there’s something lost, i think, in this world of instant documentation & sharing — ‘what are you doing right now?’ facebook has goaded us for years. thinking back to the time we got stranded on a small island in the atlantic with no reception, aided only by the photos we took & the small notebook i brought with me, it brings back a feeling of… surrealness. was that really us? did that really happen? do we really take the time to look back on wonderful things that have happened to us and truly appreciate them? or do we race ahead to the next thing to post on social media?
our trip to the faroe islands a couple years ago was a trip of a lifetime, and we haven’t shared nearly enough about our experiences there. the faroes are a tiny chain of islands in the middle of the north atlantic, located in between the northern islands of scotland & iceland — pretty remote and tricky to get to. we could find only one single guidebook in english before we left, which we bought & read cover to cover. we even contacted a girl who’s photos we found online to ask for recommendations (& she was lovely and honestly better than the guidebook, thanks tiffany!). in the guidebook, the author mentioned a particular instance in which he was stranded for several days on one of the remote islands during a storm. dave & i joked about this happening to us, ha. he kept saying ‘stop joking about this.’ well. it did. it happened to us.
it’s about a twenty minute ride on a small boat from one of the main islands. the longest twenty minutes of my life. we zigzagged through the water navigating the swells, clutching onto the edge of the benches where we sat as the boat lurched this way and that. i’ve never been more terrified. all the photos we have from that boat are dave’s because i was too busy trying to breathe and convince myself we weren’t going to die. we arrived into a long narrow inlet with cliffs on either sides and jumped off the boat with waves crashing around us. a few supplies were thrown onto the concrete platform and the boat was off again before we’d climbed up the steps into the small village.
welcome to mykines, population, 14.
dave & i hiked along the ridge of the island to the point with the lighthouse, beside gut-wrenching drops and flocks of puffins circling overhead. by the time we made it out there, we had a whole view of the island stretching behind us, quickly disappearing under a low cloud heading our way. as quickly as we arrived we started retracing our steps, the steep dirt paths turning to rushing streams. i had to resort to pulling myself along my tufts of grass through the slippery mud slopes, every inch of our bodies quickly soaked by the rain. we arrived back to the village and the one cafe in town. we wrung out our clothes in the washroom, set our boots and socks to dry by the radiator. we had warm drinks with the two other couples who’d come over on the boat while waiting for it to come pick us up again.
except, the boat did not come pick us up. the waves from the storm were too much to risk coming into the tiny inlet on mykines. on the faroe islands, mother nature reigns. the group of us walked back into town, with nothing but our backpacks and the (wet) clothes on our backs, with no clue how long we’d be waiting there. we stayed at the same one cafe in town in a few rooms in the attic, drank beer and listened to stories. by the following afternoon, the boat still couldn’t make it in and so we got the surprise of our first ride in a helicopter.
it felt exhilarating, the not knowing. the letting go of control, the being grateful for a single room and good company; for being in a beautiful place & experiencing generosity there.
now, i just wish we’d be stranded longer.
the word ‘adventure’ has just gotten overused. for me, adventure is when everything goes wrong. that’s when the adventure starts / yvon chouinard