So I took a leap of faith, I knew in one week I was about to go on a one way trip to Europe, and I was going for an indefinite amount of time. I was unhappy with my life in NYC. Sure, I had a nice cozy apartment on the Upper East Side, I had gone to a great college, and I had met some amazing people in the 5 years of living there, but I knew I felt empty. What I really wanted to do was travel the world and live my dreams. I finally was in the perfect opportunity where I had money saved and little responsibilities so I could just say my goodbyes and be on my way. I got to the airport and I was nervous because the last time I was flying to Germany the flight was so delayed that I was going to miss New Years Eve in Berlin, so I decided to take my winter-black luggage to Cancun Mexico instead, where I had a full day of Margaritas and the full night of New Years. I knew this time around, this Euro trip was testing me because of course, there were more delays. We were delayed 3 hours until the airline told us they booked a hotel for the night near JFK airport. I still had time to back out, to crawl back to my apartment and be safe, without taking this big leap of faith. But no, I was determined that this was a great decision for me, and so I made it to the flight the next day but had to have yet another layover in Reykjavík, Iceland. I was honestly terrified that I had to have yet another hotel stay-over because this was making my trip a total of 40 hours from door to door. Ouch. I also had limited time, about 5 hours layover but it took about an hour to get to my hotel and luckily a shorter amount on the way back to catch my flight. On the way to the Hotel it was amazing to see how the sun was still out even at 1 in the morning! The sun was only down for about 15 minutes around 3:30 am and then quickly rose again.
Here I took photos of the hotel they booked for me. This hotel was directly in the city center, directly in the middle of all the fun happening since I arrived around 1 AM. I had to walk through many hallways to get to this so I was a bit freaked out I was going to get lost.
The main city Reykjavík was full of 20-somethings flowing out of bars and rustic club scenes. When I first came out of the hotel I felt so awkward being alone and in somewhat of an american-girl outfit as opposed to the rather vampirish black outfits everyone was wearing. The music was booming the few streets filled with nightlife activity. I needed more liquid courage before I could step into any of the packed places so I started my evening at a more mellow bar at the end of one of the streets. Inside was a group of eclectic people dancing in a circle with a DJ playing and rainbow disco lights twirling around. I made my way to the bar and focused my attention on the bartender nearest to me. He was a good looking guy with blonde hair so light it looked white, on his head and his beard. He luckily spoke english and was so friendly, I asked him many questions about the life there. He said he was 25 and loved visiting LA and Las Vegas, he still was not sure what he wanted to do with his life, but he said Bartending was good because they all get paid an hourly wage so it is okay to work in a slow bar. Also other good jobs there are importing and exporting. His name when translated into english is SnowBear! I thought that was so funny. His instagram account begins with Snowbear so I guess he was not kidding. Some guys next to me overheard our conversation and are my from hometown Boston. Of course we had some shots of delicious Icelandic vodka together and spoke for a bit, but I was not in Iceland to speak to people I knew! I wanted to know more about the culture. Snowbear told me to visit across the street to a club that was upstairs a wooden two story building. So I finished my locally brewed beer (which was about $7 USD and $10 Iceland currency) and said my goodbyes to the Bartender and the Boston boys who were here to play in a Symphony Orchestra. I was luckily more brave this time as the liquid courage was settling into my blood stream and I walked up the staircase into the mosh pit of EDM dancers. The inside was seemingly small but lots of different people crammed into a foggy laser lit room and hip, deep base electric music. I felt a little bit like eyes were on me by the bar, a single female with men circling. Quickly I got myself a vodka red bull (since I knew I was not going to sleep in this layover) and found myself a group to dance with. With this group I felt safe, no one was trying to touch me or anything, just simply smiling and dancing and including me in their fun. One of the group members really wanted me to come to some music festival happening later in the month in Iceland but I knew I would not be able to come back so I said thank you but I had to leave. I quickly went back to the hotel to check in with the desk that my ride was coming to pick me up on time, once I had confirmed that, I knew I had about 45 minutes left to enjoy. They recommended I got to American Bar, ha-how funny. This place was far more packed than any of them and had an actual velvet rope line going. To my surprise, I walked in the line the exact same time these guys did from my flight from JFK. They took my hand and we skipped the line as they payed off the bouncer. They were all about 24/25 years old guys traveling in a pack of 4 on a trip that would last a month and a half. Once we were inside it was packed with beautiful, tall girls who could certainly be models in NYC and really obnoxious men who got into a fight in the middle of the place. It seemed so silly. But luckily I got to chat a bit more with the American guys after we had a drink together. We exchanged information and they sent me their travel itinerary where we may be crossing paths again. I said my goodbyes and headed back to the hotel and safely made my way back to the next plane to Zurich, Switzerland.