In pursuit of a natural phenomena…

December 15, 2021


What a year! I cannot believe that 2021 is coming to a close and the Christmas season is in full swing.

As this year wraps up, I am overwhelmed with gratitude…mostly for all of you! Thirsty for Travel Designs has had a fantastic year of growth and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing clients. I feel beyond blessed that I get to work with such supportive and appreciative people.

It is my passion to help people sort through the overwhelming process of planning a vacation and curate truly memorable experiences along the way. I am eternally grateful to get to do what I love everyday!

I wish you all of the holiday cheer and I hope you have a wonderful season from my family to yours!



We know that people love those tropical paradises! Especially in the midst of a midwestern winter, it is easy to dream about warm temperatures and the stunning scenery of aqua waters and breathtaking sunsets. However, it’s time that those chillier climates also get their due. In fact, what if we told you that one of the most unique, visual phenomena that exists in the world would require you to travel north instead of south? Hard to believe? Well, the Aurora Borealis is here to challenge any misconceptions you might have about where to go to see some of earth’s most astonishing sights.

The Latin name Aurora Borealis derives from the Greek goddess of the morning (Aurora) and the god of the north wind (Boreas). This natural phenomena is a result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere and charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere and typically occurs in belts that form within 25 degrees of the both the North & South poles. The winter months are your best opportunity to view these lights when cloudless and dark skies allow, typically about an hour before midnight.

Check out this amazing Iceland itinerary for the adventurous soul looking for a glimpse of the mystic Northern Lights:

Day 1 – Upon arrival in Reykjavik, get ready to hit the pavement as this capital city is best explored on foot. Start your adventure by heading to the Perlan Museum, where you can see and feel all of Iceland’s natural wonders under one roof. Walk through a 100m long man-made ice cave to experience what glacial environments are like, and how global warming affects this part of the world. Top your visit off with an unparalleled 360° view of Reykjavik and surrounding areas from the observation deck.

After your visit to the museum, take a private guide around town to admire the colorful street art and murals dotting the cityscape and check out some tasty local street food options, such as the Icelandic hotdog.

Day 2 – Travel from Reykjavík to explore a lava cave in the Bláfjöll Mountains. Go beneath the earth’s surface to discover how Iceland was created. Walk and crawl through the Raufarholshellir cave that was carved out by flowing volcanic lava, and marvel at the multi-colored rock formations left in its path.

In the afternoon stop at an Icelandic horse farm. Although small and at times pony-sized, Icelandic horses are long-lived and hardy. Learn all you need to know about the Icelandic horse, with a focus on its gait and unique character. In the evening, enjoy the drive to Alftrod as you may get your first glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Day 3 – Head to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, to see the tectonic faults created by North American and Eurasian tectonic plates shifting apart. The Oxara river cuts through the largest rift in the valley, Almannagja, and leads to the Oxararfoss waterfall.

Discover one of the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland, Gullfoss and complete the circuit known as the Golden Circle. This massive waterfall cascades over three “steps” before spilling into a large crevice. See a variety of geothermal pools and the erupting hot spring Strokkur.

Day 4 – Equipped with crampons and an ice axe, hike through the dramatic Sólheimajökull glacier valley and along the black sand flood plains to the edge of the ice. Enjoy stunning, panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, glaciers and the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

Take the scenic southern coast on your drive back to Reykjavik and be sure to stop at the Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.

Day 5 – On your final day back in Reykjavik, be sure to venture to the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, possibly the top attraction in the country. Said to have healing properties, the waters provide a steamy respite from Icelandic winters with average temperatures of about 100 °F. At night and for your final opportunity to view the Northern Lights, take a specially-outfitted polar catamaran for a unique and beautiful vantage point!

Gangi þér vel (Good Luck)!