On day 9 we set out to do some snorkelling at Silfa where fissures have been formed, putting distance between the North American and Eurasian plates. Our tour guides said if you stretch out enough you could touch both sides at the same time, so likely if you’re taller than 5’0 go have fun, if not join me in my short person pity party over here in Ottawa where we talk about the desire for longer legs for TIMES LIKE THESE!
Meeting Jess has go to be hands down one of my favourite experiences of meeting another person ON THE ROAD. She was all smiles, bubbly, energetic, vivacious, captivating and I don’t mean to build myself up here but she reminded me of myself in a way. I felt like we were just exchanging energy between one another.
At first I was a little nervous standing around with this dry suit which was choking the $#@! out of me. I mean the piece around the neck was so aggressively tight, I felt literally as if someone had their two hands around my throat.
Naturally I wanted my water bottle around to sooth my anxiety as I felt like I couldn't breath.
It took one statement from Jess to realize we'd be friends for a very long time. I made a joke about how I felt as if I was choking and told her I wanted my water bottle, which was in the van. I offered her some. She described feeling anxious in the suit and at that moment said she wished she had her bottle!
I asked her one question
“Do you carry around a bottle of water everywhere you go?”
"YES!", she replied
BOOM, instant friendship
As some people out there may or may not know, anxiety has a way of creeping up in all sorts of ways, settings, times and you never really know in what form or how you’re going to be able to cope. I turn to water bottles. I am finding out it is more popular of a coping mechanism than I realized. When I’m about to freak out, over loaded with panic, anxiety or fear, I feel like my throat is closing. I can’t produce spit anymore and for whatever reason that water on my pallet, swishing around my tongue is like air to my lungs. It alleviates my suffering even if only for an instance. Okay good, glad we got that little part explained.
Check out my DEALING WITH ANXIETY article!
There were definitely some coincidental factors here in meeting Jess. Firstly I had never met someone who turns to their water bottle for safety! We both found comfort in one other by the fact that we could drink as much water as possible once we jumped in to the freezing glacier water - NO BOTTLES NECESSARY.
Secondly, her energy. It was kind of like I was standing in a mirror, watching myself in motion. What a strange experience, as if I was my own stranger. I was quieted by her presence. I wasn’t bubbly or super excited in that moment because she was fuelling everyone around us. I was so intrigued.
Thirdly, okay her name is JESSICA too! She was traveling with her boyfriend Matthew at the time, who she is madly in love with. I loved that they were travelling together. In that moment I imagined what it would be like to travel the world with Jacob and had a quick vision of how exciting that day will be!
At the end of the tour, we all jumped off this 12 foot cliff into the freezing water with our dry suits on. What an incredible, immediate headache I got as the cold water rushed into my cap!
Matthew was feeling brave and did a backflip off the little cliff which was so cool as I love jumping into water any way possible. I ended up diving off after his second jump. What a mistake for us both that was. I ended up going to the hospital when I was back in Ottawa and the doctor said I had whip lash. The dry suit tried to keep me afloat, it was incredibly buoyant. When I dove into the water my neck whipped back and I felt a sharp, severe and instant pain in my mid spine. I actually flailed around a little to make sure I could still move right after, I was so worried. I kept it to myself as did Matthew at the time.
I caught up with her about a week later on Facebook and we found out that both Matthew and I were still in a lot of pain. I was in Iceland back in mid-end of August and it’s now mid December and I still suffer from sever discomfort in my back and upper body.
Jess reached out to me one night from Montreal when we were both settled at our homes after our trip. Our friendship was confirmed that night when she shared some upsetting news with me and was looking for comforting words. I told her I was here for her in whatever way I could be and she said the same. I am happy to know we share such a unique bond.
The great thing about traveling and meeting friends is that you can have a free relationship. I mean in the sense that you don’t need to be there everyday catching up, exchanging stories or discussing life events. Not at all. You come and go as you please, you see each other when you're both vibing at the same frequency.
One of my best friends Caitlin taught me that. Saying about how to view friendship and love. When you’re vibing together, that’s when the magic happens and it becomes the most comfortable and organic time spent between you and whoever you're with.
I know that I can drop into Montreal at any time and visit Jess and it will be like two old souls catching up with one another after only meeting for a couple short hours in Iceland. That’s pretty unique. There is no maintenance because it just is how it is and we accept that. I love my friends I've met on the road for this reason.