Things don’t go always as they were planned.
Yesterday started out just as planned. A great flight from Seattle direct to Iceland on Icelandic Air, arriving a 6am Iceland time. Time for a decent breakfast, time to pick up my rental Campervan, and time to start my two week journey. I decide to explore the peninsula that the airport is on in my manual gear, stick shift van. Then I head for the famous Blue Lagoon that is arguably the number one or two attraction on this island nation. Thermal heated waters. I drive to it and explore it. more about that in another post.
Then I drive to Reykjavik, the nation’s largest city (pop. 125,000, metro area 250,000) and its capitol. About a one hour drive. I immediately head for the attraction named Fly Over Iceland, which had been highly recommended to me by a friend who lives in Reykjavik. After that I planned to go to his house and lay down for a short nap, before heading out to see the volcano that is erupting at this time, the one that 60 minutes did a piece on recently. My plan was to leave at 5pm with a guide that I had hired for the 6+ hour experience, arriving back at my friend’s house around midnight. Such was the plan. Just another lackadaisical day.
Unfortunately, something happened at Fly Over Iceland (FOI) that changed everything.
FOI bills itself as an experience. You sit in a seat, like an airplane captain’s seat, get your seat belt on, and you feel like you are flying/piloting the plane, helicopter or huge drone over and around the unbelievably exciting natural beauty of this island country. I don’t know how they do it, but you feel like you are moving at airplane like speed and diving, turning, maneuvering your aircraft to just barely avoid running into the side of a mountain, for example. All the while, getting a phenomenal view of the canyons, mountains, glaciers, seas, fiords, volcanos that this country has to offer. It is amazing.
However…they also have a small sign posted as you enter that warns you that if you are subject to motion sickness this may not be the best thing for you, or something to that effect.
Holy cow!!! I am in there and the “flight” only last 8 minutes, but after about 3 minutes I am sweating like mad. Really sweating. Beginning to feel a little light headed. Then I begin to feel nauseous. And all of a sudden, I am throwing up. And I don’t throw up just once. No, I do it several times, with all the appropriate sounds to accompany it. sometimes in the past when this has happened, I felt much better after having thrown up. But not this time. I did not feel good at all. And I was a sweaty, smelly mess.
But if you think I looked bad at this point, you should have seen the seat next to me, where I decided to unload my insides. Luckily there were 10 seats in the row. The first 7 were taken by others. I was the last to be seated, and I chose to keep a seat between me and the last person. So I had an empty seat on either side of me. Thank goodness. I forgot to mention that this is all going on in total darkness except for light coming from the movie like screen.
You probably want to know what happened to me. Before I tell you the end of the story let me share with you one other part of this story, which frankly I am not proud of. That being what I did when the “flight” movie/experience was over.
The exit was to my immediate left. Being the last to enter, I could be the first to leave. I say to myself what should I do? Leave immediately and quickly so that no one hopefully sees me or can identify me. By doing so, leaving the horrible sight of the seat next to me for every one of the 7 other people in the row to pass by and just gape in horror.
Or, should I man up, and stay seated, head down, as all the other 7 people pass by. Wait for them to leave and then try to find the staff to apologize and let them know that there is some serious clean up needed.
Well, I hate to admit it, but I took the coward’s way out. I ran out of there, down the stairs into the WC and closed the door behind my stall and continued to vomit. I just realized that I am probably giving you more details than you really want to hear.
I eventually stagger back to my campervan, feeling terrible and weak. Nevertheless I am able to barely make it to my friend’s house which luckily is a very short distance from the FOI facility. My friend and his wife could not have been nicer. They quickly realized that I needed to lie down and get some sleep. After a few more dry heaves (everything that I had in my stomach had already come up) I was able to fall asleep.
And sleep I did. With the exception of a few bathroom breaks and a bite or two of some rice and lettuce I laid in bed and slept for almost 18 hours. Can you believe that? 18 hours!
Needless to say, I did not make the trek to the volcano. I am feeling much better today, thank you. not quite 100% but close. I am off in my campervan to explore the country.
What did I take away from this experience? One, that I am more susceptible to motion sickness than I thought. Two, apparently, I needed a lot of sleep. Three, friends are important always, but particularly if you are sick or hurting. Four, the shame I felt was too much to stay and do what I should have done.
Another day, another experience.