If You Don’t Like the Weather, Wait Five Minutes
A common thing for students to do before beginning their semester in Austria is to visit a country a week before classes start. A popular destination is Ireland where students are surrounded by the Cliffs of Moher, beautiful countryside, and Irish culture. Four of my friends and I decided to break this tradition and take a riskier trip: explore the beautiful country of Iceland.
When I informed my parents that I bought my plane ticket, they thought I mistook the “C” for an “R” when I booked a flight to Iceland instead of Ireland. Both my older brother and sister visited the Irish countryside before their semester’s abroad. Needless to say, they were not expecting it.
Unexpected. That’s it. The only possible word that Iceland can be summed up in. Our trip consisted of old friends and new. Bad weather and good. Sun when it was supposed to rain. The Northern lights when it was forecasted to be cloudy. In all of the unexpected nature of perpetually changing circumstances, Christ’s beckoning us to Iceland equipped us with versatility and was the root of the joy found in every change in weather and newfound discovery.
Iceland was above and beyond our expectations. The thrill of seeing the country for the first time was our motivation to explore every day and triggered our excitement. Around every bend, Iceland held a new discovery for us. Whether the roads were unpredictably covered in patches of slick black ice or if they led to hidden waterfalls behind a cliff, we glorified God for his protection and praised Him in beholding His stunning creation.
Our last night in the country was the peak of our trip. The entire week, we scavenged the countryside for the most perfect waterfalls, mountains, cliffs, beaches, and icebergs, but above all, we all held a deep hope that we would catch a glimpse of the Northern lights. After 3 consistent cloudy nights, when the clock reached 11:45 on our last night in the country, the sky lit up and we witnessed an incredible light show, surrounding us in every direction.
After experiencing Iceland, I believe that the key to traveling is to embrace the unexpected. To embrace obstacles to plans. To be open to unintended discovery. To wait five minutes for the weather forecast to change. The study abroad program provides the perfect opportunity to grow, to be surrounded by different culture and tradition, to hike up a rocky mountain face, enfolded by God’s creation, to expect beauty in every corner of our day-to-day lives.
As the semester starts, and students begin to travel from one country to the next, embracing the unexpected is the key to witnessing God in our lives as we venture amongst His creation in Europe.
All photos credited to Martin Jernberg
What’s up! My name is Annie Niemaszyk, and I am currently a sophomore communications major with a marketing minor. Born and raised in New England, New Hampshire is the state I call home. I make sure a few of the paths I take in life are frequently on a dirt path hiking up a mountain or skiing fast on snowy slopes down a mountain. Photography, writing, and video editing are my go-to hobbies.
I am from Lancaster, Massachusetts. Currently I study multi-media communications at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. Life is incredibly special and full of beauty. I believe photography is amazing and so important because it allows us to capture unique moments forever. Not only am I able to capture special moments but I am also able to add my own artistic style to each photo in order to create a work of art. It is very satisfying. On top of photographing weddings and portraits, I enjoy traveling and visiting new places. I also love the outdoors and backpacking. Spending time in the wilderness with other people is exceptional and important because it gives us a break from daily distractions and it forces us to be aware of our beautiful surroundings 🙂 If you are interested in seeing my recent photos follow me on instagram: @martinjphoto and www.martinjphoto.com