Mary Beth Keane

The author recalls her most surreal travel experience.

Highly subjective takes on life's most interesting experiences.

What was your most surreal travel experience?

I went to Iceland with a few friends in 2018 and we hiked to Reykjadalur Hot Springs, in a town called Hveragerði. It was only about 30 degrees out, so we were well bundled, but we'd read that after about an hour of hiking we'd end up at a river so warm that people swim no matter how cold. Feeling a little ridiculous, we wore our bathing suits under our winter clothes, not sure we'd actually be brave enough to peel off if we found the spot. Sure enough we got there and the water was so hot we had to be careful not to boil ourselves. Surreal to be in the middle of the wilderness, in cold weather, peeling down to bikinis. We packed wine and snacks and had one of the best afternoons of our lives. The only difficult part was eventually drying off in the cold with a towel the size of a face cloth.

Our Contributors

Mary Beth Keane

Mary Beth Keane was awarded a John S. Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing, and has received citations from the National Book Foundation, PEN America, and the Hemingway Society. She is the author of “The Walking People,” “Fever,” and most recently, the New York Times bestseller “Ask Again, Yes.”

Victoria Rosselli Illustrator

Victoria Rosselli is a Brooklyn-based art director and designer who operates in brand and editorial. She is a Designer at Departures.


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