The Story of Icelandic Explorer

Gunnar Freyr is a photographer and social media influencer, living in Reykjavik, Iceland. He grew up in Denmark and for most of his life lived in Aarhus and Copenhagen.

In 2014 he decided to turn his life upside down, by quitting his corporate job, selling all his belongings and moving to Iceland – seeking his Icelandic roots as well as the taste of a real adventure.

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After having graduated in 2011, with a Master’s Degree from Copenhagen Business School, and some work experience in the field, Gunnar thought that he had finally found his dream job at one of the leading auditing and consulting companies in Copenhagen. Suit and tie quickly became the daily dress code – and quality time with his girlfriend and friends became replaced with long nights and weekends at the office. After a longer period of contemplation, he realized that he was spending some of the best years of his youth, locked inside an office, with no prospect of change. The path forward was either to climb the corporate ladder chasing money and status recognition, or to rethink what he really wanted his life to be about. He felt that something had to be done.

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However, at first – it didn’t seem all that easy. While growing up, Gunnar always felt the urge of “doing the right thing” – including getting a prestigious education with good job-prospects. Feeling of responsibility was somehow always deeply rooted in him, not allowing for much breaking the rules attitude. Therefore, it seemed intimidating to leave his job and leap into uncertainty. In late 2014, he finally hit the tipping point – he simply could not take it any longer and the craving for more in life spirit started taking over. He felt that he was investing so much of his life and his time into working for someone else – while always being at the mercy of the firm. He decided to quit, and together with his girlfriend, he sold almost all of his belongings to start a real change. This quickly became the part of a process of removing dependency on physical things – and instead focusing on living life to its fullest. He decided that he finally was going to execute his long-term dream of trying to live in Iceland – and bought a one-way ticket to this beautiful rugged country. The nature and adventure found in Iceland had been a strong driver for him making the move – and he had always dreamt of exploring the island. Making such a drastic decision of leaving everything and nearly everyone he knew behind to find his passion in life was without a doubt hard at times but the reward was so much greater. Taking the responsibility got a whole new meaning, as here he began creating his life from scratch, making decisions based on constantly getting out of the comfort zone instead of following the safe choices.

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Upon his arrival, he started out with a temporary “soft-landing” job in a large Icelandic company – but at the same time, he started taking pictures during his spare-time travels around the country while also planning how to turn it into a prosperous thing. He really got hooked on photography in Iceland and on sharing his adventures on Instagram – and quickly, his Instagram profile started growing exponentially. Giving priority to his creative self and connecting with a community of like-minded people from around the world through social media was exactly what he was ready for. His passion for photography and traveling in Iceland continued to grow – as well as his self-taught abilities as a photographer – and in late 2015 he started collaborating with the first brands as a photographer and social media influencer. His client portfolio has steadily continued to grow ever since – and today he is working as self-employed, providing photography as well as social media consulting services, to a range of companies.

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Gunnar still runs an extremely busy schedule however the main difference is that he now is working for himself, rather than for someone else and that he is able to develop his passions and skills on daily basis. He is working hard on balancing his private life with his photography work for his clients as well as his own photography projects. It’s not always easy but a great driver is the fact that he is able to work on something he really loves – and that he can built a valuable brand with his own creativity. “The sky is the limit” is a thought that that Gunnar follows firmly.

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Going forward, Gunnar is having a child with his girlfriend in late 2016 and is planning on spending more time with his family. Simultaneously, he is planning  a range of new projects – including offering photography workshops in the Icelandic nature.

Don’t forget to check out his photography on www.icelandicexplorer.com as well as on his Instagram profile @Icelandic_Explorer (Gunnar Freyr).

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