Even Laura Hughes' wildest dreams failed to land her here, scoring goals between columns of solid lava on an Icelandic archipelago.
Like most things Icelandic, it sounds almost mythical. A Nordic nation with banana plantations, invisible elves and now one of the most phenomenal football cultures in the world.
Hughes needed little more inspiration than Hasteinsvollur's landscape to score on her Throttur Reykjavik FC debut in June. After all, the Icelanders specialise in the remarkable.
The 19-year-old Canberran played 15 matches and scored twice during her first overseas stint in the Urvalsdeild kvenna, Iceland's top-tier football league.
She's returned home and is preparing for her fourth W-League campaign with Canberra United, hoping to bring some of her Nordic experience back to the field this season.
"I enjoyed it. I think the W-League and Icelandic league are very different, I'd say the W-League is more technical and the Icelandic one is very physical," Hughes said.
"Also being a foreign player, they bring them in to make the team better. There's more pressure on them. It was cool to have W-League experience and having to be a foreigner in another country, having that on your shoulders as well.
"I think it's helped me mature as a player and handle pressure more. I'm hopefully returning a more well-rounded player to the W-League."
Hughes helped lead the recently-promoted Throttur to fifth, the highest result in club history for either of its men's and women's teams.
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But it came after the season was abandoned with just two rounds of matches left to be played, with Iceland not immune to Europe's second wave of COVID-19.
Iceland reopened its border on June 15 in an effort to salvage its tourism industry, but then experienced a small spike in cases over the summer - leading to the suspension and ultimate cancellation of the football league in late October.
So Hughes rented a recreational vehicle with two teammates and did a week-long trip around the country, taking in the picturesque landscape of Iceland.
"The scenery was unbelievable," Hughes said.
"When the league was postponed at the end of October we couldn't train, either, so we - myself, an American and Icelandic - said this was our time to go. It took about a week.
"There were a couple of waterfalls that were unreal, a cool hot-spring in a cave where Game of Thrones was filmed. If I went back there, I'd want to climb some glaciers. That's something professionals need to walk you through, it's pretty dangerous. We did most things tourists do."
But it got to the point when Hughes could not delay her return to Canberra any further, with the W-League looming and rising costs of travel and quarantine. Thus started a near four-week scramble to get back home.
She had two flights cancelled and was then disallowed for another bound for the United States because of border closures. She stayed five days in a London hotel and managed to get a flight via Dubai into Perth, where she then quarantined for two weeks.
"It was pretty strict coming in, as soon as I got into the airport I was ushered through security and paperwork. They sent me straight on a bus to the hotel," Hughes said.
"I really just tried to get into a routine during quarantine. I started doing some yoga, that helped. I tried to stay fit and spent the day pacing, doing my 10,000 steps. I was trying to do circuits to keep my heart rate up but that's all I could really do.
"I wasn't even allowed outside the room. They would bring me food three times a day, knock and leave. I had to wait until they left the premises before going out to get it."
Hughes is one of two players in Vicki Linton's squad who have played in Iceland, following the footsteps of fellow Canberran Grace Maher who played for KR in 2019.
The Nordic minnows have become an attractive location for foreign players since stunning the football world with their incredible rise at the Euro 2016 men's championship. With a population of just over 340,000 (a bit less than Canberra), Iceland went from the 131st-ranked country in the world to No.19.
It was largely credited to a national investment into grassroots football, which included having certified paid coaches at all ranks and the development of indoor arenas called 'football houses.'
Hughes mostly played on artificial pitches, with the synthetic turf easier to sustain and readily available through Iceland's merciless winter.
She hopes her Iceland stint has laid the foundations for future opportunities in Europe, with the midfielder eager to continue building consistency over the W-League season.
"I hope I've put my foot in the door now I've got some experience in Iceland, hopefully that will build on future European opportunities," Hughes said.
"I'm focused on having a solid W-League season, hopefully that evolves into something as well."
Hughes was part of an FFA talent identification camp in Canberra last week, an initiative designed to help develop the next generation of Matildas.
She's since returned to United's pre-season and is excited to kick-off the W-League season against Perth Glory on Tuesday, December 29.
"I'm really excited to come back to Canberra, I love the club and love playing for them," Hughes said.
"I'm more of a one person club so I've built up some momentum at Canberra and I want to keep that going. There's no place like playing at home.
"Hopefully we'll be back to being one of the top-flight teams in the W-League this season."