Laugavegur Trek, Iceland

Named one of the top 20 hikes in the world, the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland did not disappoint. 50 miles of incredible terrain with what we thought was great weather (just a bit of rain and wind) considering the time of year. Honestly, if you are planning a trip to Iceland, tackling this trek is a MUST. What visitors typically do in Iceland is rent a car and drive the Ring Road, stopping intermittently along the way. While that is a great way to see a lot of Iceland, there is something about seeing it through a car window that creates a disconnect. It just becomes another screen, another barrier, another lens in which you don't feel fully present and immersed. Yes, you can stop along the way and check those fantastic landmarks off your list BUT when you hike for multiple days completely saturated in the climate, you see it and appreciate it in a completely new way. The textures, the dimension, the colors, the scents, the sounds are all at your fingertips. This trek gives you everything you want: mountains, geothermal springs, volcanoes, glaciers, lush valleys, lava fields, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and more. Photos to ogle over below:

Tiny people, big mountains. 

Nothing like starting day 3, mile 35 at 5:30am. But hey, at least we got a fantastic sunrise.

Geothermal area that smells like your grandpa's farts. 

If you are looking at this image and aren't wishing you were there, then we shouldn't really be friends. Also, bonus of doing this trek in mid-September means emptier trails. 

I hate to admit that even after 4 collegiate years of sticking my body in ice buckets, I am still a wimp when it comes to cold water. Literally my least favorite part of the trek. Crossing glacial rivers is no joke—if you don't want soggy pants for 12 miles, then boots, socks, and even pants need to be taken off to cross knee deep rivers. 

I hate to admit that even after 4 collegiate years of sticking my body in ice buckets, I am still a wimp when it comes to cold water. Literally my least favorite part of the trek. Crossing glacial rivers is no joke—if you don't want soggy pants for 12 miles, then boots, socks, and even pants need to be taken off to cross knee deep rivers. 

Because you can't see my face or hear any audio, you can't quite grasp the level of excitement in this photo. THERE IS A HUT IN THE DISTANCE. Enough said. 

Volcano hiking essentials: heyheys tights.

Not to get all mushy on you, but the hike pretty much ends like a fairy tale with a cascadingly beautiful waterfall at the end. There was also a rainbow. Yup, I can't make this shit up. 

The one important thing to remember about this trek is that it's not a cake walk. It requires preparation and it's not for everyone. While you can tailor the amount of miles you hike in one day and you can stay in huts at night, there is elevation gain, unpredictable weather, glacial river crossings, mountain scaling, and you're carrying a bit of weight on your back. Read up on the trek and make sure you're ready to take it on. But remember, ITS WORTH IT! 

BONUS: NORTHERN LIGHTS! Magical, magnificent, spectacular, breathtaking, everything.