On a recent trip to northern Iceland I was struck by the remote locations the human race choose to build their homes. Yes, many of these dwellings are working farms which at least go someway to explain why they would be in the middle of nowhere with nothing but old volcanic formations surrounding them.
The views are absolutely awesome but it did get me thinking. Living in such an area with virtually no other human life for miles around must make for a totally different outlook on life. Iceland is a well developed country but shopping for basics, ensuring there are enough provisions and essentials available in times of extreme weather must take some planning. We take diverse social interactions for granted in the UK but over there, everyone knows everyone else’s business, all of it.
Then there is the social side of things. I met a young couple while I was there, Judith was German and was well travelled before settling in Iceland for the past year. She was dating a young lad who was from a local farm. On chatting she was desperate to get him off the island to travel and see the world with him. She wanted him to experience other cultures and the world, open his mind. Bear in mind he had only been to the nations capital, Rejkyavik, a few times and “didn’t like the bustle”. It struck me it might not be quite as easy as she was obviously hoping. He didn’t seem quite as keen as she did although he quite fancied the UK cos he wanted to see the “funny sheep” (apparently we have odd looking sheep!).
The couple admitted that life was very different from that which I know in the UK and there were many compromises that had to be made. Judith constantly mocked it but Oli unashamedly loved the way he lived. He had great plans to buy a JCB (in much demand in Iceland) and working it all over the island. His only regret about his lifestyle seemed to be what he described as “awful New Years Eve parties!”
Whatever, the remoteness of these dwellings is a fantastic backdrop for setting scale amongst the vast volcanic landscape that is Iceland. I found myself drawn towards them like a moth to a flame and shot hundreds of frames of them.