Photo Credit: Nappy
Traveler Story: Conquering An Icelandic Volcano In Luxury & Style
When she’s not busy building e-commerce brands or running her own, multimillionaire Christianna Hurt spends her free time tapping into her inner adventurer. Traveling the world seems to have become Hurt’s second job and when she’s out exploring, she likes to do it in style.
Luxury is at the top of Hurt’s travel checklist. Her six-figure income allows her to peruse the world with elegance and class. From 4-star hotels to lavish helicopter rides, Hurt knows how to travel gracefully to any destination.
In August, Hurt traveled to Iceland to experience an active volcano eruption. She had a time limit to make it there otherwise she’d miss the eruption. With no time to spare, she planned a trip on her own and made her way to Iceland for a 72-hour adventure.
The thirteenth country she’s visited this year, Hurt sought out Iceland with clear intentions. She’d seen other volcanoes around the world. But this time, she decided to conquer it in luxury and style.
A Volcanic Obsession
Hurt has had an obsession with volcanoes since she was a little girl. Throughout her adult life, she made it a point to see as many of them around the world as she could. On her last excursion to Guatemala, she was told the volcano was sleeping. There was no action. Only a sleeping giant.
So when she found out the Meradalir Volcano in Iceland was going to erupt in August, she had to be there.
“I’ve been trying to see an active volcano for about a year and a half,” she said. “I’d been very pressed about seeing it.”
Meradalir hadn’t erupted in over 6,000 years and Hurt had every intention of being there to witness it. However, she had a very specific plan when it came to how she wanted to experience the volcano. She wanted her trip to have a sense of luxury that allowed her to enjoy every aspect of the experience.
On her last visit to a volcano, Hurt hiked six hours to the top. The journey left her exhausted and depleted. By the time she reached the top, the only thing she was interested in was going home.
Hurt didn’t want Iceland to be a repeat of that trip. So she arranged to have a private helicopter fly her directly up to the active volcano sight.
“I felt like travel should’ve always been luxury,” she said. “And wanted to really get the full experience.”
No Time To Wait
Iceland has over 35 active volcanoes. However, the time Hurt has to see Meradalir erupt was limited. She’d only found out a short time beforehand that the eruption was taking place. So she had no time to waste planning her overseas excursion.
Her plan was to work smarter and not harder on this trip. Luxury was always at the forefront of planning to ensure she was able to take advantage of every opportunity. Instead of being confined by budget constraints, Hurt wanted to do things her way and at her own pace.
“I’d rather just pay the extra money to do it on our time,” she said.
Meradalir began erupting on August 6 and Hurt and her boyfriend spent 72 hours exploring Iceland and visiting the erupting volcano. They stayed at the Greenhouse Hotel and 101 Hotel as well as spent a day at the Blue Lagoon spa. They saw glaciers and geysers while snowmobiling and glanced upon the Golden Falls. However, despite Iceland’s breathtaking natural scenery, Hurt had her heart set on Meradalir’s eruption.
Luxury & Lava
Hurt felt in her element standing atop Meradalir’s peak. It was a 20-minute helicopter ride to the top. Suddenly, the realization that she would finally see an active volcano began to dawn on her.
“It was just a moment of like we really came across the world and saw an actual volcanic eruption,” she said.
The helicopter took them past the 2021 eruption site where craters and gray ash crowded the mountaintop. A much different vibe from her experience in Guatemala, Hurt was able to take in the awe-inspiring moment from the skies. She traded in her hiking boots for a first-class helicopter ticket with all-star views.
“This was a way I could really take in what was happening and see it erupting right in front of us,” she said.
The temperature change when they landed on the volcano was extreme. Back on the ground where they’d taken off, it was a cool 50 degrees. However, once they reached the top, it was freezing. Hurt endured the 20-degree weather as she fought her way to see the eruption. But the closer they got to the volcano’s mouth, the more the heat rose.
“Even in the helicopter, when he got too close, the helicopter would shake because of the heat,” she said.
One side of the volcano collapsed earlier that day, so Hurt had a clear view of the smoke and lava oozing out. Alas, after a lifetime of dreaming, she’d finally encountered an active volcano.
Seeing Is Believing
Although she makes sure to involve luxury in all of her travels, Hurt says you don’t always see a lot of Black people enjoying luxury travel. Some travelers of color opt for budget options and miss out on more affluent comforts.
“We don’t see a lot of glamorized travel in the black community,” she said.
Hurt’s time in Iceland was a reminder of how blessed she truly is. To be able to drop everything and fly to Iceland to watch a volcano explode is a luxury most cannot afford. However, she says she wants to see more Black people experience luxury travel so they can show others what’s possible.
“Sometimes it’s easier to believe you can achieve luxury travel when you see people who look like you actually doing it,” she said.
Related: Volcano Erupts In Iceland, Tourists Injured Trying To Catch A Peek