Because deep down I’m still a 5-year-old girl who just wants a pony

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Not an Icelandic horse, but we won’t hold it against him. Photo by Steve Hymon. Check out his photography blog to buy a print.

About ten years ago, I decided that I had to go to Iceland. I’m really not sure why. I think I had either read some article or watched some Discovery Channel show about Icelandic ponies (officially known as the Icelandic horse but come on, ponies) and I became obsessed with the idea of going to Iceland to ride ponies.

(For those of you who don’t know me very well, I quite often fixate on a thing, which usually becomes an obsession, which sometimes fades after a while but more often lingers like an old scar you can’t help but itch at every once in awhile just because it’s there.)

Anyway. Ten years ago I was still in college and not really in a position to go anywhere really fun, much less halfway around the world to a tiny island just to ride horses. But it became a thing. Me + Iceland + ponies. It was my default answer whenever people asked where I wanted to vacation, or what was on my bucket list.

I have, in the intervening years between graduating college and now, traveled to a lot of places, and even lived outside of the United States for quite a while. But I still have not been to Iceland. I mean, I made vague plans and declarations; I was insanely envious of my aunt’s friend when he was able to go to Iceland on a business trip — he brought  back some fun souvenirs for me but NO PONIES — but I never bit the bullet and bought a plane ticket. I just kept putting it off until it got to the point where it just seemed ridiculous to me that I’d been talking obsessively about this for ten years but not made an actual move to make it happen.

Then, I made the executive decision that I had to do this thing for my 30th birthday. It’s a sort of milestone birthday, right? And I was in a position where I could celebrate it with a trip abroad, if I so chose. So I chose.

In a few weeks, I’ll be heading to Iceland, hopefully to ride some ponies. (And maybe see the Northern Lights and visit a spa or something, but let’s be real, my goal is those damn ponies.) I missed my 30th birthday by a few weeks, but that’s okay. I’m really good at pretending it’s my birthday when it’s not. And the ponies won’t care anyway.

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