Confession: I am afraid of heights.
Whenever I find myself “high up” somewhere, I feel my knees get weak, my heart rate speeds up, and I start to feel a vertigo-like sensation. Basically, heights freak me out.
We all have fears – they are normal and even healthy. But I am determined to not let my fears control me. Which is why when I went to Iceland in April, I didn’t let my fear of heights stop me from signing up to hike Thormsork Valley.
Thorsmork is named after the Norse god “Thor,” and is honestly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. When I was researching things to do in Iceland, I came across this hike and fell in love with the views. But as I read about it, I saw things like “not for the faint of heart,” and “wouldn’t recommend it for someone with a fear of heights!” And I almost listened. I was so close to booking a different tour or activity, but in end I was determined to see this beautiful place and not let my fear of heights hold me back.
I won’t lie and say that the hike didn’t scare the crap out of me, but I can also honestly say that it was 100% worth every moment of fear, and that I would do it again in a heartbeat.
“Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.”
This hike was hard. There were parts where the trail was completely covered in snow, and the only thing preventing me from sliding down the side of the mountain was my walking stick. Parts of the trail were less than a foot wide, made of uneven rocks, with drop-off cliffs on either side. There were moments where I wasn’t sure I could keep going. It was way out of my comfort zone, but I did it anyway.
“Courage doesn’t mean that you aren’t afraid. It means that you don’t let fear stop you.”
Hiking Thorsmork was one of the most incredible and rewarding experiences I have had. I am so glad that I pushed myself to step outside of my comfort zone, because if I hadn’t faced my fears I never would have gotten to see these views:
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to be afraid, but don’t let it hold you back. Facing my fears and finishing this hike was the highlight of my trip to Iceland. It’s normal to be scared, but you’ll never know what you may have missed out on if you never leave your comfort zone!
Tell me about something you’ve done that was totally out of your comfort zone! Did you regret doing it?