Travel

7 Things to Do In Iceland

January 11, 2017

There are so many things to do, but I’ve put together a short list of the “must-sees” for the first time traveler to Iceland.

We went for a week, but lost a day due to our flight being cancelled on WOW Air, and let’s just say the day after New Years Eve was a bit…slow. haha

Speaking of NYE, I highly recommend ringing in the new year in Iceland. They really know how to party, the locals and travelers are wonderful and they can dance till 5am. My kinda people! ;)

They also have an INSANE firework show. We saw them from a rooftop downtown and I have never seen anything like it; literally 360 views of fireworks lighting up the sky. It was surreal!

But here’s a list of things to see anytime!

1. The Blue Lagoon

A destination you can’t miss! It’s as beautiful as the pictures, but actually not as hot as I thought it would be. The temperature is tolerable and very comfortable. Before heading into the water, store your belongings in your locker and rinse off in the shower. It is VERY important to leave a good handful of conditioner in your hair as the silica in the water WILL leave your hair feeling coarse and dry. If you have dyed hair, I would even suggest bringing your own strong conditioner from home just for this destination. (or you can put your hair up in a bun of course, but where’s the fun in that?)

Employees will give you a mud mask once you are in the lagoon (it made my skin a bit red, but the next day my skin felt amazing! Just be sure to not use too much). They also sell smoothies and alcoholic beverages in the lagoon.

TIP: Make sure you have a waterproof phone case with a lanyard for your iPhone because you won’t want to miss out on capturing this experience. I was able to take pictures and video through the plastic and using Siri to open the camera app. A GoPro would also work great for capturing footage, but if you drop it in the water good luck finding it throughout all the feet and very blue water. We brought our GoPro Session and dropped it! The only reason we found it after looking for it with our feet is because we had a tripod attached to it, so it was big enough to finally find.

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2. The Golden Circle

I highly recommend renting a car, it’s the best and easiest way to see Iceland. The Golden Circle is an incredible route with scenic views and 3 main stops: Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and the geysers in Haukadalur.

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3. Helicopter Tour

If you’re willing to splurge a bit Norðurflug has some remarkable tours. I recommend choosing a tour with at least one stop so you can get out, take some pictures, and possibly even have champagne (Heli Happy Hour – which is what we did)! I would also suggest booking a tour early on in your vacation so if weather decides to work against you and they have to cancel the tour, they will always move it so don’t worry, you’ll have some cushion days to work with.

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4. Northern Lights

Ahh, it’s still unfortunately on my to-do list for Iceland. They come out when they want, we waited all night. Again, I would recommend trying to see them as soon as you get to Iceland, so if you don’t catch them on the first night, you can try every night after that. Definitely book a tour because they will bring you to the destinations where you will most likely see them, they also have these MONSTER Mercedez super jeeps that will get you through the snow safely. Be sure to ask or check on Google Maps on your phone where exactly you are so that if you miss the Northern Lights, you can try to drive nearby on your own another night.

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5. Hallgrímskirkja (Church)

It’s the largest church in Iceland and has an incredible pipe organ inside. It’s located in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, you can’t miss it!

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7. Sólheimasandur Plane Crash

The plane is on a black sand beach, it’s awesome! And just to note there were no fatalities in the crash in 1973, they just abandoned the plane and it ended up being a cool tourist destination. Finding the actual location can be a bit confusing so here is a site to help guide you there. Once you are at the beach, it’s a 40 minute walk to the plane so about 1.5 hours total. Try to go early because it can get quite packed. The plane on black sand makes for some pretty spectacular photos!

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Iceland is truly remarkable, I fell in love with the city and will definitely be visiting again! All of the locals spoke perfect English and were so welcoming. Always keep in mind that the weather is very unpredictable so try and plan your days accordingly. And one last thing, try to book your stays as early in advance as you can, Iceland is PRICEY! I live in San Francisco and met a British friend from London and we both thought the prices were outrageous.

Iceland’s worth it though! 

Happy Travels!

– Alyssa


Style

Sweater Dresses Make The Chicest Winter Outfits

January 10, 2017

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As promised a sweater dress post would be up! This one was supposed to go up last week, but with the interference and nightmare of a day with WOW Air, everything was put on the back burner so I could focus on getting to Iceland. If you don’t know what I’m talking about take a read into my wild ride of a day at the airport!

Winter has finally come into full effect here in San Francisco and I’ve been living in sweater dresses. Before I left for Iceland for New Years, the weather was still tolerable, actually really ideal (the photos were taken right before – ahh, warm). Anddd once I got back home, a full blown storm of wind and rain were pounding against my windows.

Sweater dresses are my ultimate fave. You literally can’t go wrong with them, they’re very Lydia E Millen style, right? Even though the weather has been quite wet, don’t fret sweater dresses can still be rocked. It’s winter, you can wear absolutely anything, what matters is the jacket that’s going to shield you from the rain. ;)

These dresses elongate your legs when paired with OTK boots. Just the right amount of leg shows which makes them appear thinner. Who doesn’t want longer, skinnier legs?

Add some tights if it’s extra cold out, looks very winter-y too.

Oh and a tip to keep your OTK boots actually over the knee (after wearing them a few times, mine decided to kind of stretch) add a pair of knee high socks. You can wear ones that end below the boot so they won’t be shown, or if you’d like to give your outfit an extra detail, lift the socks so they show just above the boot. I usually do this now instead of wearing my regular bootie socks, but happened to forget this time! The long socks will give extra cushion to keep your boots nice and lifted.

I would also add a belt around the waist to give it some structure. I’ve been eyeing this Gucci belt in black and pink, but I can’t find them anywhere in SF!

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dcs_4918 dcs_4915There are sweater dresses for absolutely everyone! From chunky knits, to a tighter more fitting style, to a simple cotton dress with cutouts on the shoulders (I got mine from AllSaints) they have styles for all body types…and that I love!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and is starting the new year on the right foot!

Love,

– Alyssa

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Travel

Why you should NEVER fly WOW Air!

January 9, 2017

Before I get into my little spiel, I want to wish everyone a very happy new year!!

We just got back from Iceland and our trip was beyond amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday and way to start the new year. It was honestly my best birthday yet, good people all around and too many laughs. I will dive into all the greatness Iceland has to offer in my next blog posts, but I wanted to talk about the airline we flew with because this experience was one like I’ve never had before. A true nightmare.

WOW Air…$700 round trip to Iceland?

great in theory, REAL LIFE DISASTER.

I’m just going to give my short 2 cents because Ryan actually wrote a blog post explaining the whole ordeal. I mean every detail. For Ryan to blog about something that isn’t tech related is unheard of.

WOW Air is the worst airline I have ever flown with. I get delays and trust me I do get cancellations (even though they SUCK), but read Ryan’s post about how they handled everything.

They are getting a lot of press at the moment because they are new, cheap (HA! but not really), and an international airline. And are the only airline that have a direct flight to KEV (Iceland) from SFO.

Before I go on, I do want to say this though, not all budget airlines are crap. The saying “you get what you pay for” is not always true. I have had plenty of wonderful experiences with budget airlines such as Southwest, Norwegian, and Frontier. I did have a 9 hour delay with Frontier once, but like I said…I get it, it happens. The customer service crew handled the unfortunate situation professionally and respectfully.

But WOW Air is completely different, it is a COMPLETE SCAM. Check out their twitter reply page, in which they simply copy and paste the same response to the thousands of people who have complaints and never get a real answer. Oh and don’t even think about calling, they say they can’t take any complaints over the phone and that you’ll have to “write an email”.

There is a class action lawsuit at the moment by 2 women who have had the exact same experience as everyone else who has flown with them. I would not feel the need to express my strong opinion on this if it were merely a delay, cancelation, hell even a lost luggage. All airlines have their ups and downs at times, but WOW Air is complete sh*t and a SCAM.

They told us we would be compensated different amounts over the intercom for the delay and cancellation. It’s all a lie, the only way you MIGHT be compensated is by having knowledge of your passenger rights (which Ryan studied FOREVER) or being backed by a legal team. Props to those women suing. It’s not OK for WOW Air to take advantage of so many people.

Do not fly with WOW Air.


If you are looking to plan a trip and don’t know where to start (no matter what your budget is), PLEASE send me an email at alyssa@reviveyourwild.com and I will be sure to give my best advice and help you start to plan your trip. I blog to share my experiences and to inspire others. This post is in no way out of spite to how they treated us and the chaos they caused, but to bring awareness to others.

Our entire trip was blissful, we didn’t let WOW Air ruin it, even though we did miss a whole day and half and Ry spent his birthday on a plane. Iceland is pretty magical and I think everyone should visit there sometime. Now that we are home we are going to stand up for what is right and push our claims until they are heard, no matter what we have to do.

Glad I got that off my chest. Time to focus on what’s to come this year!!

XO,

– Alyssa

Here is a link to Ryan’s full blog post on our terrible experience flying with WOW Air. Feel free to share with friends who are even considering flying with them. Don’t chance it guys, it’s simply not worth it.