Part 2…Last of Icelandic 4×4 tour photos…Happiness?…Fleeting or constant?…

Update: Not to our surprise, the waters are rough crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Many passengers are sick in their cabins and walking from area to area is challenging. As on our last transatlantic crossing in April 2013 with 50 foot swells, the 25 foot swells we’re having today are not so quite as bad to us. We aren’t seasick continuing to enjoy the wonderful people we’ve met while onboard.

In October of 1986, President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met in the Summit Meeting in this building which was formerly the French Consulate.  The meetings broke down to be carried on at a later date. See this link for details.

Happiness is fleeting. At times, it wraps around our hearts during a special moment or it entirely surrounds us on a day when everything in the world is right.

Shops along the boulevard in Reykjavik. Many Icelanders travel to Europe and the US for shopping when prices are outrageously high.

In our old lives, we experienced our fair share of those special moments. However, the challenges of everyday life often imposed upon maintaining a perpetual state of contentment. 

Popular church in downtown Reykjavik.

A pipe broke, spewing water all over the basement. An error was made on our cable bill throwing us into a frenzy to correct it, feeling a sense of frustration and angst perhaps throughout the day. Day to day life has many challenges, often completely out of our control or beyond our realm of responsibility.

Additional view of a church.

Of course, the greatest angst of all is when we do make a mistake, an oversight, an unintended spontaneous blurb which may hurt the feelings of a loved one or friend.  It is during these times, we may feel as if it will never be right again and happiness becomes a fleeting memory.

In many countries we don’t see this much use of color in the buildings when many are brick and stone from centuries ago. One gets the impression that much of Reykjavik has been built over the past 50 years.

When we left the life in Minnesota, almost two years ago (October 31, 2012), we had no expectations of happiness being a daily state, of being consistent, or even somewhat dependable. 

More buildings finished in varying colors add a certain appeal to the city.

After being ill for many years to suddenly become well in August 2011, we both felt a sense of urgency to take advantage of my renewed health by living “outside the box” for as long as health allows. It could all change in a day, a week, or a month. We chose happiness as a way of life.

Shops in the busy downtown area. Many sidewalks are heated utilizing the geothermal pipeline to keep them safe, free of shoveling and manageable during the frigid winter months.

We asked ourselves how we could best achieve such a state of happiness. The answer in our hearts bespoke being free; of most responsibilities, of certain obligations, of the tasks of maintaining a house, a car, a lawn. 

This is the prison in Reykjavik with few prisoners. The crime rate is one of the lowest in the world.

We were left with only with the responsibility of financial matters, planning and following our travel schedule and, of course, to one another. 

An intersection in the downtown shopping area.

Communicating with our far away loved ones has not been anything but pure joy. Yes, we occasionally feel a tinge of guilt for leaving everyone. But, it doesn’t consume us when we’re committed to loving them all with open hearts, not guilt or sorrow, both of which impedes happiness. They know we love them. 

Photo op for tourists in downtown Reykjavik.

Ah, the old clichés such as, “live life when you can” or “live life on your terms” or “live your dreams” are terms we all often espouse when speaking to others, seldom adopting these principals for ourselves.

Busy commercial corner in Reykjavik.

So, here we are, “living life on our terms” pleasing some, frustrating others, and leaving some curious as to how we could possibly dispose of everything we knew and love to make a life of happiness.

Icelanders believe that Leif Erickson, represented in this statue, discovered America, not Christopher Columbus.

Whatever comes, we’ve been exquisitely happy these past almost two years, often looking at one another with expressionless faces, eyes locked upon each other when suddenly a wide-tooth baring grin, almost from ear to ear, fills our aging faces with pure and simple happiness. 

Silver art along with the shore representative of the Vikings that came to Iceland.

“Pinch me,” I often say. “Is this well organized, meticulously planned, and executed life really ours?” Yep. That’s us.  And for however long it lasts, we’re grateful. 

Two huskies on a walk in the town.

We love it now as much as the first day we left the US on January 3, 2013 after spending two months back and forth between Arizona and Nevada, planning our final details. In many ways, we love it more now, with the experience under our belts, with the kinks worked out and with the fear all but gone.

Colorful office buildings in Reykjavik.

No longer do I fear flying in tiny airplanes, scorching hot weather without AC, lack of screens on windows, scary bugs, rough conditions or rough roads. Laying it in God’s hands, coupled with common sense to keep us safe, we carry on.

Our tour guide explained that this was a building where a bank was located, a fiasco when the market crashed, whereby an angry customer drove his car into the lobby.

Today, we share the last of our photos from Monday’s Iceland tour. Monday night, we departed Iceland and will be out to sea for five days. I won’t have WiFi until Sunday morning at 8:00 Eastern time when we dock in Boston. If anyone needs to reach me please email me here which I’ll check daily. If urgent, please email Tom.

Flowers on the side of the road in Reykjavik.

Posts and photos will continue daily when we’re out to sea during which I’ll use Tom’s computer with the ship’s slow WiFi signal. In the meantime, we’ll continue to have fun, cherishing each moment, everyday, every week, every month, every year of happiness for however long we’re gifted with the desire to continue on.

On the return drive to Reykjavik, we spotted several lakes and ocean inlets.
We returned to the ship in time for the mandatory 4:30 boarding.

Photo from one year ago today, September 9, 2013:

In Kenya, we dined at Sail’s Restaurant at the Almanara Resort, famous as the resort where Kenya’s president has stayed. The food was excellent. To gain entrance into the resort behind it’s heavy wood doors, locked and guarded, we had to provide our passports and show evidence of a reservation. It was this restaurant that was bombed recently, months after we’d left. Security is tight in many places in Kenya but brutal incidents continue to occur.. For photos and details from that date, please click here.

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