Okay, let’s be honest, this list could be WAY longer than 8 things. Yet as we are settling into our new country, there are things that are new that I notice and love. In no particular order, 8 things that I am loving about Iceland (right now).
1. Iceland does not have a military. That’s right! No multi-million spending on armed forces. Iceland has in fact been named the most peaceful country in the world! However, they do have 2 coast guard vessels, you know, because it’s an island.
2. The neighborhood naming system is genius. Streets that end in -lind or -kór for example, are grouped together. The other day someone asked where I live and when I told them, they knew immediately because of the ending of the name.
3. Your identity number is really helpful for everything. Your kennitala is essentially your social security number and it is used to book appointments, pay bills, and anything in between. You know when you want to return something at Ikea but you lost your receipt? Just give them your kennitala. Take notes, America.
4. There are no trees. Ok so I don’t LOVE this, and also “no” trees is a stretch, but in general Iceland isn’t a land of a lot of trees. The harsh volcanic soil makes growing big beautiful trees pretty difficult. However, Iceland plants more trees per capita than anywhere else in the world! The benefit to the no tree thing (and why it made this list) is because you can see SO far without trees! All the better to take in the incredible landscapes 🙂
Rainbows and glaciers…just another day in Iceland! | Snaefelsnes Peninsula
5. Icelanders don’t complain about the weather. They don’t let things like 65 mph winds or rain for 2 weeks straight get them down. Yeah, I’m sure there are days that they’re thinking, “seriously, weather?” but then they just go take a vacation in Spain or something. The strange weather doesn’t stop them from going for a run or taking their babies outside for a stroll. Icelanders have a saying, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!” Brilliant.
6. Safety is a given. Every day I pass by kids walking home from school alone. Moms leave babies outside in their strollers while they run into the store or cafe. (This is actually a thing! I didn’t believe it until I saw it!) With virtually zero crime, the police are really bored. They even have an Instagram account where they post hilarious pictures posing with locals or feeding the ducks!
This little guy riding his bike home | Husavik, Iceland
7. Work-home balance. The workday for most businesses and even some shopping centers ends at 5pm sharp. This allows people to go home, cook dinner, and spend time with their families rather than working late and rushing to 3 different sports practices. Even my usual grocery store closes at 6:30! One Sunday Bobby and I went to the mall, and we had to wait in the parking lot because it didn’t open until 1pm!
8. The Icelandic language. Ok, let me clarify that this is a love-hate relationship, with the current feeling more towards hate as I am very early in learning. Icelandic is known as one of the hardest languages in the world to learn. It is similar to other Scandinavian dialects, but is most similar to the original viking tongue. And with its non-versatility (Iceland is the only place that speaks Icelandic!) it seems impractical at times. However, if you sit back and listen in on a conversation, you might agree that it is a beautiful language. Some of the things they say are so sweet and delicate. For example, they like to say things in two’s, “takk takk!” which means thanks, twice. Also, direct translation of some words often has me laughing out loud at how clever it is. Check out the Instagram account Every Single Word In Icelandicwhich offers insights in understanding how they came up with some of those crazy words. It is often times the highlight of my day. Here is one of my favorites:
The Christmas beer season has begun – and the selection is bigger than ever. This is the time of year when Icelanders compare notes on which Christmas beer is worth trying. Some people like to invite friends over for a…
Iceland has a long and solid naming tradition in their culture with a very specific set of unique rules. Since we are sitting around waiting for OUR baby to be born, I thought I would share with you the history…
Moving abroad is hard. I mean, it’s like moving…on steroids. At first you’re like, “YAY, we’re moving abroad! Let’s just sell all of our stuff and get on a plane!” And then, you’re two weeks into packing and selling your…
It’s no secret I’m in love with Iceland. My list of things I love about this wonderful country keeps growing every day! Obviously the gorgeous landscapes have me running to the mountains every weekend, but I can’t forget about these day…
Menningarnótt in Icelandic translates to “culture night” which is a festival in Reykjavik Iceland held every year in August to mark the end of summer. Events are held all around the city including music, art, and fun family-friendly activities. People…
How to pronounce common Icelandic words including speaking of some of the most famous sights in Iceland. Icelandic words discussed in this video: Yes No Hello Goodbye See ya Good morning Good night Please Thank you Excuse me How are…
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.