Adventurer of the Week: Yee Gets Away From It All

A woman smiling with an Icelandic horse
Yee Htun

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 Yee,  an international human rights lawyer who had being dying to come to iceland for quite some time, and saw her opportunity in a snap Thanksgiving weekend getaway!

What motivated you to visit Iceland?

I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, that my happiest memories from this passing year has been going to Iceland. I’m still basking in it.

Yee Htun

It’s been a country that’s been on my list for so long, and I have always wanted to go. When I was at law school out in Halifax, Nova Scotia and there was a flight to Iceland, but then the volcano happened and it got pushed back. One day I just thought “i’m going to go” on top of which I had a family member  who really wanted to see the Northern Lights and it was on her bucket list for so long; it was a mother-daughter trip, so we decided: lets go to Iceland! It’s been a huge thing for both of us. 

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

It was only for 5 days during the Thanksgiving weekend, and it was just me and my mom.

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

We did the Golden Circle and Magical Nights tour, so as well as going to the farms to see the geothermal tomatoes we went to see the geysers and the waterfall, and at night we got to experience the bathes, capped it off with a dinner. it was like a full 12 hour trip but it felt like you saw so much! I chose it  this tour because of the variety of things on offer, it seemed to cover a lot.

Yee Htun

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

I think it is probably the scenery. It’s almost borderline spiritual. I have never seen scenery like that, and I have traveled a lot in this world doing the work that I do, but I have never been to a place  that is just so profoundly beautiful, even in winter time. I would describe as ethereal or other-worldly: the stark contrast of the rock ridges and planes. Each area is so different, but the land itself was what I loved most about it. 

If any of your guides are of our guides [Tom] caliber, your company is doing a really great job.

Yee Htun

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

I think I was just really surprised  by how sparsely populated it was. I know it was not very populated, I thought it was 600,000 but when someone told me it was actually half that figure, that was really surprising. I could see how you have this vast landscape, and not a lot of people.

I love the fact that population is has an almost non -existent crime rate and very progressive social values, like that one of the ministers was LGBT and was able to marry their partner. It’s those kinds of progressive policies. There’s no army, all these things kind of surprise me. What a peaceful country! We felt very safe the entire time and I loved that.

Another thing in Iceland is that people are super friendly! It’s a totally different vibe even from places like Norway; very friendly and helpful. I remember having a great conversations with cab drivers.

Yee Htun

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

I would love to see the south coast, I heard that have volcanic beaches and dark sands are amazing. I wouldn’t  mind heading up to the northern, more secluded part of Iceland. I might even drive myself. One thing that stood out for me here is that it felt like there were barely any cars; I could easily drive myself around at a more leisurely pace. I would love to bring my little niece or nephew over, that could definitely be quite magical. 

Yee Htun

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

You can make anything out of it, it’s up to your liking. If you want a bit of the cosmopolitan  fun, partying, drinking kind of thing, Reykjavik has a lot to offer. there are some great museums there too. The food scene is awesome and there is a lot of modern art.

But I think my main advice would be that you should get out there, really see the country. let its peaceful, calmness sweep you away. It would be a shame to miss out on some of things that you can outside of Reykjavik itself. Go see a volcano. Go hiking. Go biking, or whatever you want to do. It’s easy too, because you can speak the language.

shadow figure in the sunset in nature
Yee Htun

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

I am a still contemplating it: it’s a toss up between either Greece or now that I am on the East Coast I am thinking about going to New Orleans, or somewhere down south. I also really do want to come back to Iceland but maybe in a different season like summer. So I just came back, but I am already thinking about the next time I will be back there!

Yee’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 Mattos-Hall

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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