too much of a good thing

it’s a strange conundrum to have, isn’t it? it almost doesn’t sound like a bad thing, and yet to be inundated with excess can be a real problem. more often than not, it isn’t even something we see coming. all is going well, and then all is going too well.

it’s a double-edged sword that’s currently being unsheathed in Iceland. the tiny island of 330,000 people saw almost two million tourists last year. this year could be more. i’ll be one of the digits in that tally. ever since coming back i’ve been recommending the country to everyone, and yet i can’t help but feel a strange twinge in my gut every time i do.

the thing is, i really do want people to go. it is a stunning country. it is a place where nature reigns supreme, from towering mountains to thundering waterfalls, from the cries of sea birds to the whispers of the waves on black sand beaches. it is a land nearly devoid of human influence, and therein lies it’s majesty, and the cause of this troubling duality.

too much of a good thing.

people are pouring into the country to see it’s earthly wonders. and it takes a toll. there is a massive environmental impact enacted by just getting to the island and once there, the amount of human traffic is already starting to take a toll. and this, of course, is a problem. a legitimate one. we need to protect our planet. but at the same time, to protect it we must be inspired to do so. and seeing what a country like Iceland has to offer is one of the best ways to inspire a passion for preservation.

i suppose we all have a responsibility, then. on one hand, we owe it to ourselves and to our planet to witness its natural wonders, to understand its fragility, and to become stewards of its future. on the other, we must walk lightly. we must leave no trace. we must see the world in a way that makes but a minuscule mark.

in all we do, balance.