In Isafjordur, Iceland, our local walking tour guide, Lizbet, is full of good humor, and good information.

Lisbet has five children, runs a construction company, studied theology and helps with local church services, helps with the town art project to replace graffiti with murals, and after our tour, was going to contribute her research at an international conference to discuss how to end multicultural domestic violence.21752068_10213662794274798_2659682898999467356_n

She is part of a colorful story of a traditional fishing village transformed, thanks in large part to the Icelandic government sponsoring education for people of all ages — and both genders!

“I can’t believe we are so lucky to have a local guide,” intoned one of my fellow Poseidon Expedition passengers. She had just told us about her 89-year-old grandfather that went from being a fisherman to an inventor working for NASA. (When he is cutting local lads hair, he lives above the shop.) She also pointed out where the first woman minister lives and where a local midwife was so good that, for decades, people came from other countries to this fjord.

More to tell and show (it’s picturesque) but they pulled up anchor and I don’t know when we will have internet again so here goes. If you read this, I was lucky – on the tour and after!  More to come when I can!

Forget about armies marching on their stomachs.* Travelers marvel with their stomachs (or quiver).

In Iceland reflections on nature are everywhere.

In Iceland reflections on nature are everywhere.

The first culinary morning of my Arctic journey with Poseidon Expeditions begins at the Hotel Grand Reykjavik, where even the manmade reflects the natural. The buffet breakfast includes international diversity and Icelandic favorites, with multiple flavors of Skyr yogurt .

A pot of miso soup, with bowls of seaweed and tofu to sprinkle in, sits next to a pot of porridge with brown sugar for flavoring. But best of all, next to that are shot glasses and a bottle of cod liver oil with lemon slices for a citric twist. An Icelandic health ritual.

Bottoms up as we head toward the Top of the World!

Our port for departure is in the capital of this land of “Ice and Fire” — more than 100 volcanoes and even more waterfalls. The country is fueled completely by renewable energy sources — wind, water, and geothermal power unite! Travelers, too, can be renewed by the wonders of nature in the wild and in the city.

My reflections go to my last time here, with sunny days and the Wild Nights of Iceland, but also look forward to what I hope will be nocturnal reflections of Northern Lights in the waters of northern Iceland, across the Arctic Circle and into the fjord system of Eastern Greenland.

Who knows what the electromagnetic energies of dancing lights can renew?

And who knows what food marvels lie ahead?

Sometimes filling in the blanks is fun!

As I sit in this lovely hotel waiting for transport to the M/V Sea Spirit, I have filled in some blanks, but I look forward to filling in even more blanks, skies, and plates ahead!

outdoorsSo far 2017 has been the year of N travel for me—Nature to the nth degree, from the sky darkened by massive groups of birds to the sky returning to light after a rare solar eclipse, and from miles of vibrant flowers to the upcoming journey to seek Northern lights and Narwals …

I headed to Nebraska for the birds and felt privileged to see hundreds of thousands of cranes seek rest in the Platte River as a stop-over in the Great Migration of the North American Fly Away.

The Netherlands in the Spring bloomed abundantly with tulip glory! A childhood friend and I took a barge through the canals with European Waterways and enjoyed “Tulips and Windmills with Panache”.

My husband Victor and I flew to Nashville, hoping for almost two minutes of the “Totality Awesome” Solar Eclipse, August 21. I have enjoyed upbeat Nashville before and knew that if the eclipse got eclipsed by clouds, we could still have a syncopated time in Music City, as chronicled in “Ringing in Nashville.”  Fortunately we were able to enjoy music and, after some drama with teasing clouds– a full and fulfilling Solar eclipse

Victor wrote “Nashville Hosts the End of the World” for the Huffington Post and used my photos.  Fortunately, the world did not end; the sun returned spectacularly from the moon’s shadow – so there is a lot more to explore.

I leave this Saturday to seek the Northern Lights and Narwals! If all goes well, I will board the Sea Spirit in the capital of Iceland — a country enchanted with waterfalls, hot springs, puffins, and more : “Wild Nights Iceland” won a NATJA award for Best Illustrated article.

From Iceland, we will head north of the Arctic Circle on a Poseidon Expedition to Greenland to explore the largest and longest fjord system in the world. I hope to be enthralled by the Northern Lights again. It’s been seven years since I shivered with awe and cold and produced a video of the dancing lights set to some Gershwin as part of
Hunting the Northern Lights” for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC INTELLIGENT TRAVEL.

This time I hope to see Nature’s great light show upward and reflected in Arctic waters with icebergs for exclamation marks!

Please stay tuned for more Nature ahead!

And if you want to record your own Nature adventures, you can pick up a copy of The Great Outdoors: Nature’s Bucket List or My Adventures: a Travel Journal, and add to the projects I was fortunate to create for Quartos Publishing.LTM bird THANKSIMG_7830 copy copy

Happy 2013 in Any Time Zone from 57th Street in New York

Happy 2013!  Whatever your time zone, may your celebrations be joyful & rejuvenating, and your resolutions inspiring & reachable!  We hope this site can help you “Dream, Go, Discover” in the New Year!

Feel free to share your dreams, aims, and resolves for the New Year below in comments or any “gratitude memories” for great travels in the past year.

To “Happy Trails” not Hard Trials ahead! And to love and luxuries you can share to make life and the world better!

-Lisa TE Sonne for LuxuryTravelMavens.com

Photo from 57th Street,  New York before New Years day on a snowy night–the times in Chicago, Seoul, Moscow, Bangkok, Caracas,