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JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON Iceland

It’s cold, hailing and I’m on maybe 10 hours of sleep for the past two days, but nothing was more worth the extreme weather than the experience of hopping on ice chunks from a melting glacier in the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. It takes around 4 1/2 hours to get to the area from Reykjavik. I hopped on a small group tour with Extreme Iceland Tours.

JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON Iceland

I had seen plenty of photos of the lagoon before I even thought to leave New York City for Iceland, but the photos will never do this unbelievable place justice. The wind was crisp yet heavy, but it gets absolutely unbearable when you climb to the top of the hills to get an almost aerial view of the lagoon.

The mountains surrounding the lagoon look like they’re photoshopped into the background – picture perfect and they seem to go on forever. You can’t see where the mountains end and the sky begins. But I thought the glacier chunks looked lonely so I decided to give them some company.

JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON Iceland

So the first thing I got when I posted the photo below on instagram was, “WTF. ARE YOU CRAZY?”

JOKULSARLON GLACIER LAGOON Iceland

Well, no. Maybe just a bit naive.

I didn’t find out until after I decided to hop across melted glacier ice chunks that Jökulsárlón is the deepest lake in the world. I don’t recommend trying this for yourself without proper footwear and some serious man parts. Fortunately, I didn’t feel the glacier chunks move an inch when I stepped on them, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.

Fear had paralyzed me in so many ways – the fear of taking a risk for an unconventional life kept me chained to a cubicle for years. I used to fear change, not being able to live in a luxury apartment, losing the ability to afford designer clothes and shoes I could barely walk in, making less money than my peers and the thought of never achieving my dreams.

But I traded in all of those fears to be scared of falling into the world’s deepest lake filled with floating glacier chunks instead. And you know what? I didn’t fall. The risk I took to leave an unhappy yet rationally/socially/fiscally responsible life back in New York City may have been unconventional, but now I’m living a life that I had only dreamed of, and it’s all because I had the courage to jump.

So go ahead. Take that leap.

It may not be over a floating glacier, but following your dreams will be worth every ounce of fear you feel. Eventually the fear will fade, and you’ll realize that you’ve been capable of more than you ever gave yourself credit for.

P.S. This stop was just one of the many as part of the South Coast two-day tour with Extreme Iceland Tours.

  • Wow! tha’s incredible… I think that what you did is really great and I talk about your choice, your courage to “jump” and to choose.
    This is life, girl!
    p.s. I love your instagram profile too : )

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you so much Ines! I appreciate your sweet words so much! <3

  • Ian Pollard

    Awesome post!! Your descriptive words and beautiful photography leave one imagining and dreaming of being in this magnificent place with you 😉

  • Steven Bodo

    I’m so happy that you broke out of the cubicle and went on this trip. I’m sure you are already planning the next one to somewhere else.
    Funny you put up that quote from Instagram, was it me? Sorry. We all care about you, you know.

  • Andrea Ævars

    I love your blog so much.

    You really do capture the spirit of Iceland with your writing 🙂

  • Bob DePlachett

    I had to come back to read your words about leaving it all behind. Very inspirational and to tell the truth, I did it once and only then did I discover Heaven. An old friend told me when I arrived there, “Beware, You are in heaven.” I didn’t get it totally until I slipped and went to hell, only then realizing that one should never take Heaven for granted. Live while you can, all! Thank you, Jinna.

  • Dorine

    Thank you so much for this amazing story and your words of wisdom… i’m a dutch girl currently living in Sydney Australia for 9 months. Away from all the people i love and cherish.. scared of meeting new people and petrified of doing things i have never done before. Still i WANT to do things i never done before and i want to follow my dreams! Therefor I just booked a hostel for one night and im already nervous about spending the night there, but your last words were just the words that i needed to read right now.
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story with the world ^_^

  • BJ

    Quote after quote are going forward to my 17 year old on her long, long backpack trip with her class before starting her senior year. She is a product teen…make up, clothes, shoes, no direction. I have been looking for words she would hear in her heart. You have given them to me.

  • Jesse May

    I happened upon your blog today, and have enjoyed clicking around. 🙂 Your words and pictures make me want to travel, too! What amazing experiences! Thank you for sharing.

  • Ultrabomb

    Jökulsárlón’s the deepest lake in Iceland, not the world. It’s only 250 meters deep at its deepest. The deepest lake in the world is Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal is 1,642 meters deep at its deepest.

  • *sigh* leaving the cubical would definitely be a dream. But I am not fearing not being able to buy designer stuff or luxury living but what would my source of income to travel be? What about saving for my retirement fund? A nice, cozy little house?

    That ice chunk looked like a penguin when I first glanced at it!

  • Woah. That’s crazy. I was just there (partly inspired by your photos) and the icebergs were definitely shifting, especially at dusk. Congrats for everything you’ve done to overcome your fears. I’ve been following you since before E!

  • Debbie Smith

    You were lucky. Iceland is incredibly beautiful but deadly dangerous.
    Tourists put the lives of others at risk by their crazy behaviour.
    A whole group of tourists got stranded on the Ice flow last year and a major expensive rescue operation was required. Tourists are particularly stupid at Reynisfjara near Vik on the black sands beach. A few weeks ago a Chinese person was washed away by a wave and they won’t be the last .
    The selfie generation seem to have no experience of the real world and the dangers that exist.
    It doesn’t take courage to stand on a glacier at Jokulsarlon. It takes stupidity

  • Daniel

    No, sorry, this is too much. My wife and I took this same tour in February 2015 and noticed that several people (including a whole family with children) were doing the same thing. This is not responsible, regardless what it symbolized to you.

    I applaud your decision to change your life, which is never easy. I really do.

    However, using your ‘jump’ at Jokulsarlon as a metaphor, is just not appropriate:
    1. While your story is inspiring to people who are in similar situations, it may also inspire other people do the same thing, just because it looks ‘cool’. Not all your readers share your state of mind and may literally follow in your footsteps for no real reason. This is dangerous. As Debbie noted, people have died doing this and whole rescue expeditions have been sent to haul in hapless tourists.
    2. You note that you used Extreme Iceland Tours. You realize that if their manager would see this post and match it with your name or other information, you could get that specific guide in trouble? Our guide that day was clear: don’t step onto the drift ice.

    Sorry if I sound harsh, but I genuinely think this shouldn’t be encouraged. Rather the opposite.

  • Now I wish it wasn’t so melted when I visited!

  • Ruth

    This was highly irresponsible of you to do and it’s careless of you to keep this up especially as you write about this as some kind achievement. Please take this down in order to avoid people following in your footsteps and thereby putting their lives at risk.