The raw beauty of Iceland is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I wanted to take advantage of it every second I was there. Travelling via camper van made this possible because our home came with us everywhere we went. We weren't chained to an itinerary so could hike, eat, sleep and skinny dip whenever and wherever we wanted. There was no reason to know the day of the week, or check the time. It was life lived pure and simple.
Each morning we would wake up, make tea and oatmeal in the back of our van (usually next to an epic waterfall or glacier lagoon), pull back onto Route 1 and most likely stop within the hour for our first adventure of the day. In May, the sun doesn't start to set until 11PM and it doesn't get dark until around 1AM so our excursions only came to a close when it became pitch black - we simply couldn't say no to exploring otherworldly landscapes while any sliver of sun still shone. It was on our first night when we were still sitting on a cliff overlooking the mighty Gulfoss at 2AM with no one else in sight when we came up with the phrase 'nature never closes'. It became the mantra of our trip.
Some of our favourite moments include arriving at Jokulsarlon during a breathtaking sunset; bathing in a dark and steamy geothermal cave pool; stopping every five minutes to pet a horse, lamb or reindeer; hiking and picnicking on the Vatanjokull glacier; waking up to a dead battery at Skogafoss because I ran the heater for too long the night before; and discovering the very best cinnamon roll we've ever eaten.
Iceland taught us to live simply, minimally and close to the Earth. It surprised us with its endless beauty; healed our achey limbs in warm geothermal baths; took us to extremes with fire, ice, and the strongest wind I have ever experienced; and it gave us days of pure freedom in which everything stood still except for us and our little home on wheels.