Around Iceland in 8 days

This time last year we were getting ready to go to Iceland. Preparing for our trip felt a little overwhelming… in one way, it was half the fun of it… but on the other hand, it was time consuming and really hard to judge if we prioritized the right areas or if we were rushing through too fast.

Iceland’s Ring Road (Route 1) is iconic. Planning a trip around the Ring Road in 8 Days, means you don’t stay in one place for more than one day. So to make sure you don’t miss something, you need to have the research done before hand… At least your accommodation sorted (your start and end points for the days ahead), a driving route mapped out, and a rough idea of what you want to see.

We were in Iceland for the last week of March/first week of April – March 28th – April 4th. It was an AMAZING trip. We got the chance to see the South in Summer and the North still very much in the middle of Winter.  I would love to do it again in Spring/Autumn and see how different the landscape is.

In this post you’ll find:

  • Packing/ planning checklist
  • Downloadable Google Sheet with links of our Google Maps driving route, accommodation recommendations and suggested activities. We prepared this Google Sheet ahead of the trip and followed it almost to a T. It was our Icelandic Bible and it treated us well.
  • Photos of our favourite adventures

Bear in mind all of these recommendations are geared for people who value being outdoors, enjoy hiking off piste, and are use to long drives.

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A family trip to Sicilia

I would go back to Sicily in a heartbeat. Great food… Friendly people… Amazing weather… Beautiful and diverse scenery… History all over the place… Not overpriced… It’s got it all. Our travel itinerary focused more on the great food and amazing weather side of things.

It was the first time Dan, Tayl and I have been to Sicily, and it was my Dad and Jan’s first time in Italy all together. The rough plan was spend time in Cefalu, Taormina, and Mount Etna. Big shout out to Dan’s Dad, Tony, for the recommendations!

Highlights of the trip:

  • Sicilian Cooking Class in Cefalu
  • Boat tour in Taormina
  • Hiking Mount Etna

Must Try:

  • Granita for breakfast
  • Arancini for lunch
  • Pasta alla Norma for dinner
  • Etna wine all the time

More below on our day-to-day itinerary …

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India – Take me back!

My final stop in Asia – visiting our team in Hyderabad. It was the best! We video conference together all the time so it was amazing being able to meet everyone in person.

The team were incredible hosts and gave me a great experience – a ride in a rickshaw, delicious Indian food, and ridiculously sized dosa’s! 

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Street Food Scooter Tour, Vietnam

3 Days in Ho Chi Minh City for work. Must see more than the airport, office and hotel.

If you’re on a tight schedule and want to experience the Vietnamese culture – book the Foodie Tour with XO Tours. I was with my colleague from Hong Kong, who I had just met. Our XO Tour guides were two very cute Vietnamese girls. They picked us up at the hotel and drove us through the extremely chaotic streets of Ho Chi Minh.

There were scooters everywhere – a constant flow of traffic from all directions. It was definitely unnerving being on the back of a scooter with a tiny Vietnamese women who was about half the size of me. While on the scooter she told me that she had to learn how to drive on these roads. Could not even imagine.

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Great Wall of China

Of course the first time I travel alone is also the first time I travel to Asia! I must have gotten comfortable traveling in Europe… you can go to so many different countries with the same phone plan and credit cards. No need to exchange money beforehand, just figure it out when you land. I tried the same thing with this trip. Figured I could research everything on my “jet lag day”…  massive mistake haha

Google doesn’t work in China. Neither does Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter or Uber. And turns out Visa and MasterCard are not accepted either.

Hmmmm. Now what?

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Climbing Toubkal and Exploring Morocco

Who goes to Morocco to climb a mountain? When most people think of Morocco, they think of the desert. And to be honest, after reading about mountaineering for the first time, I definitely considered doing a camel tour instead… But climbing the highest point in the Atlas Mountains was way too intriguing.

The Atlas Mountains separate the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert and spans over three African countries: Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The highest point is called Toubkal at 4,167m above sea-level, located in southern Morocco.

Amina, who grew up in Casablanca took charge and planned the whole thing, which was amazing. We knew we wanted a guide, a night or two at the refuge and that we’d want to relax afterwards to recover and enjoy the warm weather. We were in Morocco for 5 full days (28-Apr to 3-May) with an epic itinerary: 2 days in the mountains with Toubkal Voyages and then 3 days by a lake to relax and recover.

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Crewing the Race Across America

2 weeks, 2 flights, 5 time zones, 3000 miles on the road and countless Red Bull’s crushed… where do I even start? Crewing the Race Across America was an experience unlike anything else.

I thought I set my expectations fairly well going into the race, but there are something’s in life you can’t prepare for without first hand experience… and RAAM is one of those things.

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