First of all, let me be clear, I am in fact 40-years-old despite appearances. I understand for many this comes as a shock, but I can promise each of you that I have in fact completed 40 walks around the sun. As someone consistently excited about getting older, my 40th birthday has been one I have profoundly anticipated. My thirties have been a decade to remember: traumatic losses, relocating abroad, and launching my own freelancing business. All of that plus the addition of 30+ international stamps to my double-sized passport book. Having accomplished these feats in my previous decade of life, I often ponder what adventures await me in the next. Still, this is me at 40; 2 passport stamps shy of 60.
The saying goes, that age ain’t nothing but a number. But it fills me with pride knowing that my count of passport stamps surpasses my lived years of life. For most avid travelers, the number of passport stamps means nothing. It’s the experiences gained and personal growth which far outweighs ink-blotted graphic paper. But if I’m completely transparent, and I seek to be as honest as possible in my storytelling. The thudding sound of the customs agent’s stamp hitting my passport makes me smile like no other.
Where in the world is Meredith San Diego?
Typically gallivanting the globe for my birthday, the last two celebrations have happened in Spain. Previous birthdays have been spent in Asia, South America, and the United States in addition to Europe. Sort of fitting when you think about it considering how passionate I am for travel. To celebrate the big 4–0, I took myself to a bucket list destination. A place that would challenge my adventure prowess and get me far outside of my comfort zone, Iceland.
It is no secret that I despise cold temperatures. Loathe, to be vividly descriptive. Those that know me well are likely scratching their heads at this choice of destination considering that fact. But if you know me well enough to know how strongly I dislike the cold, then you know me well enough to know I go big or go home.
Because if not now, when? I’ve seen the pictures and watched the youtube vlogs just as much as anyone else. And in doing so, daydreamed in detail about what it might be like to visit this place one day. Well, one day has officially arrived.
Here are some reasons why I chose Iceland as a destination for my 40th birthday:
- Close enough to my current location to make the best of 2-weeks off
- It’s the Land of Fire & Ice for goodness sakes & I’m a GOT fanatic
- I am impressed by the countries sustainable efforts
- Iceland has a unique history and culture
- The cold climate will challenge my character
Iceland is one of the most expensive tourist destinations in all of Europe (arguably the world). Thankfully the last two years of the pandemic have forced me to remain grounded. This is to say that it granted me the time to save and plan for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. I chose to travel solo because it’s my preferred method of travel. And I knew it was highly unlikely that loved ones could/would afford such a trip during these uncertain times.
What to expect next?
Anything. My heart is completely open at this point in life. Having survived the most challenging location I have ever adventured, I feel ready for anything. I welcome the universe’s challenges and am ready to elevate my being throughout this new decade.
Celebrating five years as an adventure travel blogger and content creator has me reflective in the best ways. And as incredulous as that fact might leave me, I remain open and eager to where this journey takes me next. Mastering more of my craft with each passing day helps me see stories everywhere and in everything. Creating the space for me to capture and create content with intent. Can you believe that this is me at 40? How many passport stamps will I have accumulated when 50 comes around? I envision my life like a lotus flower during my meditation sequences. So watch me bloom.