Sometimes a quiet beach vacation at a resort is required. A week of no thought, no planning and no stress is just what the doctor ordered. But at other times we need to stretch ourselves, get out of our personal bubble. There is no question that travel expands your mind, shapes your views on people and world issues and generally puts your day to day life in perspective. Travel can be exciting, stressful, exhausting and invigorating all at once. It doesn’t have to be far from home – indeed, “traveling” to a new, unexplored ethnic restaurant to try new foods just a few miles from your home is a form of travel.
Trevelino/Keller introduced a new program in 2015 – X-PlorTK – to encourage employees to go somewhere they have never been or explore a culture that aren't familiar with. Each employee gets a certain amount of money toward that trip, in the hopes that experiencing something new will inspire new thoughts and creativity at the office. Taking advantage of this awesome program, my family and I are leaving this coming weekend for Iceland.
When telling folks where we are heading on vacation, everyone asks us “What the heck is in Iceland?!” I have no idea, but am very excited to find out. With a total country population about the size of my current city (Charleston, SC), 80 percent of Icelanders live in the capital of Reykjavik. We’ll be spending a couple days there, then driving the western part of the rest of the country – with very few people. Iceland, founded by the Vikings, has a long history, a completely different terrain than what my family is used to and beautiful scenery. Iceland actually sits on two continents, as the North American and Eurasian plates are literally pulling the country apart slowly. Culturally, Iceland is very progressive when it comes to women's rights, LGBT and other social issues. They were the first European country to have a female president.
Additionally, family is very important to Icelanders and children are held in high esteem so it’s a great place for us to travel with the kids (ages 13 and 10) in tow. The sun will set around midnight and rise around 3 a.m. With that much daylight, kids will have plenty of time to explore and play. The country also has a long history of believing in ghosts, trolls, fairies and elves, the stories of which (the Icelandic Sagas) will be of interest to the kids.
Ultimately, my goal with this trip is to make all of us a bit uncomfortable – new landscape, new foods, near-constant daylight, shared bathrooms with strangers, a nearly unpronounceable language to our English tongues, and driving on dirt roads (by the way, it’s national law that if we hit a sheep on the road, we MUST find the farmer and pay him retribution for the animal, or face hefty fines and possible jail time). My family lives a very wonderful life. But it’s important we get out of our comfort zones and open our minds to new things. We hope to see puffins, seals, whales, go trout/salmon fishing in the interior, and eat foods we’ve never eaten before such as seal or horse meat (another option, Harkai, is a national delicacy and extremely disgusting fermented (read: rotten) shark meat. It won’t be pleasant, but a trip to Iceland without it makes us just tourists).
If I can convince the rest of my family to really step out, Reykjavik actually has a penis museum, with over 200 specimens. While I was up for the strangeness of it, the rest of the family has vehemently shot down putting that on our agenda. We’ll see . . . I’ll keep you all posted on the adventure.
About Kira Perdue
Kira Perdue was employee #2 at Trevelino/Keller in 2003 and has over 20 years of experience in agency work. She lives in the Charleston, SC area with her husband, a professional photographer, her daughter, a new teenager and her 10 year old son who never stops moving (much like the PR business).