It's a big part of Icelandic culture to visit public swimming pools. Before you jump into the pool, it's expected that you bathe fully naked to ensure you're clean when you enter.
As we drove across the country living in our rental car, this was the only option we had when we needed to shower. It was initially a bit of a strange concept, but one that I grew to love.
There is something very beautiful about a bunch of women naked in a safe place. There is no judgement, no underlying pressure to be perfect. There are little girls and elderly women. Another aspect I respected - these girls will grow up with realistic images of what a "normal" body is.
And there are many, many "normal" bodies. We aren't often immersed in a situation where we see multiple naked people at once in every day life. Many of the bodies we see are online and in movies, and they aren't realistic. They aren't a proper representation of what women really look like.
It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many shapes and sizes, a reminder that every woman is different yet beautiful. Many of the women smile as they walk past each other.
It was lovely to feel so clean after living on the road, but what I enjoyed even more than that was the entire experience of feeling love for my body and safe surrounded by many other bodies.
They weren't perfect, they were real.
When I was a kid I loved collecting rocks. Sometimes I would have to dig for them but other times one would sparkle right before my eyes and that was an easy find for my collection.
I would look through the rocks in my bucket and each one would come with a memory; the recess when my friend beat me in a race to the brick wall, the birthday party in a park when we ate a Little Mermaid cake. It was a special way to relive moments in time through found objects.
I don't collect rocks anymore, but I do collect gems from around the world. And by gems, I mean people. They live in my mind as a collection in the form of fond memories in foreign lands.
Living in different cities and travelling around the world is part of who I am, but there is something about it that brings me sadness, and that sadness is for the people I leave behind.
Sometimes the relationship leaves a big mark; a best friend in that city I lived in, a woman who restored my faith in humanity after comforting me when we were robbed on the streets of Chile.
Sometimes the relationship is brief, yet powerful.
Sometimes you have a conversation with a stranger in another country and you realize this person sees the world through a similar lens, and you envision the memories you could create together. But alas, they will only exist for you in this moment, for a couple of hours, over drinks at a hostel.
I see the people who choose the nomadic life and I am envious. I long for that. But I also know that the process of letting beautiful people go over and over again would wear on me. And so, maybe the full embrace of a nomadic life isn't for me. Blips of it will do.
To the souls I've met around the world;
You have a special place in my grown-up rock collection, and even though we may never see each other again, you're a gem in my mind that shines. And you're the reason why my nomadic heart clings.