Part of my pre-trip process is to write about the upcoming adventure; an introduction of sorts. Although occasionally I run into a wee case of writer’s block; not quite sure where to start, not sure where to go with it. I just have to start writing and see where it goes…even if I am writing about not knowing what to write. Like now.
Ten (almost nine) days from now, I will be standing on Icelandic soil with five of my friends
This particular group of people will be the asset that makes this trip even more incredible. I know Iceland is going to be breathtaking and beautiful and beyond what we have seen in photos or heard from other travellers. Experiencing all of that with some of the worlds most bad ass and fabulous people will simply take it to next level.
Here’s the weird thing…none of us know everyone in the group. What?! No sense you are making. Allow me to clarify. I have only met 4 out of the 5 other people in the group. Trinh only knows me. Jayson only knows Tina. Tina knows 4 out of the 5 others. Sydney knows 3 other people, as does Rich. But with the power of technology and overly excited group chats, we have somehow morphed into a family-like group of misfits who can support and shit on each other in equal parts, all in the name of friendship and travel. I don’t know Jayson, but I already know Jayson. You picking up what I’m putting down?
We are T-minus 10 days to arrival in Reykjavik (that’s in Iceland, for those of you who…need to be told that) and just before Christmas a superb turn of events took place.
Let’s summarize from the beginning. Less than two weeks after returning from China this past April, the group chat was blowing up with shared photos, inside jokes and a suggestion that we plan another trip together. Where? Iceland? Yes! Yes to Iceland! Maybe we should try and fit in another country. Norway? Been there. How about Finland? Yeah, alright! Deadlines needed to be set, flights had to be booked and commitment to the trip needed to be shown.
And then there were six.
The IceFin Crew.
Organising a trip with SIX people hailing from THREE different countries (CA, UK, US) and FIVE different time zones has its ups and downs; waiting for Rich in England to wake up so we can finalise a decision on something the rest of us discussed while he was sleeping. And vise versa. Somehow, we managed to plan out and book everything and carefully map out the time and routes in Iceland.
But alas…something was amiss. One detail that did not sit well with some of us
Jayson wasn’t coming to Finland with us. He was only coming for the Iceland portion of the trip.
We were the Finland Five and it wasn’t right. Jayson explained that he had other commitments and it just wouldn’t work out. What he didn’t realize was that from the start of this entire process, a bond was being formed. You can’t see it happen, you can’t control it or expect it or even really be aware of it until it’s too late. Even though we had only communicated via group chat and occasionally another social media outlet, Jayson had become one of us. The Bond is something I have experienced before, but only became aware of its merciless strength after traveling through India and then China. Friendships forged in travel are of a different breed. You bond at an extremely fast rate and get to know each other well. Too well maybe? No such thing!
When you are navigating a foreign place with a group of strangers, everyone is looking out for each other. Everyone takes care of each other. The TMI example I often use…”when everyone has Delhi Belly at the same time, you get to know each other REAL quick!”
With a bit (a lot) of peer pressure Jayson caved and booked Finland!
We are your family now! [insert evil laugh here]