A fortnight ago I escaped to a remote Eco Retreat called Deplar Farm, in an ancient, primordial landscape where people live a very different, and highly compelling life. Chief amongst any list of ‘the most beautiful places to visit on Earth’ will be found Iceland – I now understand why, and I hope this post shares some of that magic. It’s long been a romantic dream of mine to visit this isolated, mystical land with its rumbling geothermal engine, and tundra-punctuated basalt landscape; perhaps more interesting to you, my dear reader, is the recent proclamation in The Lancet that Iceland is ‘the healthiest country in the world’ alongside my homeland Sweden! But don’t be fooled, as it’s also one of the most inhospitable places to live on the planet – temperatures where I visited can plummet to an average of −30°C in January, and howling winds can lash at a brutal 160mph, with several meters of snow dumping daily. This means schools close, infrastructure suffers and cars avoid some roads for risk of flipping and/or just being buried! The land is barren and rugged but that’s bred a nation of robust and resourceful people. I was astonished by the natural beauty and the local food, but more than anything by just how much there is to do here! Click MORE to discover my expedition to Deplar Farm, the ultimate modern luxury retreat that I uncovered in the land of trolls and elves – a truly magical Icelandic saga!
Recently, I worked with Red Magazine on a fabulous ‘active break’ project. I know what you’re thinking; given my recent posts, it might seem as though I do nothing other than ‘go on active breaks’ these days, but I can assure you, this was around 4 months back now! Travelling alongside a handful of national journalists, we hopped over to the ‘Surfing Capital of Europe’, Peniche, Portugal, where we spent a few days at the ice-cool, super-sleek ‘Surfer’s Lodge’. The brief: to master the sport in 3 days. Not an easy task, and frankly, one at which I slightly failed, but had fun in the process 😀 – You can read my full review in this month’s issue of ‘Red’, and in the meantime, below are my 8 reasons why I think surfing’s a fantastic summer fitness activity if you happen to be heading off on holiday!