The Honeymoon Period

My skin tingled.

My heart beat a little faster.  

This one got my immediate attention.

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An Iceland Adventure

I would visit Iceland again, in a heart beat.

We had camped there for one month in June, 2017. A life-changing experience.

Our plan was to return this year to explore some of the sites we missed on our first visit, such as the Latrabjarg cliffs on the westernmost point in Iceland. These cliffs are home to millions of birds, including puffins, northern gannets, guillemots and razorbills. 

We want to revisit and spend more time hiking the breathtaking countryside; soaking in the hidden hot springs; taking photos of the stunning scenery.  

Travelling to Iceland is not in the cards at the moment.

The News Feed says: Conqueror Virtual Challenge, Ring Road, Iceland

I immediately sign up!

Why Virtual Travel?

My body and spirit are craving something new.

An adventure. A goal. 

I am recalling fond memories and returning to photos from a happy, carefree, period in my life.

Something to get excited about!

10 Things I Learned This First Week On The Challenge

1.  I have to start somewhere.

2.  I need to focus on something besides world news and all of the concerns on our planet.

3.  A new route in the daytime, a garden of rocks, crocuses peaking out.

            A new perspective.

Fifty Yeas

4.  A walk in the evening, the stars and the heavens above me. A new feeling of peace settles upon me.

           I am part of something bigger, greater.  

5.  Pouring rain cleanses and nurtures the Earth and my Soul.  Pouring rain washes away my tears. I am reminded how ‘this, too, shall pass.’

6.  Cold air against my face is exhilarating and life-affirming.

7.  I have a new sense of clarity.

8.  Am I devoting my time to my highest priorities? My deepest values?

9.  Where am I investing my most precious resource, my energy?

10.  I return home, renewed, refreshed, my spirit restored.

The Honeymoon Period 

Virtual walking challenges have been showing up in my news feed the past few months.  

Iceland caught my immediate attention.  

I jump out of bed each morning to log in yesterday’s kilometres. I want to see my little icon on Google Earth. Where am I today? Do I recall this scenery from our trip in 2017?

I realize I am still in the honeymoon period.

If I am lucky, my honeymoon will continue for the next five months.

                    Something to get excited about!

Have you started something new this January, 2021?

What do you look forward to doing every day?

Fifty Yeas-2

Behind the Scenery

You can choose from many walking challenges. 

I have signed onto: The Conqueror Events Challenges, Ring Road, Iceland

Their app is reasonable in price and user friendly. I have received prompt responses to questions from their team members.

It is fun to play with the bells and whistles

Google street view is easily accessible – Real trees are planted for every 20% of the challenge you complete – Receive virtual postcards when you reach certain milestones – A conversion chart for other fitness activities – A unique limited edition medal is mailed to you when you cross the finish line – A diverse, inclusive fitness community from around the world – And many more features.

My goal:  1332.5 km. in 168 days. 

“I had to start somewhere.” 

Minimum 8km per day. This goal can be changed at any time.

I have a pace car behind me, nudging me along.

I have the stunning views of Iceland, ahead of me.

              I look forward to the scenery along the way.

Friends have signed onto various walking/fitness challenges

We are supporting each other. I can easily add names to this list.

Joanne   Following A Bold Plan

Sue   Women Living Well After 50 

Deb   Deb’s World

Jo   And Anyways…

Donna   Retirement Reflections

Sue, an inspirational blogger and friend, has written an excellent post “Move it or lose it – don’t let COVID lockdown be your excuse”

Leanne, a friend and blogger has an informative and inspirational blog called “Cresting The Hill.”  As part of her Midlife Symphony Series in 2020, she shared my story “How an Iceland Adventure led to midlife blogging.”

“Iceland Naturally, The Icelander” published my story in their July, 2018 issue.  “How do I choose I favourite photo of Iceland?” 

166 thoughts on “The Honeymoon Period

  1. Thank you so much for introducing me to this challenge. it’s been a while since I had a real goal to work towards. The 4 challenges I have signed up for will certainly keep me engaged for the rest of the year. I admit that after I signed up there was a certain amount of angst – what had I done?!!

    But now I have no excuse … there are medals to be earned!! 🙂

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    1. Hi Joanne, I am still excited to see where I end up in Iceland every day. Of course, it has only been one week. 🙂After our discussion last week I started to type out a response to friends who were interested. I decided to turn it into a post. Helps with my accountability, too. Joanne, you can add these medals to your cabinet filled with all of the others. See you at the finish line. 😁

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  2. This is what I love the best about you, Erica. You see a new challenge and you are up for it! As someone who is often hesitant to step outside of her comfort zone, I admire that. Derek has always dreamed of going to Iceland. I’ll have to show him your post. This is great and your photographs are stunning!

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    1. Thank you, Jill. This challenge felt right for many reasons. It is always easy to be excited about something on Week One. 😁 A few years ago, a friend of mine who is a teacher and also guides people on expeditions/adventures told me about his experiences in Iceland. He has been all over the world, yet he returned to Iceland a few times with his family within a couple of years. As you can tell, I am hooked. And, still in the honeymoon period.😁 If you and your husband have further questions, you can always PM me. At the moment, it is virtual travel. Always nice to connect with you, Jill ❤️

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  3. Good for you, Erica/ Erika, for taking on this walking challenge. I’m cheering you on and I’m sure you’ll crush it. Iceland is a stunning country. Easy to get excited just thinking about it. Like you, I had planned a revisit to Iceland last year and it was cancelled due to covid-19. I look forward to my bicycle ride and walk outdoors every day. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

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    1. I was thinking about you, Natalie, since I know you were planning an Iceland trip. You always inspire me with how you get outside every day and appreciate everything around you (despite the news I read about your neck of the woods) Your stories and photos are always a bright part of my week. I look forward to staying connected, Natalie. Have a great rest of your week! 🙂

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      1. Erica/ Erika, I just started hosting the Weekend Coffee Share blog link up on January 8. It’s on every Friday. Everyone is welcome to join in any week. Some of our mutual blogger friends have joined in. No commitment, no membership, no obligation. I want to spread the light, fun, and positivity among the blogging community. A great opportunity to make new blogging connections, too. The next link up is tomorrow Friday January 15 starting at 8 am to Sunday January 17 at 5 pm, both Toronto time. Hope to see you there. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  4. Hi Erica – I love hearing how much you’re enjoying the challenge and the way it’s giving you such a boost. You get the added bonus of staying fit and healthy, motivation to move and a fabulous reminder of a trip that holds a lot of precious memories – I think that’s the perfect antidote to the covid blues.

    Thanks for the lovely mention at the end – and remember you can send me through a guest post on cultivating your anit-covid-blues life whenever you feel the urge. Happy travels xx

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    1. Hi Leanne, You always know how to make me smile. We all realize the seriousness of the Covid blues, yet, when you write about it, it sounds like the beginning of a country song.

      I believe how cheering each other on and supporting each other, always makes a difference. The ripple effect on our planet. You are definitely one of these generous people, Leanne, and I greatly appreciate it.❤️ Have a wonderful day/night and I think it may already be Friday for you. Same planet.😁xx

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  5. Erica, what a fun way to revisit a memorable trip. I can imagine how motivating familiar scenes can be, not to mention the benefits of movement. We still have Iceland on our list of places to visit and will get there one day. Malcolm and I have taken up Pickleball. It is the ‘something new’ that we needed to change our routine up a bit. We are also still in the honeymoon stage and love challenging ourselves to get better. People all around us are getting the vaccine, but we have still not been able to secure an appointment. At least, it’s happening, and we can feel freedom around the corner. That in itself is a big motivator!

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    1. Oh, what fun, Suzanne! We live across the street from a park and we see groups of people playing Pickleball in the tennis courts almost daily. I want to try it, since they seem to be having tons of fun. It is great to hear how people are now actually getting the vaccine. Definitely a challenging process to determine which groups go first and then the two shots to be effective. I will now think about you and your husband when I walk past the park and hear the ping, ping, ping. Like you say, the benefits of movement.🙂

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  6. Hi, Erica – I love your ten lessons learned from your first week of your virtual walking challenge. 1332.5 km is very impressive.
    Thank you for the shout-out. I echo your thoughts on the benefits of this challenge. I’m virtually walking 299.4 km of Cape Breton Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail. I have set the time frame of 35 days to do this. Like you, I’ll be walking at least 8 km a day. So far, I’m 8 days down and 140.2 km in (I heavily frontloaded so will slow down now)! I completely agree, this virtual challenge has been very motivational.
    I look forward to following the rest of your journey. Good luck!

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    1. You have been inspirational, Donna, with all of your daily walking. 🙂 I especially appreciate the photos you often share, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Typical weather for the Island right now. We have had tremendous winds and power outages. I could not get through one of my routes, yesterday, with a fallen tree and branches all over. You are likely facing the same weather. Exhilarating lol. I look forward to cheering each other on while we ‘travel’ throughout our planet.

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      1. Hi, Erica – Our weather has been up and done as well. Yesterday was bright, dry, warm and sunny. Many people wore shorts and sleeveless shirts. While I didn’t go that far, I did go out with just my fleece (no coat, hat or gloves). That’s huge for me.
        Happy walking! I look forward catching up again soon.

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  7. Enjoy your virtual trek through Iceland, Erica.
    It’s better than sitting around doing nothing, eh?

    You’ll stay on the couch, you’ll stay in your room
    You’ll stay in a chair for a meeting on ZOOM
    You’ll stay in the bathroom ~ a brief getaway
    There are so many places at home you will stay

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    1. Ha, ha, huge smile, Nancy. Is the “eh” for the Canuck in me? Did you just now make up this poem? Now I will not get “bathroom” and “brief getaway” out of my head. My husband will begin to wonder why I am taking so long.😁

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      1. I did not craft the poem . . . but it cracked me up.
        I say “eh?” a lot, because of all the Canadian and folks from Minnesota who fly south for the winter to spend time with us. 😀

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  8. Well I’ll be darned Erica, this may give me the nudge to get out of my comfort zone. I bashed my toes several weeks ago, then just as they were getting better, I bashed them again and just to be sure, for a third time. Today for the first time I am able to wear a closed walking shoe and go walking. But I’m going to think about where I’d love to do a virtual tour, maybe Norway (paternal grandmother), maybe Scotland (also grandmother/maternal). I’m in need of grandeur of beauty, and while I do have it here in my bubble, I am sniffing at elsewhere. But for now, I’m going for a walk in the burbs. Wore my walking shoes earlier for some gardening to test them out and they’re ok. Thank you for your lovely post! 🌺

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    1. Thank you, Susan, Huge darn about bashing your toes a few times. I don’t know why this happens, when we keep irritating the same area. Maybe, Murphy’s Law? This Iceland Virtual tour decision seemed to happen overnight. I was inundated with all of the virtual walking tours I ignored. Then “Iceland” showed up and it was an immediate, yes. I need something to take me away, even virtually. I hear and see how Scotland has beautiful walking trails. One day. I am happy to hear you can get your shoes back on. Definitely helps for walking in your beautiful outdoors in real time.❤️

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  9. I’ve never heard of a virtual walking challenge. I’m not sure that I understand it. I walk for real, I guess. As for what I started new in January 2021, I’m taking an online college class just for the heck of it. I figure that’ll keep my brain clicking.

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    1. Hi Ally, I do the Real Walking in a Real Time Frame. The app registers my kilometres for the day, and I am on a specific route/tour of Iceland. I began in Reykjavik. Google Earth shows me where I am at the moment with all of the actual scenery. Fun. If you feel up to it, I am curious about the online course you are taking. Like you say, Ally, keeping the brain clicking is a good thing.

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      1. Interesting way to motivate yourself to keep walking. Sounds like fun. Will look into it. I’ll write about the class when I’m finished with it, probably next month. It’s been a challenge in ways I didn’t expect.

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        1. There are many shorter routes, Ally, in beautiful places on our planet. You set your own pace and you can modify your goals at any time. There are also free apps. It is a fun way to keep track. I look forward to reading about your course. 🙂 Interesting about the unexpected challenges.

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    1. Thanks, Eduarda, Definitely honeymoon stage so far. I know you will end up being part of my real life journey while I am on this virtual adventure. 😁 We can reminisce and enjoy our scenery. I am beginning to see signs of Spring. Yesterday, I went along Holland avenue and a tree and lots of branches blocked my route. Quite the “violent” wind. Hope all okay in your neck of the woods. I look forward to more magical adventures.❤️

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  10. Kudos on your new challenge and interesting takeaways from your adventures. This sounds like a creative way to keep focused during lockdown. I’m busy enough with work and life that my challenge is fitting in exercise and nature time. Two priorities in my life. Enjoy your trek Erika!

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    1. Thank you, Brad, for your kind comment. I had not thought about it as being a creative way to keep focused. I always walk every day, although, I am now fitting in an evening walk to increase my kilometres. You are right, how clearing my head helps me with creativity. Especially when it is very quiet and peaceful on my evening walks. I cannot imagine how challenging it is for you to fit everything in when you are working. Kudos to you, Brad!

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    1. We managed to see only one puffin, Deborah. We were the only people at the northernmost lighthouse in Iceland, Hraunhafnartangi Lighthouse, 800 metres south of the Arctic Circle. My daughter saw this puffin peaking from behind a rock and we managed to get about 100 photos of it, posing at different angles. We were VERY quiet to not frighten it away. Thank you for the good wishes. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones.🙂

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  11. Virtual visits have kept me sane Erica. I haven’t visited Iceland but would love to the moment it is safe to travel. Meanwhile, your idea of taking a virtual challenge resonates with me – Antartica sounds quite adventurous. 🙂 Happy trekking dear friend.

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    1. I am with you, Balroop on the virtual visits and staying sane. A lot of mayhem during our virtual Christmas visits and difficult to hear everyone. My one daughter said how she could feel a lot of love in the room. Mission accomplished. I gravitate to stories about people travelling to Antarctica. It always sounds fascinating. Thank you for the good wishes. I hope you and loved ones are well.🙂

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  12. 42 years later and the honeymoon continues. Now I virtually know where to virtually find you. Hopefully soon we will be able to revisit Iceland IRL.

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  13. Wow…. what an amazing adventure you had. Iceland sounds so exotic for all the right reasons, although I must say the first thing that entered my thoughts when I saw all of you in that hot spring tub was how it felt after you got out! What was the temperature like that day, do you recall?! 🙂 I am really impressed that you guys went there! Kudos for this new challenge your taking — I agree, it’s something much better to wrap your head around right now. – Marty

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    1. Iceland is definitely a life changing trip and many people return a few times. You can see a great deal even in a short time. The hot springs were a real treat, Marty. The locals would tell us how to find some of the “secret” hot springs. I wondered about cleanliness, yet the water is always moving and being replaced from under the ground. Some VERY hot areas. You are totally right, Marty, VERY cold when getting out of the tub. Most of Iceland is also very windy, so clothing layers are important. It is good for me to focus on something besides 24/7 news. The next few weeks should be interesting……You and Gorgeous, take care.🙂

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  14. Fabulous photos – I was looking forward to the fjords in Norway at the end of this year but, well, le sigh. As you know I’m walking the length of Britain at the moment – virtually speaking, of course. My goal is 1744.2kms in 175 days – that’s an average of around 10kms a day. 8 days in and I’m sitting at 91kms. Slowly but surely – and taking in the scenery.

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    1. The length of Britain is a significant distance, Jo. I have friends who have done walking tours in Britain IRL, in the olden days, and they loved it. I find it fun to take in the Iceland scenery and of course the scenery around here. I realize you have been walking all along, yet I find this is somewhat different.

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  15. You’ve piqued my interest, Erica 🙂 🙂 Another blogger completed a south coast to London challenge and I wasn’t too sure how it worked. I understand that it motivates you to cover a distance, but do you then sit down and view the route you’ve traversed on Google via the App? So many wonderful places you could walk. How would I ever choose? 🙂 I haven’t started anything new but I do like having more time for some of the things I enjoy. Sadly we’re about to go back into lockdown so I may well be tempted.

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    1. Hi Jo, I had briefly read about these challenges the past few months, and when I read “Iceland” I knew it was a perfect fit. I become extra hooked to this challenge when I can see myself (my little icon) at a specific site on Google Earth. We were advised another month of no socializing with anyone outside of our household, too. This is helping me jump out of bed with something to look forward to. Yet, I am still in the honeymoon stage. Some friends are using a free app called Myles Challenge. Take care, Jo. 🙂❤️

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  16. Iceland has been near the top of our “must go” list for years, but we haven’t yet made it. Some day! Facebook keeps marketing these virtual walks to me, but I’ve not investigated so far. My Fitbit keeps me going. Apparently I’ve walked through the centre of the Earth since I got it!

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    1. Anabel, You and your husband are amazing, inspirational walkers. I cannot imagine the number of kilometres you walk each day and especially when you are on your adventures. Iceland is a life changing place to visit for many reasons. You would love it! Scotland is still high on our list, too. We can always dream. Now, through the centre of the Earth….wow! Take care.

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  17. What a creative idea and fun challenge, Erica. I can’t wait to go there in person, but this sounds like the next best thing. I’m actually trying to write, so staying focused on that and trying to balance the horrible news with the small things that keep me peaceful and hopeful. Good luck with your walk! Give us updates now and then. ❤ ❤

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    1. You are inspirational, Diana, how you do many things, well. Especially your beautiful, creative, engaging writing. ❤️ You are right about “…trying to balance the horrible news with the small things that keep me peaceful and hopeful.” Thank you for your support. Now that I have put it in writing and out there, no excuse for me. 😁

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  18. HI Erica/Erika, I am so glad that you have found something new and inspirational for each day. I am not entirely sure how this works, you actually walk somewhere local or do steps some how a nd t hen log in real steps but get credit for virtual? Sounds like something you will be doing for a while, so I hope you will write more about this adventure. I hope all is well, I think I hear a hint of sadness or weariness underneath the excitement. However, recent events here in the US would discourage the most persistent of positive people. Blessings, Michele

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    1. Hi Michele, I walk in real time and the app registers my daily kilometres. I am on a specific route, “Ring Road” around Iceland. I began in Reykjavik. I can then see almost exactly where I am on Google Earth with the actual scenery. I get a 360 degree view. It makes all of this more fun and of course, I am still in the honeymoon stage.😁

      Michele, I can see why you have chosen your career/calling or it has chosen you. You are very perceptive detecting the sadness and weariness. I am grateful for many things in my life, yet it is almost impossible to not worry and get blue with the news on our planet.

      I look forward to reading about what is new in your life, Michele. ❤️ Take care.

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      1. Thank you friend. Prayers for certain. Unfortunately, what is new for me is that COVID hit our house over Christmas and New Years. My case was very mild, but I came close to losing my husband. He is home a nd recovering, so, obviously very little blog reading or any other kind. But I have a new post in the works going to try to get it done today. Oops, sermon first, then post, or post quickly. The app sounds interesting. I don’t walk that much at this point, but i will keep the idea on the back burner. I walk the dog 3 x a day by need, but one of my goals is to add a 4th trip, sans dog, just for me. Maybe by spring.

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        1. I did not know about your serious challenges, Michele. I am very sorry about your husband. I cannot imagine how difficult. I greatly look forward to reading all of your posts, in some ways, mini sermons? I was telling my husband about you, yesterday, on our walk. All good things, of course. ❤️ You make an interesting point, one walk just for you. I get it. Tonight, I did not invite my husband for my extra walk since I wanted the time alone to look at the stars and find some clarity with my life.

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          1. Thank you so much Erica/Erika. We saw our family doctor in person this afternoon and we are so blessed. I used to think the only good doctors were in big hospitals in big cities, but we live in a town of about 1400. Not for the first time, she spent over a half hour with us. She is a good diagnostician, but also compassionate and thorough. We go back to see her in two weeks and she clarified for us some of the things t hat Roger is dealing with now and a reasonable timeline. I think you will enjoy the post I published tonight, a little tongue in cheek and certainly my heritage of humor from my mom. You are a blessing to me and to many. Glad you had some time with the stars! Blessings, Michele

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            1. It is heartwarming to hear the good stories about the genuine humanity on our planet. Possibly, a career as a doctor is also a ‘calling.’ I love your witty, tongue in cheek humour, Michele, and I look forward to reading the story. The stars were exceptional last night. ✨ Take care and stay well for you and Roger.❤️

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  19. Thanks to you Erica, I am currently walking in Ireland. Next up I’m going walkabout in Oz (I think that’s how they describe it …LOL!), and then I finish with a nice little meander around the Cabot Trail. Haven’t been there since the ’80s. What have you gotten me into, girl? 😉

    Deb

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    1. Deb, I was not aware you are walking in Ireland. Ireland was one of our top choices to visit IRL. Oz and New Zealand may be next for me. I have to get around Iceland first. 🤪 Now that I have put it out there and in writing, no excuses for me! I greatly appreciate your help when I was making decisions about whether to buy my watch. I love it, and it is perfect for these types of challenges.😁

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    1. You are right, Bette, virtual travel seems to be our only option right now. Thank you for your supportive words. So far, all of this has been fun and a diversion. Hope you and your loved ones are well. Take care.❤️

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  20. Oh Wow, Erica, this is amazing. I’ve always dreamed of Iceland. I think I must do a virtual walk. I’m feeling the need for adventure. My move from my RV to my little home has kept me busy this last month. But my heart wants the freedom to explore. And this is just the ticket! I’m proud for you! I started taking on-line self-paced writing courses. I love it. My goal is to publish a children’s book-and create a series. I’m focusing more on my own learning and writing. I’m hoping to be able to travel this summer; particularly back to Alaska to visit my son, daughter-in-law, and little grandson. And the other son, daughter-in-law, and grandgirl in Washington State. There are so many places I wish to go. I’ll never stop dreaming-and thank you for introducing me to this. On another note, I loved your words. You so beautifully described your ten things. Stay safe, healthy, and blessed! 💚

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    1. Hi Karla. The self-paced writing course sounds like a challenge and fun. You likely have children’s book ideas and stories germinating and now the ‘how to’ learning. I was not aware you had family in Alaska and in Washington State. Definitely challenging to not be able to visit them right now. The grandchildren seem to change weekly. We have been Zooming with our grandchildren. A little chaotic, yet great to have this option. Thank you for your kind, supportive words. I look forward to reading about your move and your new place. Take care.❤️

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      1. You are so welcome. And thank you, Erica! It has been fun. My tastes in decorating have definitely changed over the years. Placing items on these blank walls means more to me at this phase. And of course, pics of my precious family. What would we do without technology? I definitely value its positives. ❤️

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        1. I am with you, Karla, on the positives of technology, especially right now. You are inspiring me to rethink my walls and where I am placing my photos. Thank you! We have lived in our house for almost 30 years. Sometimes a move helps with reassessing our stuff. No need to move at the moment.

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  21. I admire your energy, Erica. Your Iceland virtual challenge is wonderful. I love your 2017 photos. My daughter and her husband went to Iceland in 2018 when I babysat Autumn all by myself. She sent me photos every day. I wish to go someday. I have some WIP books and new posts for 2021 which will keep me busy. As far as working out, I walk a couple miles every day. I hope by the summer, the gym would be safe enough for me to go swimming. Best wishes for a better new year!

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    1. I recall you mentioning watching Autumn in 2018. You are an awesome, Grandmother and Mother, Miriam. And, writer! 🙂 You look very fit and healthy so whatever you are doing is working for you. I look forward to hearing more about your WIP books and posts. Take care and stay well. ❤️

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  22. Your positivity is infectious, Erica. It’s no wonder so many people respond to your posts. I’ve never been to Iceland, but I’d love to see it in person post-COVID. We used to read a story in my class (The title escapes me) that was all about puffins. It described how people rescued wayward puffins before the town’s animals (dog, I think) could get to them. I don’t know if it was part myth, but I seem to remember that the kids were excused from school and did this for a certain period of time in the evening (for two weeks.) I’m sure I don’t have all the details correct, but it was a remarkable story.

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    1. You are exceptionally kind and generous with your comment, Pete. Thank you, and back at you. I am intrigued about this story about the puffins, dog, and towns people. I will try to hunt it down to read to my grandchildren over Zoom. They were thrilled to see photos of our puffin when we were away. Take care and I look forward to staying connected.

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    1. It is more fun and doable than I expected, Carol. I have added evening walks which are turning out to be extra special for my mind. Thank you for sharing your supportive comment. I hope you are well. I look forward to staying connected.🙂

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      1. That’s interesting to hear it does seem like a versatile app, Erica and well done …Yes, thank you we are well here not so the rest of the world it seems I hope you are keeping well and safe 🙂 x

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  23. Several of my friends – including you – have traveled to Iceland and loved every second. So it’s on my bucket list (however, my bucket is getting so heavy I can’t even lift it). I’m confused about these walking challenges. Do you just walk “virtually” looking at the computer? Or do you somehow walk in your area, measuring your steps to see where you’ve “been” if those steps were in Iceland? If I lived in CA still, I could walk as many steps/miles as needed, but here now in NE it’s so cold and bitter (with icy rain or snow) that I have a difficult time making myself walk outside. I do Zoom with zumba and yoga and cardio core. Maybe the walking is in place while the challenge goes on? Sorry for my ignorant confusion, but I know you will lead me in the right directions. 🙂 xo

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    1. Hi Pam, Iceland is special for many reasons, and we look forward to returning one day. I think most of us walk and incorporate a variety of fitness activities into our day. I do the actual walking and my watch tracks my steps and kilometres (of course, you can change this to miles). At the end of the day or the next morning I log my kilometres for the day into the app. I am on a specific route (Ring Road) which begins in Reykjavik. Google Earth shows me almost exactly where I am in Iceland with the actual scenery. My little icon (face) has a 360 degree view of each stop. I was blown away the day I ended up actually inside one of the tunnels. It is much easier than it sounds and lots of fun. There is a conversion chart where you can choose to log other activities. I have always done some sort of fitness/walking, yet now I have increased my kilometres per day and head out for an extra walk at night. Fun and beneficial for my mental health right now. All of your activities would log kilometres. More and more friends (IRL and blogging friends are joining in). A fun way to support each other and travel to sites around the world. Have I lead you in the right direction? Or just confused you? Take care, Pam.xo ❤️

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      1. You answered my question! You get to walk outside and the site shows you where you are walking in Iceland. To simplify it all. Sounds wonderful. I could start this in the spring when I can really get outside and walk. I’m a wimp and don’t like to walk outside now when it’s under 35° 😕

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  24. Thank you for sharing, especially the photos and memories form Iceland. my daughter and I had planned to visit Iceland for a month during the summer of 2020….before the pandemic hit. Maybe another year 🙂 I really enjoyed your photos. Thank you so much! Have a fabulous weekend!

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    1. Maria, I know you and your daughter will have a chance to visit Iceland again. I truly hope we are all heading in the right direction, although, it will still take time. I am glad our paths crossed and I look forward to reading more about you.🙂

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  25. As much as I enjoy walking, I often feel my same three-mile trek up and down the hills of my neighborhood could use some pizazz. These treks may be just the thing and, after hearing about everyone’s adventures during our Zoom, you’ve motivated me to check them out. Nothing is as good as the real thing but while we are limited in our travels, virtual travel while exercising seems like the way to go. Thanks for sharing, Erica!

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    1. Hi Janis, You are saying exactly how I was feeling. I and we (often Chuck) were doing the same route in our neighbourhood. Helping keep us healthy. Iceland popped up in my news feed and I knew this is what I needed to amp up my fitness, miles, and help my spirit. Many trails and distances to explore. Virtual travel is our option, for now. We can always dream, Janis.❤️

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  26. Hi Erica, well done you in starting 2021 with a challenge despite COVID and it’s restrictions. I just loved your words which resonated with me as I read them. I could picture your evening walks under the stars and heavens and during these times we do realise we are a small part of something big. Thank you for the shoutout and beautiful words. I’m here if you need a ‘coach’ to keep you on track although I think you’ve got this one! Tracking where you are and how far you’ve walked is really good to encourage us to keep going. The Virtual Challenges have been a brilliant idea and although nothing is quite as good as the real thing, your walk around Iceland will bring beautiful memories of your time there. Sending love and hugs from Australia. #weekendcoffeeshare

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Sue, and your continual support. I believe our conversation about intentions, themes, WOTYS helped me realize how I want to continue living my life. You are my fitness inspiration and you know first hand how working on healthy lifestyles influences much more than just our physical body.

      I began sending an email to a friend who was curious about this challenge and I decided to turn it into a post. I was brimming with tears yesterday reading your recent post and I will go back to comment. It is wonderful riding this wave with you.xx ❤️

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  27. Hi Erica I loved reading your pist for a couple of reasons. My dream is to go to I eland one day so I loved your photos. Also I’m a big fan of the Conqueror Virtual Challenges. In early December I completed their Camino de Santiago virtual challenge. I have wAlk the Camino in real life so I took the same approach as you. I loved checking where I was with my photos. I was about to start the Iceland Challenge when I broke my arm. I’ve struggled a bit with pain so haven’t been able to do long walks. I think I should be ok in a couple of weeks so will be starting it then. #weekendcoffeeshare

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    1. Oh, Jennifer, I am very sorry to hear about your arm. I was not aware of the Conqueror Challenges until the last few months. I am hooked, so far. I am very intrigued about the Camino in real life and I have it on a virtual list. Thank you for your kind, supportive comment. I hope you mend quickly.

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  28. This sounds delightful on so many levels. I am not sure exactly how it works, though. Do you take your phone or device along as you walk and see images from Iceland (or wherever you choose to be ‘walking’)? I am going to check it out. Would be fun to walk in places where I once lived!! Fun to see some of our mutual friends joining in on this. My daughters and I are doing something called StepBet. Not nearly as exciting EXCEPT we can win money for walking!!

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    1. Hi Leslie, I track my daily kilometres on my watch (other devices work) and these are transferred to the app (or manually transfer). I then see where I am each day on Google Earth with a 360 degree view. Since we have been to Iceland I can reminisce about our adventure. Tons of fun and motivating. There are other apps. Friends are using “Myles.” I am intrigued about StepBet and I will check it out. Loving your photos on Instagram!

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    1. It is definitely challenging to participate in extra activities when work gets in the way. Exciting about the motorhome! Perfect idea for all that is happening right now. I look forward to hearing more about it. Thank you for your kind comment, Dee. Take care.

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  29. Goodness me Erica/Erika you have sooo many people both interested in AND following your challenge. I have seen this on IG and admit I had not paid much attention but now, wow! Good for you, and onward, as they say!

    Denyse

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    1. Thank you, Denyse. I had to start somewhere and mix it up a bit around here. Of course, still at the honeymoon stage. I look forward to seeing what you are up to and all of your family’s smiles on Instagram.🙂

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  30. This has been such a fun thing to get into Erica and thanks so much for linking to my blog. We were in Iceland in June 2018 and loved every minute of it. Like you, we’d go back in a heartbeat! I’ve joined the freeMyles app first but it doesn’t give me the detail the paid one you mention does so once I finish the challenge, riding my bike from Split to Dubrovnik I will definitely transfer over to Iceland challenge. Thanks for the memories too!

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    1. As you know, Deb, part of the fun is meeting like minded people and supporting each other. The bike riding with your husband adds another fun dimension to all of this. I look forward to trekking around the globe with you!xx❤️

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  31. Virtual walking sounds interesting, I’ll have to look it up! But actually this post inspired me to start a real walking challenge because I move way, way too little these days. I didn’t start anything new this January but I started learning to play the guitar last summer and that’s an ongoing project that is also a nice challenge.
    But I will set up a walking challenge for myself!

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    1. Nice to meet you, Susanne! I was getting into a walking rut and I needed to mix things up. You are inspirational, learning how to play guitar. A challenge and likely helping get in the “flow” mode. Many variations of these walking challenges. Good luck!

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    1. Nice to meet you, Moumita. I do the actual walking in real time and I am visiting Iceland ‘virtually’ at the same time. The apps are fun to use and you can see where you are on Google Earth with a 360 degree view. Fun! It is nice to mix things up. Thank you for your kind comment.🙂

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  32. This is such a cool idea. Now I understand about the Iceland mention on another blog. As I have driven around half of the ring road in Iceland, I will definitely look into this app. It could be fun. I used to do a similar thing in September at my workplace called Steptember. We logged the steps and worked out how far around Australia we would go – virtually of course, although there was no accompanying Google earth to complement the steps. Is that integrated into the app?

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    1. Steptember sounds like lots of fun, Amanda. Yes, Google Earth is integrated into the app. Fun and motivating to use. I needed a change of pace this month. You know first hand about Iceland, Amanda. 🙂

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          1. Thank you, Eric/ka. I am not familar with that app either, so I will look it up. I have had to scale back all my exercise over Christmas due to a back injury, so you can imagine what that and the Christmas food did to the waistline.

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    1. I only recently heard about these challenges, Mark, and then Iceland came up in my news feed. Voila!🙂 Adding some fun to my walking. And, you are totally right, Mark. The world is full of stories, even in our back yard. Thank you for your supportive comment.🙂

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  33. Hi Erica – what a great idea … and fun to decide where to walk to or round … and as you say you’re doing you can look at the surrounding area vicariously via the app. I definitely need to do more walking … so must set out – I won’t do your virtual challenge – but will build in more everyday – now it’s stopped raining … I shall get myself out into the big bad outdoors.
    I’m reading lots more than I used to … and writing some write-ups, and entries for a newsletter … so with the blog I keep myself occupied a la casa! Right off out – now … I’ll enjoy following you along – and I love puffins – they are amazing creatures … stay safe and go well for your walking … Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Hilary, We have had a lot of rain here, yet never as much as in your neck of the woods. This newsletter sounds interesting and the writing will keep you dry in your cozy home. I look forward to reading the write-ups. Thank you for the supportive comment. No excuse for me now. Take care.🙂

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  34. I’ve never heard of a virtual walking challenge! It looks like a lot of fun. Congratulations on your publication in “Iceland Naturally, The Icelander”! I read it and shared it. Iceland looks like an Arctic version of exotic; there is such beauty in the colors of the landscape. What I started in January, which will continue to October, is a monthly trip to Sheldon Springs, Vermont to take inspiration photos for the novel I’ve started writing.

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    1. I only recently heard about these walking challenges, Liz. Iceland seemed a good fit for me. I am very intrigued about these inspiration photos and your new novel. I have heard how Vermont has beautiful scenery and the scenery varies with the seasons. Thank you for sharing the Iceland story. It was challenging to put one month of adventures and stunning scenery into 600 words. I look forward to reading your new novel and the back story, Liz.❤️

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  35. Good luck on your Iceland challenge. That sounds wonderful! And the fact that you have friends to participate and support each other along the way just makes it better! I was supposed to go to Iceland this summer to run the half marathon on the longest day of the year. Of course, that adventure will have to wait. Maybe in 2022!

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    1. We were in Iceland in June, 2017 for their longest day of the year. We met runners preparing for a marathon in Myvatn. Gorgeous, surreal area. I hope you have the opportunity to run there in a future year. You are right, Laurie, how it is fun to have friends to support you along the way.🙂

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  36. Hi Erica, I’m one of the old timers at the coffee share and am one of the story tellers. Welcome to our group (at least I think you’re new but the grey matter isn’t as dependable as it once was). This was an interesting post as I’ve never heard of something like this before.

    To give you a feel for the kind of stories I have in my collection, here’s a quick 10 minute read about my wife and my 10 year anniversary tour of Europe back in 1989. It proved to be one incredible memory and, traveler to traveler, I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

    Regardless, welcome to our weekend get together.

    Like

    1. Ohh, this is interesting Mark. An app or a program? Good for you on the treadmill every morning. Realistic exercise with your unpredictable Winter weather. Enjoy your ‘travelling adventures.’ 🙂

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  37. Wow, Erica! This sounds right up your alley. A mental and physical breath of fresh air. I am not familiar with these virtual walking challenges, so I was trying to piece everything together as I read your post. What I concluded is that you will walk the entire length of this road in Iceland in and near Victoria and/or Vancouver Island? How do you see the Icelandic scenery? How do those two walks – real one and virtual one – and the destinations coincide/line up? Have fun!

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    1. You ‘get it’ right away, Liesbet. Mental and physical. I needed a change, a challenge to focus on and clarify my priorities and where I am placing my energy. I do Real Walking/hikes daily. The app registers my kilometres for the day and I am on a specific route/tour of Iceland. I began in Reykjavik and Google Earth shows me where I am with a 360 degree view. I end up doing an extra long evening walk to up my kilometres. Fun! Always nice to connect with you, Liesbet. I am glad the release of your new book “Plunge” is a success. Well deserved!🙂

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  38. Hi Erika,
    Wow, Iceland looks amazing. Travel is definitely being redefined during Covid. We were due to go away to Byron Bay last week but cancelled as there’s been a covid cluster from a bottle shop in Sydney which looked like it could be major, but has since been largely contained. I think it’s good to minimise movement at the moment.
    That’;s also why virtual travel is so good. I’ve done a bit of that in the last 12 months and also when I’ve been doing my writing/research. I’ve gone to Paris and London in particular retracing my steps from a holiday in 1992.
    However, we live right near the beach and national park so there’s so much to be seen close to home, that I don’t feel deprived. Just need to go a different direction. Mind you, I’m in Australia and not affected by covid in quite the same way. Hope you and yours are keeping well.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to meet you, Rowena, I agree with your wise words “…it’s good to minimize movement at the moment.” We are told to socialize only with the people living in our home. Lots of Zoom visits with family and friends. Yet, we are able to get outside for exercise. Exercise is encouraged at the moment. Retracing steps and memories is a lot of fun. I greatly appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughtful comment.

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  39. Erica, I love how in these very difficult times you’ve signed up for a challenge and not an easy one at that! 828 miles is a lot but wow, the scenery and at least you will recognise places from your magical trip in 2017! The photos are stunning, the first one looks like an award winning picture and is just breathtaking! I hope you get to have some breaks in the wonderful spas (virutally now of course). I hope it won’t be too long until you can return to Icecland proper and thoroughly enjoy the glory of the country!

    Your positive spirit is inspiring and given me a kick to start the regular long walks again. A month of miserable grey damp biting rain has rather dampened my enthusiasm for the outdoors but I really need to head out there! I’m tempted to sign up and will look at exactly how much I can realistically manage (and am allowed to do) in a day! I doubt I can manage 5 miles in an hour which is what is allowed once a day at the moment! I love how many have joined you already in the challenge … it will be great for you to compare notes at the end of the day!

    Happy Trekking and keep smiling, my dear friend!😀

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    1. Always wonderful to hear from you, Annika. I realize with all of the challenges this past year, it is difficult at times to put pen to paper.

      Reading your comment reminds me how you and I enjoyed “Eurovision Fire Saga” with Will Ferrell filmed in Husavik, North Iceland. We stayed there for a couple of nights. Every day an adventure.

      Allowed one hour a day……wow, no words.😔 Re: this virtual challenge. There is a conversion chart for many other activities that can convert to kilometres, especially when you are limited to indoor activities. You can also adjust your goals at any time. Friends are also using “Myles” a free app (less bells and whistles?). A choice of many walks around our planet. I needed to ramp up my walking and a diversion from too much news (24/7). You have a healthy lifestyle, Annika, and whatever helps with the fun factor right now. I greatly appreciate your other longer note and the photo. ❤️. The photo: Something to look forward to. xx❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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