Author

Kaley Ross

We set out from Reykjavik for an Icelandic road trip along the Golden Circle. Not far into Þingvellir National Park, we pulled over at a roadside stop, unable to stay in the car any longer. To breathe the fresh air and take in the view of mountains and the lake was the inspiration for taking a road trip in the first place. Iceland’s landscapes are truly awesome in every way. We continued after a little while to the next stop on the road, which is the largest waterfall in the country. The rainbows at Gullfoss left us feeling that magic really comes alive in these lands.

Iceland_10Iceland_11Iceland_13Iceland_14Iceland_15Iceland_16Iceland_17

In the Blue Mountains in Australia sits a waterfall, that if you stray slightly from the walking path and climb over a fence you can jump onto a landing and stand beside it. This waterfall has the best view of the valley, where thousands of eucalyptus trees grow in the hot glaring sunshine and billions of leaves mix with a gentle blue glow. Looking out at this view, with the waterfall behind me, was a pivotal moment for me. I felt I had truly arrived – physically, mentally and emotionally – in Australia, and an adventurous road lay before me. Possibility hung in the air like the blue haze over the valley, and I was ready for the next chapter.

Blue Mountains 4

Location: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in the North Island of New Zealand.

Into the wild terrain, climbing up the sides of volcanoes and crossing over them. Paying our respects to the heavens as we walked by frozen lakes among the clouds. Blisters, numb fingers, and sore muscles were the temporary physical side effects of this day long hike – but the raw beauty of the experience is imprinted on my soul forever.

Tong_2

Tong_3

Tong_5

Tong_NZ_3

Tong_NZ_1

Tong_NZ_2

Tong_Pan_1_2

I have never experienced wind quite like I have along the Carrick-a-Rede walk in the Causeway in Northern Ireland. The views were breathtaking, both figuratively and literally. I loved the blue and green hues of the sea and the hills together, while I felt the wind swirl around my body, setting me off balance, and hammer on my ears – much like the hammering the waves against the cliffs. This walk still remains one of my favourite moments on the Emerald Isle.

TheNorth_20

TheNorth_10

TheNorth_9

TheNorth_7

TheNorth_4

TheNorth_1

 

The sun was out, but I can’t remember the last time I was as cold as I was while standing on the boat, cruising around Reykjavik Harbour, searching for whales. We weren’t disappointed, as the mischievous Picasso the humpback whale chilled out with us for a while. Seeing him made enduring numb fingers and toes for two hours worth it. What is more peaceful and exciting then seeing beautiful whales in the wild?