The Hopes 2017

It was night two of our quest. After night one we were left crestfallen, as our primary goal of this trip to Iceland was to catch the Northern lights. We had waited outside in the cold for 4 hours and were unable to clearly see any hint of the aurora borealis. The first tour guide was a douchebag adding to our dismay by stating fervently that we could not give him a poor review as nature was something one couldn’t count on.

Not to be deterred, I immediately messaged my Iceland pro back home, Cindy N. and got a few more tour companies that she could vouch for.

Night two, we stood on an extremely cold hill looking down at Reykjavík, Iceland. A crescent moon in the distance with Jupiter shining brightly next to it, we began to see light streaks in the sky and started to get giddy. But then clouds moved to cover Orion’s Belt, soon taking over the entire sky where we stood and it began to rain.

Standing in icy rain leaning against chilly gusts of wind and our hope was dwindling. The kind guide tonight, Thomas, had explained the Aurora KP Index, making me feel a lot better about this tour company compared to the other guide’s explanation that finding the lights was based on pure luck. I also was enamored with this guide because he brought hot cocoa for us, helped me set up my camera, and had additional tripods (I forgot mine in our rental car).

The sky cleared, but alas Auroras were not strong enough in this location. He packed us all back into the van and we headed to a field in the valley. Fifteen minutes later the sky filled with streams of green light and it was perfect, except… the tinkle fairy also decided to pay me a visit at the same time (damn you hot cocoa!). Since we were no where near a bathroom, I ended up running behind a building down the road to take a leak under a magnificent geomagnetic storm. This goes down in the books as my most epic pee, if you ask me 😉

I had the idea for this post even before I felt like writing it. Yesterday I woke up and while I was still somewhat tired, I felt inexplicably amazing. I digress.

Last year I decided making promises was perhaps better than resolutions, in order to make things more accountable for myself. But maybe it’s not about being accountable, maybe it’s more about doing the best you can with the situations you’re given and being ok with the outcome no matter how things end up. So this year instead of resolutions or promises, I’ve decided on hopes.


hope – /hōp/ – (noun) – a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen

The nights we tried to see the lights we were hopeful despite failing the first time. We never gave up and made a ton of contingency plans which ended up paying off. Despite all the current events and other stress in my life right now, seeing the lights helped me continue to feel optimistic.

So instead of resolutions, promises or any lofty expectations, I only have hopes.

I hope this year turns out better than last year and may I allow myself patience to see it through.

Optimism is the new black (as well the beautiful colors made as collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere, if you will).

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