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Mickael Peralta loves crazy adventures, life in the heart of nature, and transcribing this love of the great outdoors in photos; here, he tells the story of his solo adventure in Iceland.
I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland, so some time ago, I decided to take the plunge and explore this fascinating country over 10 days.
I’d already travelled a lot with two or more people before starting to organise this adventure, .
The competitive spirit I feel when travelling with others (photographers) is really a source of motivation and pushing myself ever further, and I love the dynamic it creates.
But this time around, I wanted to change my habits and get out of my comfort zone, and decided to go alone.
I think at that point, I felt an almost overwhelming urge to reconnect with nature, and with myself as well, and trekking the silent expanses of Iceland seemed like the perfect opportunity for that!
For an adventure like this, the first piece of advice I can give is to choose your equipment carefully.
I’d studied the weather trends in Iceland at this time of year and the forecast during my stay there, as I always do before heading off, and I already had in mind that it was going to be very cold, especially at night.
So here's a quick recap of the gear I brought with me: a tent canvas (make sure you check which time of year it’s intended for), a sleeping bag (
the same again - check the temperature level likely when you get there and choose your sleeping bag accordingly; little tips: always base your choice on the comfort temperature of your sleeping bag, which
may seem obvious but it’ll make all the difference for your expeditions).
I always wear three layers for upper body clothing (usually a technical T-shirt, fleece and parka), add waterproof, warm pants, socks suitable for hiking, gloves and, maybe most importantly, good boots that provide effective waterproofing, both breathable and warm, and suitable for snow.
Preparing the equipment is always a critical part of planning my adventures, and I think about it well in advance, and when the time comes, I can easily
devote a whole day to it.
This gives me the reassurance my trip will go well, that I’ll be able to deal with any unforeseen events and enjoy the adventure with peace of mind.
Finally, if I had to sum up this adventure, I’d say it’s absolutely and totally incomparable with all the other adventures I’ve had before and since this one; I think I was lucky to have been able to make it unique by choosing to go alone, at a time of year when I knew the weather was going to be difficult, not planning any accommodation but instead being totally immersed in Icelandic nature...
To be honest, I don't know if I’d be able to head off today the way I did then, I may be inclined to want a little more comfort, and now I find that nights spent at the hotel aren’t so bad … but I know I don’t regret anything about this adventure.
During those 10 days, I was often frozen, tired (but never worried, as Icelandic roads are completely safe for a traveller, even alone and isolated in
the middle of the night); I walked and slept in damp clothes, I got lost in white landscapes which all look alike, I also felt lonely sometimes, but I remain
convinced that you have to give yourself the means to change your habits and get out of your comfort zone, to provide yourself with some incredible memories!