All posts filed under: Travel

Ultimate Packing List for Iceland

Ultimate Packing List for Summer Travel in Iceland

 We visited Iceland for two weeks in August (summer season). We spent the first week backpacking the Laugavegur trek and hiking in the Thorsmork area.  The second week, we rented a car and drove around the island.  The packing list below was what we had for the two weeks in terms of clothing and camping gear. We packed food for the first week as we didn’t have access to any shops. Once we had a car in the second week, we were able to buy fresh food and vegetables. We spent 13 of the 15 days camping so the camping gear listed below was used extensively. We knew that Iceland weather is notoriously unpredictable, and you really should assume that it will rain every day.  For that reason, keeping your gear and clothes dry will be a challenge, especially if you are camping and don’t have access to washers/dryers.  Below is our packing list. If you have any questions, please comment below! Not sure how much a 15 day backpacking trip in Iceland would cost you? Read our budget …

Painter's palette - Landmannalaugar trail

Our 15 Favorite Photos from Iceland

These 15 photos reflect the varied landscape and raw natural beauty of Iceland.   Enjoy! If you are planning a trip to Iceland, read our top travel tips and expense report from our 15 days of camping and hiking in this beautiful country. Liked what you read? Don’t forget to sign up for travel tips straight into your inbox and/or share or leave us a comment! Read more about Iceland: Top 18 tips for Iceland adventurers 15 day expense report with tips on cheap travel Best day hike in Iceland  

Landmannalaugar trail - volcanic ash and green mountains

Iceland: 15-day expense report with tips on cheap travel

Iceland is not a cheap country to visit, but just like anything else in life it is about setting your priorities. If you want to travel Iceland for longer than 4-5 days and you are on a budget, I’d suggest stack ranking the things you want to do or places you want to visit.  Like most tourist destinations, once you are in country you will be overrun with tour offers and expensive travel packages.  You’ll find a lot of blogs online that will demystify travel from place to place and provide lower cost accommodations.  In our case, we didn’t care about doing excursions such as whale watching, glacier walks or helicopter rides; although I’m sure these things are fantastic.   We wanted to focus our trip on hiking as much as humanely possible given the allure of the wild, volcanic and raw landscape of Iceland.  We’d also purchased a lightweight tent, so we were anxious to try our hand at multi-day camping.  We generally do day hikes while traveling and/or we look for treks with huts along the …

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Top 18 Tips for Iceland Adventurers

These are some ‘off the top of my head’ tips for preparing a trip to Iceland and for traveling within Iceland.  There are number of good blogs on Iceland given its recent popularity.  In August (peak summer season), we spent 1 week backpacking in the Central/South Highlands and then took a weeklong trip in a rental car around the entire Island.  We stuck mainly to the Ring Road (Route 1) but ventured off to hike in East Fjords and to see the mammoth waterfalls in the North.  The Icelandic people were extremely friendly and helpful everywhere we went.  There are so many outstanding hikes/excursions available all over the country.  If you  are adventurous and you love the rugged, raw nature, you’ll will fall in love, despite the incessant rain and unpredictable weather! So, here are our top 18 tips for Iceland adventurers: Iceland Camping and Hiking Tips Bring lightweight rain gear (obvious, but some think that just bringing their normal winter coat is enough) Bring a tent footprint (this is the waterproof tarp that you put …

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Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail – Iceland

We had heard and read several times that Iceland’s weather is highly unpredictable but we live in Colorado where you can start a hike in sunny 80 degree weather and be met with snow and ice or torrential rain 2hrs later, but soon enough the sun will be back in full force to pick you back up. We joke that in Colorado one can ski, hike and golf in the same day! Let me just say, Iceland is a different beast. Unpredictable Icelandic weather brings heavy winds, sudden fog, rain, and sleet in the middle of summer and this weather can hang around for days not hours.  We ran into this first hand in Þórsmörk.  We were a little over halfway through the 75km trail from Landmannalaugar to Skogar, and had already traversed mountains and battled wind and ice through majestic lava fields.   However with a 24km climb over steep mountains and volcanos left to go, heavy rail and high winds moved in to derail our journey.  We’d already bunkered down in a tent for a …

Blue Lakes Trail in Mt Sneffel wilderness

Blue Lakes, Mt Sneffels Wilderness: Best Wildflower Hike

It always feels so easy to get on a plane and go to a new destination and forget all about the amazing places in your own backyard.  I daydream about climbing Aconcagua and walking miles on the desolate terrain in Iceland but the reality is that the state of Colorado has a very diverse geography, ranging from majestic mountains, deep canyons, deserts with enormous sand dunes to lush forests.  So last summer, instead of trying to get away to far flung places we decided to spend some time discovering our state. For Dan’s birthday in July, we drove down to Telluride (about 6 hrs from Denver), a ski town nestled in San Juan mountains in south west Colorado.  We did an overnight stop in Montrose and mastered the art of car camping.

culinary school gear

Another Year, Another Adventure..

It was exactly one year ago on March 4th, 2012 when our friend Doug dropped us to the Newark Airport early in the morning. It is one of those moments I will never forget.  We had been busy wrapping work, packing our apartment, renting the place and stuffing everything we would own for 5 months in our backpacks. For weeks, it hadn’t hit us that we were leaving our jobs, our home, our friends, and our lives behind.  We had been talking for almost one year about travelling  around the world. The idea seemed silly. We joked and laughed about it. It was something that would never ever happen. Who would leave their good jobs, their home, to live out of a backpack for months? We weren’t ready to do the planning that went into something monumental like this.  

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Florence – An Unexpected Disappointment

I know, I am going to get hate mail and death threats for this post. I mean, everyone loves and raves about Florence and if I complain about it, it will send people’s mind spinning out of control and cause some sort of cosmic imbalance that I prefer not to be responsible for. So, before you label me as crazy..hear me out, people!

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Bushwacking through Cinque Terre, Italy

No surprises. We were lost yet again.  This time on a trail in Italy.  It all started as it usually starts. We both mutually decide to climb to the highest point in the town in the hopes of getting the best views while burning calories from the food intake from the night before.  If only we could stop stuffing our faces or be less guilty about stuffing our faces, we could actually spend our time enjoying the town and not being lost in the wilderness.  

Image Credit: http://melbournelawyer.co

A Connected Europe

[Image Credit: http://melbournelawyer.co] We met two interesting characters on the high speed train from Spiez, Switzerland to Milan, Italy.  They were crammed into the same four person table that Shru and I were.  Both were initially talking to each other in Italian, so we figured they didn’t know English.  A few minutes went by before Shru asked the older guy, probably in his 50s, if he was stopping in Milan.  He replied in near-perfect English that he had been in Zurich and was going on with his mother to their hometown in southern Italy near Sicily.  The younger guy  we’d find out later was 18 and was travelling from Basel, Switzerland to a small town on the Eastern coast of Italy.  Both of their journeys would take over 10 hours by train.