Adventurer of the Week: Michael Combos up!

02. February 2017 —
Michael Riady

Welcome to our “Adventurer of the Week” series! Each week we will feature individuals that were inspired to make every moment an experience in Iceland by going out on epic tours with us that allowed them to interact with nature.

This week's installment of our "Adventurer of the Week" series tells the story of Michael, who came all the way from Indonesia to get a healthy dose of cold and a lot of different experiences. 

What motivated you to visit Iceland?

The in-laws just came back from their honeymoon, and they recommended Iceland to us. They said that we should go visit, that it would be something completely different, something we’ve never seen before. Something far. Something cold. That’s what we like. Indonesia is exactly the opposite to Iceland right now, probably about 35 degrees apart, plus the humidity, and no snow or wind. 

In such a cold place, to get such large amounts of almost free heat is really something special, it’s pretty amazing. They have so many solution for things, even the geothermal farms! I’m quite amazed.

Michael Riady

How long was your stay? Did you travel solo or with a group?

We stayed exactly a week, just the two of us. 

Michael Riady

Which tour did you take and why did you choose it?

We did the glacier walk and Ice climb on Sólheimajökull. This was our first time glacier walking and ice climbing, and the climb was actually really fun; it looks so easy, but it’s actually really tiring.  I really enjoyed the climb, it was really challenging. 

We were trying to get over to the top, but it was really hard to get over that 90 degree angle. By the time you get to the top, you are just so tired, and its hard to climb over an angle like that!

What is one thing you will always remember about your tour?

That’s a tough question, because everything was pretty new, pretty different. I think just being on the glaciers was very memorable; a lot of people talk about the climate, the environment worldwide, what’s happening right now and being able to stand right there and look at the ice and think that in the next few years, it will be all gone, knowing what has happened in the last five years. I think that was very memorable; you won’t get that in many places. I have been to 37 countries in the world, and I have never been on a glacier like that.

Michael Riady

What is something that you learned about Iceland that surprised you?

When I thought about countries in the north, I always thought about  things like; How do people live up there? With no resources? I mean, it must be difficult, just by looking at how far north and in the middle of nowhere it is. 

Once I got into the country, I was surprised with just how blessed Iceland is with all of these resources despite the harsh nature, with such a great abundance of heat. In such a cold place, to get such large amounts of almost free heat is really something special, it’s pretty amazing. They have so many solution for things, even the geothermal farms! I’m quite amazed.

Michael Riady

If you had more time in Iceland, what else would you like to see and do?

I think I would like to do more glacier stuff, I would like to climb more, walk more, I would like to see bigger ice caves, I would like to drive to the north and the northeast side. 

I would also love to sit in the Blue Lagoon more! We did a local hot bath too though, that was great. I need to see more of the city, the museums and stuff, we didn't  get much of a chance to explore the city.

What tips do you have for people who want to visit Iceland?

I will tell them that they should go there for at least 7 days, and that they should do all things that I did; the glaciers, the beaches, the dive, the Blue Lagoon. Just do everything. If you are going to go all the way to Iceland, just do everything. Spend at least a week to two weeks. Make sure you bring plenty of raincoats, thermal clothes and stuff. We didn’t expect it to be raining. Even on the first day, it rained pretty badly.

Michael Riady

What adventure are you off to next? What is your next dream adventure? 

Im planning some cage diving with Great White Sharks off the coast of South Africa, that should be great! I have always been fascinated by wild, massive animals. I like to get up close to see them. I always watched Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, so I would like to just do something different. Some family members went down and did some really fun stuff. It’s definitely on the list.

Michael’s adventure is only one of the many features that make for an unforgettable experience. Book your tour and join us for an excursion that is guaranteed to make memories that last a lifetime.  

Have you been on a tour with us in Iceland and would like to be featured as an “Adventurer of the Week”? Feel free to email us at [email protected].

About the Author

Joseph content writer for Icelandic Mountain Guides

Joseph Mattos-Hall

Hailing from London and born into a British/Brazilian/Italian household, Joseph came to Iceland originally to complete a master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland: the rest is history.

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