Roadside Sheep in the Icelandic CountrysideIceland's Blue LagoonNorthern Lights, IcelandNine months ago, I bought a ticket to Iceland. I know — so what, right? Well, I kind of forgot about it until recently. And it turns out that this is something that I do regularly. Let me explain.

I have a tendency to buy things really far in advance. The irony is that I’m a procrastinator on the extreme end of the spectrum. But when I know that a purchase is going to make me really, really happy, I pull the trigger without hesitation. And just recently I’ve discovered that I make these purchases pretty far in advance. The great thing is that random shipping notices in my inbox are my only reminders. In the past year, I've surprised myself with concert tickets, special edition vinyl, and my latest preemptive purchase, a one-way ticket to Iceland. Speaking of new vinyl, can we talk about that new Spoon album? It rips!

While concert tickets and vinyl are great, travel tops the list. Traveling without a real agenda gets me really stoked. The past few trips I've taken have had a few key details locked down before hand. Flights, places to rest, and restaurants that have to make the cut, but the rest of it - I leave up to instinct and good fortune. It's not for everyone. But for me, it works. For this jaunt over to Iceland, I’ve only planned out a day and a half with some minor sketches of what to do in case this volcano actually erupts. Everything else is up in the air.

There's something invigorating about a lifestyle disruption. Car camping for a full week in a country with a significant language barrier is about as far away from my day-to-day as I'm going to get. I'm hitting the road with two friends and looping the entire country on Iceland's Ring Road, volcano permitting. It’s been a while since I’ve camped for 7 days straight. To get back to it in one of the most visually stunning landscapes with a little Bob Dylan as the soundtrack sounds about right. I’m getting out of my comfort zone and that's the point.

As we all have recognized by now, life can get sideways pretty quickly. And almost in response, we tend to make everything complex in an attempt to prevent it. But things are going to get weird whether you like it or not, and learning to accept it is the best that we can do. And sometimes just making a quick exit is all you need to remind yourself that less is more. Keep it simple, enjoy yourself and appreciate the chaos. Or something like that. Cue the eye-rolls, I know, but do yourself a favor and book that trip. You'll be thanking me when you get a reminder one day in your inbox about a one-way flight departing in a week.

Now let’s see what this whole volcano thing is all about.

September 06, 2014 — Mel Calabro