While I don’t like always traveling alone, I think there’s something really special about going it solo–relying on yourself for every decision, forcing yourself out of your comfort zone, etc. I think you can learn a lot about yourself and the world while traveling solo.

Before my very first solo trip, I was so nervous that my teeth were chattering and I swore my heart my burst. Things were a bit crazy, but I fell into a routine that was comfortable for me. Then, years later, when I decided to travel alone for an extended period of time, I was dreaming up every imaginable horrible thing that could possibly happen to me. I decided that the best way to go about it was to ease myself into the long-term solo travel by starting with an “easy” country. So, with that, here are my top solo female travel destinations.

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Iceland Stole My Heart

Iceland glacier landscape

I’d always sort of thought of Italy as my first and only true love. And then.. I met Iceland.

I’ve never considered myself much of a nature-y type of gal. I don’t enjoy getting dirty; hate sweating; I don’t like camping; I need to wash my hair every day; I’ve never liked being isolated. I’ve just always considered myself a city girl; there’s something alluring about city life–the culture, bright lights, skyscrapers, hustle and bustle.

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My Favorite 2013 Travel Moments

years

It’s almost the new year, and while I look forward to the adventures and self-discovery that 2014 will bring, I think it’s also a good time to reflect back on 2013. I can’t say that 2013 was an especially good year for me, all things considered. The first six or so months were some of the hardest I’ve experienced in my entire life, but when I finally put in my notice at work, boarded that plane to Europe, and started feeling like I was actually living, things began looking up. So, with that, here are some of my favorite moments from my travels this year!

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Iceland: Chasing the Elusive Northern Lights

iceland

I did exactly what you’re not supposed to do: I booked a trip to Iceland for the sole purpose of chasing down the Northern Lights.

The fact that I was going to Iceland was sort of superfluous—of course I love the country (as you already know—I’ve written about it to the point of exhaustion). But this trip was all about seeing the Northern Lights; seeing Iceland was just a perk and a gorgeous backdrop for the main attraction.

When I landed in Reykjavik in early October, the landscapes were covered in a blanket of fresh white snow. After I made it to Reykjavik Bus Hostel, I took about an hour to relax before deciding it was time to make the 20-minute walk to downtown.. in the rain. Since I was picking up my SADcars rental the following morning to start on the epic adventure of chasing down the lights, I knew I had to do a bit of food shopping for the road, after grabbing some Thai food for lunch. Having spent quite a bit of time in Reykjavik the last time I was in Iceland, I decided to forego seeing much or tempting myself by popping into the shops. (Iceland’s prices just aren’t wallet-friendly for a full-time traveler!)

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