Describe your proudest moment.
Probably being self reliant, self sufficient and staying away from home for an extended time in a remote area.
What was your highlight of the trip?
There were so many highlights of the trip, I can’t really name just one. From the thermal pool in Reykjafordur after a long, hard and wet day of walking, swimming in the cold Arctic ocean before going for a dip in a natural and somewhat algae infested thermal pool, climbing between the dragons teeth up an almost vertical slope or going for a swim in a mountain tarn surrounded by snow and ice.
What was your most challenging moment and how did you overcome it?
The most challenging moment was probably the time leading up to the trip as there were a lot of unknowns and preparation needed all at the same time at the end of a very busy school term. I really enjoyed the challenges of the trip itself.
Describe a memory you will treasure forever
The boat journey from Isafjordur to Ravenfjordur, which was our first remote wild camp. It was both exciting and scary as it was the start of the expedition, but it also hit me how isolated it was going to be. As we took the boat across the fjord I spotted a spray of water in the distance and suddenly three humpback whales were breaching near our boat. Another memory I will treasure is when we had been camping in Reykjaforudur and the weather had been cold, windy and rainy all day but when we emerged from our tents at midnight after losing track of time playing competitive card games, the weather had completely cleared and the midnight sun shone, the sky was golden and pink and this reflected off the huge sea cliffs to the south and the ice cap above, casting a beautiful pink hue all around us. It was amazing and I have never seen anything like it.
Any memories from the trip you wish you could forget?
Some of the food. Particularly the cream cheese which we ate even after 12 days of it not being in the fridge. I can still imagine the smell!
What advice would you give to others who were thinking of doing the same trip (or similar expedition)?
If they are nervous and questioning whether they should take part I would say just sign up and take on the challenge. It is a daunting thing to do but it is good to go out of your comfort zone. I would love to have the opportunity to do it all again.
What was the first thing you did when you returned home?
We have a map of the world in our kitchen with pins on all the countries we have visited so I got to put a new pin on Iceland. I cuddled my dog and ate sushi!
Have you learnt anything about yourself from the trip?
I enjoy being out of my comfort zone, for example I liked going in the 5 degree plunge pools and wild camping.
What destination would you love to travel to in future?
Before the trip I knew I wanted to travel but this trip made me really realise that I would love to do more backpacking and trekking. My dream place to backpack would be in the Patagonian mountains and to travel through South America particularly Argentina and Chile.
What are your plans for the summer holidays?
We are going sailing around the Greek islands and I am also instructing some RYA sailing courses at my sailing club. I have also got lots of work to do on my A-Level course work and EPQ and so I will be working very hard as I want to get good grades for my top university choices.