What makes us itch? Itch to go out and search for the unknown? What sparks the idea to leave everything behind to cross a desert of black sand all alone? Why sleep under the stars rather than in the comfort of your home?
Those were the questions i was asking myself when we finally left for Iceland, Europe’s Outpost in the Nort Atlantic, the last rock to settle on before the infinite ice. Hidden in an old newspaper we found the story of astronomer and stargazer Horace Dall who set out one day, packed a couple of his belongings and his best suit to make the first wheeled crossing of Europe’s greatest desert. Sprengisandur is a landscape so rough, raw and remote that it was used by NASA to train their astronauts for the moon landing a couple of decades later.
What crossed his mind, what motivated him to go out to endure a journey through the unknown? A piece of paper, not much bigger than his hand, showed the entire island of Iceland and was his only map. So many spots were still blank on the map of the earth in 1933, so many first ascents to be done, so many deserts to be crossed… 80 years later, Sprengisandur has changed into a dusty racetrack for tourist buses, all 8k mountains have been climbed and i’m wondering whether there are still adventures for us to discover?
I don’t think Horace even saw his endeavour as an adventure, he just left his home, closed the door behind him to go out on a trip. The journey was his destination. There was nothing to prove to others, no internet to show how epic his trip was.
The smallest detail can make the biggest memories. A snap with your camera can never replace the pictures in your head. It doesn’t matter how big of an adventure you’re going to have, what matters is that you leave home and go on a journey.