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Transformational Travel in Iceland: A Powerful Story to Inspire Climate Action

“Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

- Ibn Battutah

It is often said that every trip has a story to tell. And Global Family Travels’ transformative adventure to Iceland weaves a story for visitors about the natural wonders of this striking country and the dramatic changes taking place in the face of climate change, which will leave you speechless.

A visit to Iceland encompasses awe-inspiring landscapes, majestic mountains, milky blue lagoons, and fascinating wildlife. Everywhere you look there are opportunities for exploration and adventure that provide indelible memories for travelers of all ages.

But that’s not all. This uniquely designed trip also immerses participants in living science, providing firsthand learning about Iceland’s geothermal and volcanic activity, as well as the devastating toll climate change has already taken here.

A Trip to Iceland to inspire climate action

During Global Family Travels’ nine-day journey in Iceland, we will observe how rising global temperatures have already begun to radically alter this country’s landscape including causing glaciers to recede. Scientist predict that 400 glaciers around the country are at risk of disappearing. Warming of the oceans around Iceland, meanwhile, has impacted the marine ecosystem and the abundance of certain fish. The decline of fish in turn, has impacted the sea bird and seal populations (which feed on fish). These are just a few of the very visible examples of the changes taking place.

With an expert guide at your side as you explore Iceland on this carbon neutral, family-friendly trip, you will participate in an exciting adventure and immersive climate change education that will alter your way of viewing the world and inspire you to spread the word about the need for climate action upon your return home.

Why is climate change happening and how can we help prevent it?

The current change in the global climate is happening at an unprecedented rate. Since the 1880’s, increases in carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures have gone hand-in-hand. Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are responsible for about two-thirds of the total energy imbalance that is causing Earth's temperature to rise, according to the NOAA. Carbon dioxide levels today are higher than at any point in at least the past 800,000 years. In fact, the last time the atmospheric carbon dioxide amounts were this high was more than 3 million years ago.

Climate change is already affecting every inhabited region across the globe with human influence contributing to many observed changes in weather and climate extremes. Iceland, located just a few degrees south of the Arctic Circle, is no exception. In fact, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average, and is experiencing some of the most intense effects of climate change.

Just this past June, the hottest temperature ever measured above the Arctic circle was recorded in Verkhoyansk, Siberia when it reached 100 F/ 38℃ (A temperature that was higher than any prior June in Siberia from 1981 through 2020). And sadly, that 100-degree day was just one of many record highs to be recorded that month in Verkhoyansk.

What’s more, as the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes clear, Earth will likely reach the critical 1.5℃ warming limit in the early 2030s. Furthermore, global warming is expected to exceed 2℃ this century unless we make serious, deep cuts to CO₂ and other greenhouse gas emissions starting now. These target temperatures are important to understand because with any global warming beyond 1.5℃, living conditions on this planet are likely to rapidly decline.

Already, almost all of Iceland's glaciers are receding, and scientists predict that they may largely vanish in the next 100 to 200 years, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Learning themes on our Icelandic adventure

Our Iceland adventure includes memorable family-friendly explorations and adventures interwoven with important learning themes about how climate change is materializing in this fascinating destination. An important educational highlight of this inspiring trip includes taking a private glacier hike and walking across a sea level glacier. Sea level glaciers provide some of the best historical indicators for how the environment has changed as temperatures rise worldwide. The ice you will walk upon will not look the same tomorrow, next week, or next year – it is forever changing.

Other educational highlights of our Icelandic journey include:

  • Learning about Iceland’s volcanic activity and geothermal history. This is science and history merged into one in the rawest way imaginable, as you see lava pouring over ice.

  • Witnessing whales in their natural habitat at a respectful distance and learning how the whale watching industry is combating whale hunting.

  • Learning about the natural habitats of puffins, whose population has dropped 20% since the start of the century due to changing ocean temperatures, placing them on the vulnerable species list.

  • Enjoying a meal in a geothermal greenhouse and learning how this abundant energy source, which is affordable and effective, can feed a nation.

Carbon offsetting with Sustainable Travel International

This unique trip has been designed with climate change in mind on so many levels. That includes considering our impact as we travel to, and around Iceland, as tourists. Participating in carbon offsetting involves compensating for the emissions you produce by supporting projects that reduce greenhouse gases in other parts of the world. Projects may accomplish these emissions reductions by protecting and restoring carbon-rich ecosystems or providing clean, efficient energy.

Partnering with Sustainable Travel International, Global Family Travels will offset the carbon emissions generated by this visit to Iceland. The hotels we stay in are also carbon neutral. We believe as travelers that it’s critical to reduce tourism’s carbon footprint and address the industry’s significant contribution to climate change.

Photo Credit: Heider Torres

Transformational travel – journaling your experiences to inspire change for a better earth

As a trip designer for the Transformational Travel Council (TTC), Global Family Travels, has created this trip with transformational travel principles in mind, meaning it is expressly designed to help you learn, grow, and transform. The activities and experiences have been crafted to serve as catalysts for personal transformation, and ideally, inspire new lifestyle choices once the trip has come to an end.

To prepare you for your transformative Icelandic journey, we offer the use of the Transformational Travel Journal, to set you travel intentions before your adventure, and to document what you’re learning each during this powerful adventure, journaling information that you might want to share when you return home.

By the time you leave Iceland at the end of this transformative trip, it is our hope that you will truly know and understand in an intimate and very real way what the devastating impacts of climate change look like and mean for our planet, having witnessed them firsthand. We also hope you will have a deeper understanding of what actions you might take to protect our environment and how to live a sustainable manner, adopting daily habits that are more in harmony with nature. Ultimately, we hope this powerful journey initially leaves you speechless, and inspires you to become a storyteller, one who spreads the critical message of the need to protect this planet we call home.

Once again, in the words of Ibn Battuha: “Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

We hope this unique, once in a lifetime journey, does that for you.

Details of our Iceland itinerary can be found here.

If you’re interested in learning more about this trip or have further questions, we invite you to join us on Sunday, November 7th at 10:30am PST for our informational webinar about it. Register here.


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