Learning to Live In The Moment (In Iceland)

I remember my first time being a tour guide...

iceland sun voyager statue

As Cam, Larry and I sat in the Keflavik airport waiting to get back to our lives in Boston and Portsmouth, we had some time to reflect on our first trip as VoyEdgeRX. While our excitement about that has already been and will continue to be shared, Cam made a comment about how much you learn about people during travel. It got me thinking about what traveling has taught me so far.

And luckily, I had a six hour flight ahead to think it all the way through ;) 

thoughtful crossfit reykjavik

1. Patience; with myself as well as with those around me. 

2. How to slow down, be present in the moment and truly be with those you are with. 

3. You can't plan every detail, nor should you try. Often times the spontaneous moments are the best and most memorable. 

4. People are good. And super freaking awesome.

In many of the countries and cities I have visited outside of the United States, I've been struck by how the pace of life is so much slower than mine at home. You don't see people rushing to their next to-do, with their heads buried in their cellphones, multitasking as many things as they can all at once in an attempt to save time. There is no rush, no honking horns, but rather the general feeling of "we will get there when we get there."

The reason this one stands out for me specifically is because it is my own personal battle not to get caught up in the anticipation or even anxiety of what is coming next, before finishing what is currently in front of me. I bounce from work to the gym to coaching to home, filling up just about every hour of every day. It's easy to get lost worrying about the next thing, or tomorrow, or this weekend. I have to remind myself all the time to take a breath and remember "it will all get done." Traveling reminds me to not worry about what time the bus comes Thursday morning when it's only Monday night and I am at dinner with the most fantastic group of strangers who will so quickly become new friends.

secret lagoon iceland

To take a breath when you're sitting in the middle of a hot spring next to a landscape of rivers and mountains and really lock the image away as you don't know if you'll ever see it in person again. To not get those precious 8 hours of sleep and stay up far too late because there's a man with a guitar in a bar in Reykjavik that you and the gang need to sing along with. To get up and get to the gym even when you just went to bed 4 hours ago because there is so much to learn in a new place, and the gym has been so welcoming and supportive. 

I made a personal promise to myself before leaving for our trip that I was going to stay in this adventure every step of the way. I wanted to be; with the people, the experiences, the scenery and all they had to offer. I didn't want to stress or worry about what I was missing at home or at the gym. Truth be told I wasn't always successful, but having that in the back of my mind continually pulled me into the present. Knowing that I was in such a unique place, in this never to be recreated adventure isn't just something that applies to our VoyEdgeRX trips. It's an everyday reminder. That each experience is special, isn't something to be taken for granted, and ought to be lived and enjoyed and appreciated. Even the little things.

Especially the little things. 

secret lagoon iceland voyedge rx tour

It's amazing to me how people so quickly become comfortable with each other, especially when you share a common passion. CrossFit has nothing to do with Iceland or traveling through it, but it is a shared interest that brought this group of 21 together and without it, we would never have met. Without it, other groups of 20 or 30 will never go on our VoyEdge adventures. It's pretty exciting when you think about it like that. My heart was so full watching and becoming a part of this group that after only a few days acted liked we'd been friends forever. I was reminded how people can be so genuinely good, inclusive, thoughtful and kind. Which is something we certainly can forget these days. 

In getting back into my routines and my every days, I'm trying to remember that the little frustrations or mishaps or worries really are just that, little. That people have a lot of really amazing things to say and share, if you give them the chance by actually listening. To not get lost in the hustle; to stay busy and get the most out of life but to be sure not to let it happen without really experiencing it. 

And that's the most important lesson I learned during my time in Iceland. Stay in the moment. 

Now, what has traveling taught you? Comment below, or hit the 'Heart' button to let us know you read the post! And of course, email me with any thoughts, questions, or concerns at: ashley@voyedgerx.com

Hope to see you on a future VoyEdge RX tour!