I’ve been revisiting Iceland recently. Not physically, sadly, but through the photographs I took in the years before the island became quite so swamped with tourists. I was a tourist myself of course but I enjoyed being in the minority, not the majority. Now tourists outnumber the Icelandic people themselves.
I was lucky to visit Iceland when I did. I made some good friends who have seen their home transformed since the financial crash and banking crisis of 2008. I can understand why the Icelandic government took the route they did but of course politicians rarely experience the outcome of their actions. They are far removed from the lives of the ordinary citizen.
Some in Iceland are of course making a lot of money out of tourism, taxes are boosting the economy, but for a lot of people, finding a home is becoming difficult because it’s more lucrative to rent to tourists than to the indigenous population and with thousands of people trekking and driving off road, not respecting the incredibly delicate ecosystem that exists on such a young island, well this makes me very sad. I look back at these photographs with pleasure that I was there in the wilderness alone, and sadness that I’m not likely to ever be able to experience the same again..