Warning: Use of undefined constant REQUEST_URI - assumed 'REQUEST_URI' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h07/mnt/217270/domains/mutuamatheka.co.ke/html/wp-content/themes/matheka.v2/functions.php on line 73
#TravelTuesday :: The idea & Inspiration of Iceland | Mutua Matheka

#TravelTuesday :: The idea & Inspiration of Iceland

The first time the idea of Iceland got into my head was maybe a year ago. It was all because of Chris Burkard’s instagram. I saw images of a beautiful place. Snow covered mountains, lakes and fjords, isolated houses looking like no one else knew they were there. Valleys that looked like Middle Earth. A place that looked like silence went here for a vacation. I was hooked on the idea of one day visiting Iceland. It was the first place that made me think that even the cold snow wouldn’t be that bad a thing for this African from Machakos. Anyone who knows me well knows I hate to be cold. I hate the thought of being in cold weather. I was born for heat and warmth. It’s one of the biggest reasons I knew that a trip to a place called Iceland would be a long time coming for me.

In May or April (can’t remember too well) I got an opportunity to be part of a project with the Swedish Institute (I shall get into this at a later date). This meant I was going to go to Stockholm for a week or so. I am a very opportunistic traveller so any trip I get to do for some kind of work or project means I have to find a way to combine it with a personal photography adventure. This time I was looking at 3 options; Lofoten in Norway, Faroe Islands or Iceland. I quickly scratched Faroe because from the photos I saw, I felt I would rather be there when it’s winter (I know! Winter? What the hell is happening to me?) because visually it looked stunning. Also, tickets cost like $500 from Stockholm when I checked.

Lofoten is arguably one of the most photogenic and unique locations on the planet. In addition to our basecamp, the iconic red rorbu cabins (as pictured) and cosy fisherman villages, Lofoten is paradise for any landscape/nature photographer. The Arctic light in the region has to be experienced, and if you combine that with the chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights, it’s hard to pass up on the chance to visit this part of the world. The highlights of the tour are many; ice-capped and jagged granite mountains rising straight up from the sea, colorful fjords, winter landscapes, grand vistas and the before mentioned Arctic light is just a few. Depending on weather conditions, the Northern Lights are visible in Lofoten from early September to early April. During my winter photography tours and workshops with @arildheitmannphotography , we will show you the essence of Lofoten, often referred to as Norway’s crown jewel. All accommodation, transport, guiding and individial post processing tutorials included. Contact me at www.lofotentours.com

A photo posted by Stian Klo (@stianmklo) on

When you see that photo above of the Lofoten archipelago by Stian, you understand why I would really wish to visit during winter.

Next was Faroe. Faroe is immensely beautiful. Oh Lord. The idea was already burning through my head to go there. I checked and tickets were about $700+ from Stockholm, way above my budget for a random trip such as this. So Faroe was out. But not for long. I know I shall visit the Faroe Islands soon for sure.

Fetch the rubber duck, we going for a paddle

A photo posted by Cape Town // South Africa (@craighowes) on

Seriously, look at that shot by Craig. I have to find my way to Faroe sometime in this life. The idea already has root in my head.

So anyway, basically that left Iceland. Inside I was very happy about this choice. I had made up my mind about it, I only needed a reason to confirm my choice. I checked and tickets to Iceland from Stockholm were $300, more than I anticipated but I was going there in summer when everyone else goes to Iceland so really I had no choice. And I was buying these tickets about a month to the actual trip. You know how it is with us Africans and last minute things. We can tell you everything you need to know about African safari, but we are last-minute travellers. I’m sorry if you are an exceptional African insulted that I bundled you in with the rest of us who consider a week before as “advance”. You are one of us even as an exception. Sorry.

I then started reading blogs about what weather to expect in Iceland and things to do in ushuaia, as this a one time oppourtunity and I am not going to skip out on anything. My friends in Europe got a lot of questioning about what to wear and where to get it from and more importantly, what would it cost. Remember, I just sneaked this trip into my itinerary and my bank account had not been notified as to this sudden money need. It was not ready. Mrs. M (the lovely wifey) was like “there he goes with another idea that he wont shut up about and neither will he back down on.” She knew that I would go to Iceland somehow. She knows.

Next week, I will get into the details and planning of the trip itself. For now I want to share a few images from people I follow on Instagram that served as the inspiration of why I went to Iceland and why you should too.

Ofentse Mwase aka Uncle Scrooch is a South African cinematographer, director, photographer whose Instagram I love. He was in Iceland and made me believe that Africans get that far North too. I’m sure his presence there with his travel buddies legit doubled the population of Africans in Iceland. I love the richness of color in his photos. His aerials just made me almost lick my phone when he posted a photo (and feel so bad for not owning a drone too). Check out his photos below.

Yesterday was my first time experiencing heavy snow fall, it all happened here, and couldn’t be happier. Snapchat: unclescrooch

A photo posted by Ofentse Mwase | SouthAfrica (@unclescrooch) on

First time ever seeing the Northern Lights and this is the display that happens right above our heads. Just magical🌌

A photo posted by Ofentse Mwase | SouthAfrica (@unclescrooch) on

I knew I wouldn’t get to see the Northern lights because I was there in summer but damn. I have to go to Iceland in Winter or fall to experience this.

Beautiful small town of Vík

A photo posted by Ofentse Mwase | SouthAfrica (@unclescrooch) on

Chris Burkard is possibly my biggest travel inspiration. Not just because of the photos he takes (which are amazing in all ways), but because of his thinking and mindset toward travel and being present in the places that we travel to and immersing ourselves in these places. Being thankful for the people that take care of the places that we visit, so that we can keep enjoying them when we do. I get from him the beauty of solitude, especially for a photographer to find your voice from within.

See his work below.

Today everywhere has a geotag, which makes It even better when you find places like this the old fashioned way.

A photo posted by ChrisBurkard (@chrisburkard) on

It felt like you could spend a lifetime exploring this canyon and still not see all its mysteries.

A photo posted by ChrisBurkard (@chrisburkard) on

I follow a vloger called Ben Brown on Youtube and I saw he’d gone to Iceland and hang out with Benjamin Hardman. Naturally, I went to check out Benjamin’s work and I loved it. I was immersed in it for more than 30 minutes of scrolling and taking it all in on Instagram. What I really love about Ben’s feed is his editing. The photos are superb, don’t get me wrong but his editing is worth mentioning. His tones are so good. Also, I like his white out apporach. What I mean is he has a lot of white snow photos that I fell in love with. You’ll see what I mean in the photos below. I can’t even explain it. Also, I am a huge Land Rover brand fan and my dream car is the Defender. He has some sweet shots exploring in a Defender. Love em.

Interesting thing is I saw Ben while in Iceland. I recognised him in the Landie he was driving but we don’t know each other so I didn’t do nada but drop a comment on Instagram.

One of the most helpful people while planning my trip was Mike Seehagel. He’s one of those guys with like 200k followers so I didn’t think he’d reply my DM’s but he did. Not only that but he was really helpful with information on where to go especially with only a week like I had in Iceland. What I love about Mike even more than his photos is his ideology also. The fact that he’d rather explore one place for a long time and get immersed in it fully than go to many places for a short time is a travel philosophy I have and like too. I would go to the same place over and over to experience it afresh or with fresh eyes or in different seasons. I’d rather know a few places well than know many places barely.

His work is also really cool.

Sometimes you just need three waterfalls in one. @isafoldtravel #findyourplace

A photo posted by Mike Seehagel (@mikeseehagel) on

The squirrel whisperer trying out his skills with some birds. 5:30am waterfalls with @kpunkka and @hannes_becker

A photo posted by Mike Seehagel (@mikeseehagel) on

That’s all for now. I hope you are inspired to see a world bigger than the one you’re in. I know I am. I see this photos and legit see God, for real. Follow these guys on Instagram and check out more of their work. Prepare a few hours to immerse yourself especially if seeing amazing places is your drug of choice like me.

God bless y’all. Be good to each other.

  • Brian Siambi™

    Amazing amazing amazing and inspiring article bro!! I WANT TO TRAVEL!!

    • Man. Images are powerful. The plant something in your head and you can’t get away from it. Not even if you try. It’s crazy. GO TRAVEL.

  • bankelele

    Great photos. and the stories on YT too.