During the dark winter months, travelers from every corner of the world fly to Iceland in hopes of catching a glimpse of the spectacular northern lights. This natural phenomenon—which is created by solar winds disturbing the earth’s magnetosphere—faithfully lights up the Icelandic sky in undulating shades of green and red every year, creating an awe-inspiring display of natural beauty that is as memorable as it is breathtaking. Real estate attorney and university advisor Ana Droscoski ventured all the way from Baltimore, Maryland, with a friend to witness the lights firsthand. A day after her arrival, she and her travel companion were welcomed by the winter’s first heavy snowfall.
Determined and prepared, Ana wisely planned a lengthier ten-day trip, giving herself ample time and opportunity to view one of the world’s most captivating natural wonders.
A Long-Awaited Vacation
“I’ve wanted to come to Iceland for a while now, and timing-wise, the northern lights took priority,” Ana says about her decision to travel to Iceland in the wintertime, the best time to see the Aurora Borealis.
When a major international airline started offering direct flights from Baltimore to Reykjavík earlier this year, she knew she had to book the trip. “The flight over here was very pleasant,” she explains, in spite of her lingering jet-lag. “It was a direct flight from Baltimore to Iceland, which is about the same distance as flying cross-country from Baltimore to Los Angeles, so it wasn’t that bad.”
Although she and her friend had just flown in the previous day, Ana quickly noticed the similarities between Iceland and another Nordic country where she had recently vacationed.
“My first impression of Reykjavík is that it’s very similar to Copenhagen,” she explains, looking around. “Everything, including the architecture, is very Scandinavian in appearance.”
Despite landing in Iceland shortly after what locals have labelled “Snowmaggedon”—the heaviest snowfall in Reykjavík since the 1970s—this nine-year Baltimore resident remained relatively unfazed by the nation’s unpredictable weather.
“There’s definitely a lot of snow on the ground,” she says with a laugh. “We heard it was a record-setting year. But it’s definitely not as cold as I thought it would be.”
A Passion for Travelling
Outside of her career in law and higher education, Ana’s greatest pastime is world travel, and her journey to Iceland represents just one stop on her extensive list of travels.
“Traveling is my favorite hobby, and one of my favorite destinations was Turkey,” she describes, when asked about some of her most memorable vacation spots. “Everything there was amazing—the country, the landscape, the history.”
She expresses equally high hopes for her experiences in Iceland. Once the weather and snow clear up, she and her friend intend to simmer in the Blue Lagoon and take a bus tour across South Iceland, in addition to their northern lights excursions.
“Everything is very positive so far,” she explains, sizing up her time in Iceland. “I have seen the northern lights twice; on the Northern Light Tour outside Reykjavík and then again in Reykjavík despite the light pollution. It was great!”