Through Iceland on trail
This odyssey takes place in one of the most astonishing and picturesque countries I have ever been to. The idea was to show two polar opposites. The young at the peak of life, every muscle has had time to mature, the neurons are firing at enormous rates and even though the path has been set, one can still open new doors and head into a completely different world.
On the contrary, I got speaking to Rodger, an 80-year-old celibate monk, living in a Buddhist monastery in the Lake district. Reminiscing on the smells of the rain forest in New Zealand and busting to tell me about the ranches of Australia, Rodger has countless stories up his sleeves from when he travelled the world as a young man. A blink of an eye later, he’s bound to his 10 square meter room.
I wanted to show the difference age makes, learning from Rodger. He said, once you get old your world outside gets smaller, outer world things no longer grasp your attention and instead one starts to focus on the mind. Figuring out the past and preparing for death is what takes up most of his time these days. From an outsider's perspective this to me is a sad but brutal truth we all must face at some point.
The why doesn’t always need an answer like in this case — if why needed to be answered, one would have stuck to his couch. What is important is that we live. It is the only thing that will keep us smiling once we hit the 10 square meter room.
Conquering Iceland - 600 km on trail is Gion’s way of living. 12 days of adapting to the moment, pushing limits and gauging the uncertainty of fearsome solitude out in the wilderness -in August 2019, he set off on a trail run across Iceland from the most northern point to the one furthest down south.