This past summer, Jack Freedman, the son of an Indagare member, visited Iceland as part of an Indagare-planned trip he received for his high school graduation. Here, he describes the journey’s highlights and explains how the opportunity to explore on his own terms allowed him a new sense of freedom. Read more and contact us to discuss more trip ideas for young travelers.
Travel has always been an important activity for my family. My first excursion outside the United States was as a four-month-old on a multigenerational bike trip through Burgundy. Since then, I’ve traveled with my parents, grandparents, and classmates and with several summer programs, but never internationally on my own. For my high school graduation, my parents gifted my cousin and me a trip—with the caveat that we do some research and nominate a destination. The only givens were a budget and windows of time between graduation and the start my summer internship. We went to work and sketched out an ambitious plan to drive the Iceland ring road.
Once we’d selected the destination, my mom introduced us to the travel specialist she works with at Indagare, who used our ideas as a jumping-off point. We worked together on the trip, and settled on an eight-day, four-hotel itinerary with a mix of guided days and independent excursions.
As beautiful as I was told Iceland would be and as much as I thought could imagine it, the real place was spectacular in a way I could not have prepared for. Even before we touched down in Reykjavik, we were greeted by the late evening light (typical of Iceland summers) shining through the plane windows.
Our guide, Hermann, was absolutely fantastic and could do everything from driving a monster truck and leading a glacier climb to lecturing on Icelandic culture and ordering the best food hole-in-the-wall, local restaurant.
Taking in and exploring Iceland’s incredible landscape was the highlight of our trip. The vast expanses of volcanic rock in the foreground—with snowcapped glaciers, volcanoes and other jagged mountains in the background—are mesmerizing. The endless rivers and waterfalls are second to none. As someone with an interest in photography, exploring these unique natural elements was a dream come true for me. One particularly awe-inspiring place is the Gulfoss waterfall. The vantage points are endless, and I got some particularly beautiful images taken from the bordering hills (the view made the slippery climb well worth the effort). Another highlight was visiting the Sólheimajökull glacier, where we took a three-hour hike through the countryside.
Exploring Iceland with Indagare at my side has given me a new appreciation for the art of travel. I left feeling lucky to have been able to experience it on my own with my cousin, and can’t wait to return—perhaps with the whole family.
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