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Tracking the Northern Lights in Iceland

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We’ve all seen the photos online, those streaking colorful lights in the sky. The Instagram pictures that look ridiculously photoshopped. A dark night sky and stars being lit up by hues that can’t even be described. The Aurora Borealis is one of the great wonders of our solar system and they are gorgeous.

I just stood there, eyes wide, mouth agape. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

One of the reasons why I picked late September to travel to Iceland was because I would have a chance to see the Northern Lights. It’s never a guarantee and I wasn’t going to be there at the best time to see them, of course that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try.

I was driving the around the country for 8 days. Click here for my 8 Day Ring Road Itinerary post. The first 3 days it was overcast and dumping tons of rain so there was no chance at all. The sun decided to peak out on day 4 and the next couple of days were looking promising. I downloaded a Northern Lights tracking app when I found some wifi and decided that the following day was my best shot. You see, you can’t just look up and there they are. You have to chase them down. They can be seen more clearly in dark places away from towns and cities.

The next night I camped in Dalvik which is where my app said the Aurora Borealis would be the strongest. I set up a little table with all the essentials. You know, things like coffee and whisky to keep me warm in the 40 degree weather. I had been hiking and exploring for about 14 hours that day, but I was staying up for as long as it took.

At around 11pm I began to see some very faint grey streaks in the sky. I wasn’t sure if these were just clouds or if I was imagining them by looking at the sky for so long. The streaks continued to get more prominent until they were colors dancing around the sky. I just stood there, eyes wide, mouth agape. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. Finally, I turned on the camera and started recording.

The following night I drove down a long dirt path to an even more remote location and saw the Northern Lights for a second time. I also got my camper van stuck in the mud and had to get towed out by a local.

If you’re headed to Iceland, make sure you hunt for some Northern Lights. It is an experience you will never forget.​

HELLO ADVENTURERS



Welcome to Jesse Takes The World, a travel blog geared towards the fun, exploring, adventurous traveler.

I’m Jesse and I started traveling the world in 2014. All it took was a trip to Mexico with a couple of friends and I was hooked. Ever since, I’ve been wandering the globe in search of adventure. Whether you need some advice on a short vacation from work or you’re wondering if you want to start traveling like a nomad stick around. These stories, pictures, and videos will inspire you to find adventure.

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