Inside Iceland and Slow Travel with Carly Mask

Inside Iceland and Slow Travel with Carly Mask

I just discovered the art of “slow travel.” The magic of this movement is that it’s focused on taking in sights at a more relaxed pace, with an emphasis on connecting with locals and supporting sustainable tourism practices. It’s living like a local. 

I never thought I’d meet travel buddies, who I now consider some of my best friends, through Instagram, nor that I’d travel to “The Land of Fire and Ice,” but recently, I did both, and travel will never be the same. 

Why Iceland? I adventured to Iceland with my friend Betty, who curates authentic micro tours in LA, Mexico, and Iceland, as the founder of Nomoon Travel. Her business is dedicated to creating travel enthusiasts and spurring more mindfulness of preserving the environments we explore. As soon as she told me more, I wanted in. 

Upon arriving to the capital city of Reykjavík after flying solo from LAX, I met fellow globetrotters who I had only previously connected with via Instagram. We hit it off quickly with our shared passion for slow travel, our love for local foods and craft cocktails, and our appreciation for eco-friendly accommodations. 

Instead of cramming a tour of the whole country into 3-4 days, we explored Reykjavík and the Western part of Iceland for over a week. Sometimes less is more, and less ground covered enabled us to slow down, connect with locals, and truly embrace our travels. 

We ate our way through Iceland, relishing our curated foodie tour stops and morning café-hopping. We enjoyed meals and drinks with local Icelandic restaurant and café owners, trying new foods like fermented shark, hot-smoked goose breast, and traditional rye bread ice cream. We stayed on a remote farm, spending time with farmers as watched the lambing process, chased secret hot springs, went ceramic hunting in a sleepy little fishing town, and went crater hiking.

I’m grateful for social media's ability to connect like-minded, yet diverse sets of people you might not have met otherwise. Because of this trip and exposure to slow travel, I’m excited to learn more about sustainable tourism and do whatever I can to support it with my future travels.

For more of my favorite Iceland spots, follow @carlymask and #nomooniceland on Instagram.

If you're in Reykjavík, don't miss:

  • Reykjavík Roasters (best coffee in the city, you can even play your favorite record)
  • Harpa Concert Hall (beautiful architecture especially inside, free WIFI and outlets)
  • The Blue Lagoon (go later in the afternoon, stay until closing for less crowds)

If you venture to Western Iceland, check out:

  • Crater Grábrók (for breathtaking crater rim walking views)
  • Stykkishólmur (the cutest little town with an adorable all-pink coffeeshop)

Big thank you to Carly Mask for this piece. Find more of her work at carlymask.com. And special thanks to fellow photographers on the trip: @bonvoyagebetty@ressamazing, and @kvdenn

Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence

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