A major theme during our time in Iceland was the running list people kept giving us of possible ways to die, given the apparently vindictive nature of the landscape around us. Partly it seems that the options for our demise were so endless because Iceland doesn't really believe in fencing off its nature, figuring I suppose that if one is dumb enough to try and cross the ropes--ropes in some places outlining areas that are smoking furiously and smelling foul--one almost definitely deserves whatever happens. But also I think Iceland is very sure of the fact that their land is full of forces beyond their control, laced with trolls and elves and tunnels open to the very center of the earth. I think it's possible in Iceland to think you're staying on the right side of the ropes only to blink and find that the ropes have moved around you.
Because of this all of our warnings came along with grim stories. Do not get too close to this waterfall because search and rescue will not be able to find you. Search and rescue was looking for some missing Germans on this glacier only to find the bodies of some Swiss hikers that had been lost 50 years earlier. The last woman to get too close to this water was swept out by the current, just far away that no one could save her. We're always taking our life in our hands when we move through the world in any way, but the hazards are much closer to the surface in Iceland. The only thing you will be murdered by in the safest country on the planet is the Earth itself.
My next big adventure will be to turn 30 in Paris in September. This trip has gone from being in jeopardy to booked in just a matter of days, and I am almost incoherently excited.