Our family holidays hold a unique place in my heart, woven with togetherness and a thirst for expanding my children’s horizons. This year’s journey had an
exceptional significance, marking what might be our final adventure as the “original quintet”; a cherished chapter before our eldest daughter’s upcoming
spring nuptials. Amidst the whirlwind of suggestions and logistical considerations, a unanimous decision emerged: Iceland – where the allure of nature’s wonders and delectable flavors beckoned, a short flight away from Montreal.
From the very start, this Icelandic expedition infused inspiration into every moment. Our voyage was about visiting picturesque landscapes, connecting with
the stories etched into the earth, and crafting our own narratives. As we retraced the steps of the Vikings, these pioneering seafarers who discovered Canada centuries ago, well before Marco Polo, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to my own creative journey – venturing into uncharted territories of design, driven by a passion for discovery of cultures and new countries.
As if walking through an ever-changing art gallery, we embarked on an expedition to discover nature’s living masterpieces, the places where fire meets ice.
Our eight whirlwind days, accompanied by my two adult children and teenager, saw us circumnavigate Iceland’s Ring Road. The landscape welcomed us with breathtaking contrasts and intricate asymmetry at every turn. From the grandeur of glaciers and icebergs to the mesmerizing lava flows of awakened volcanoes and the comforting embrace of hot springs.
Among life’s experiences, some gleam brighter than others, and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon ranks undoubtedly among them. This glacier lagoon, a mesmerizing lake teeming with
meltwater and icebergs cascading from Europe’s largest ice cap, Vatnajökull, held us in awe.
The zodiac tour along crystalline waters was a dream we never wanted to end. Towering icebergs painted with otherworldly hues – pristine white, translucent, and electric blue – bore witness to nature’s masterful artistry. Indeed, the intricate carvings, each as unique as a fingerprint, genuinely held me captive. They were like delicate sculptures etched by nature’s hand, reminiscent of a master craftsman’s work. A reminder that inspiration isn’t limited to human creations; nature itself is a wellspring of art and innovation. The presence of seals added a charismatic touch as if they were playing their part in this grand spectacle.
Diamond Beach also carved a lasting place in our family’s memories. Picture sprawling black volcanic sands meeting crashing blue waves, adorned with small icebergs resembling glistening diamonds. Each iceberg embarked on its final journey into the ocean, a poignant reminder of the cyclical nature of life’s creations. As an artist, every moment was a source of inspiration. As a designer, every encounter held the potential for inspiration. The colors of the Ice Lagoon’s blue, the rocks subtle grey, and the captivating contrast of black volcanic sands against Iceland’s vibrant green cliffs were all compositions waiting to be translated into my work.
Our journey continued with even more genuinely unique experiences. Among them was the thrilling glacier hike – an adventure armed with helmets, crampons, and ice picks (a moment of unbridled relief as I managed to remain upright throughout) and continued amidst treks to the geysers eruptions and walk through bubbling mud pots. We also made the formidable ascent to the Fagradalsfjall viewpoint, staying at a safe distance to witness a rare sight of a live volcano fervently spewing lava.
With each of our days being marked by up to 24,000 steps a piece, we had earned a well-deserved break at the world-renowned Blue Lagoon – its azure waters nestled in a dramatic volcanic landscape crafted eight centuries ago. We judiciously kept this wonder of the world for our very last day, ensuring that I return from Iceland inspired, rejuvenated, and more committed than ever to being part of the solution and the circular economy: giving back more than I take and producing zero waste.
An unexpected surge of inspiration came from the lava rocks I saw on this journey. Committed to being climate positive, I plan to incorporate more lava stones in my designs, given their minimal carbon footprint due to their natural origins and renewability. Beyond their physical properties, lava stones possess many positive mental qualities – the ability to absorb and release energy, a source of inner strength, and a conduit for positive energy. What is there not to love?
Our experiences in Iceland were so much more than a series of destinations; they wove a tapestry of connections that explore history’s threads, and contemplates our shared interconnectivity. Amidst this country’s breathtaking beauty, we stood witness to the impacts of climate change, a stark reminder of the urgency to protect our planet. These experiences didn’t just shape our journey; they shaped our resolve to ignite change.