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Our Life In Iceland – Month 2

Two months in and I guess you could call me a regular! Ha, just kidding, not quite yet. I have so much to learn and see about Iceland, but don’t you worry, I am on a mission to scour this island and see as much as I can!

First of all, the darkness is coming. I feel like I’m preparing for a season on Game of Thrones, but honestly you guys it’s already really changing since we landed a short 60 days ago! In fact, we lose 6.5 minutes of sun per day! I’m already overdosing on Vitamin D and Fish Oil.

Month 2 flew by fast, and held my favorite season of all – Autumn.

Isn’t autumn so wonderful? Bundled up in cute scarves and boots, pumpkin flavored everything including nutmeg in my coffee and an imported pumpkin candle from the states. And you better believe I had my sister smuggle in a bag of pumpkin flavored m&m’s! Then of course – and most beautiful of all – are the vibrant colorful leaves that seem to change the whole landscape of this already gorgeous country. Driving around and exploring during October was like I was seeing this place for the first time!

9/19:  Rainy days call for indoor activities so today we headed to the bookstore to buy some Icelandic books to hopefully help us learn the language faster. Bobby naturally goes big and gets Harry Potter (to compare side by side with the English version), and I get a few children’s books to help my basic vocabulary and grammar (what a rookie). We spend the afternoon reading through our new finds at the adorable Reykjavik Roasters.
9/20 – A clear morning meant I was determined to get some exploring in this weekend, so we drove East to Reykjadalur. The name literally translates to “steam valley” where you hike back to a hot spring river that you bathe in like a hot tub in the middle of the mountains. Yes, it is as awesome as you are thinking. Of course this time of year in Iceland is around 5 degrees celsius, so even though you get nice and toasty on the hike back, the 10 seconds from the changing platform to the hot spring (and back!) is quite frigid. Not only that, but with our lucky timing, Iceland decides to give us an all out sideways downpour rain about four minutes after we sit down in the water.  That made for a wet hike back to the car, but still very worth the trip!

Swimming in a hot spring in the middle of the mountains. Reykjadalur Hot Springs - South Iceland | Life With a View

 9/25-27: This weekend graced us with a famous Icelandic wind storm. Wind in Iceland is really intense…to put it lightly. I’m talking 50-60mph winds! And it’s SO loud, it sounds like it’s going to blow over our apartment building. So while weekends usually make me want to explore, this weekend we bought a puzzle and stayed indoors instead.

…It did give me a chance to catch up on skype dates with family though!

…and lots of texts back and forth with requests for my sister to bring American goods when she visits this week!
9/29: My alarm goes of at 3:30am and I sprint out of bed and drive to the airport to pick up my first visitor!! I get really excited about guests. Like: I stocked up the fridge for you with everything Icelandic, brought a lunchbox full of snacks for the car ride home from the airport, and have a whole itinerary full of things to do!
And of course I made a sign for her. I’ve always wanted someone to be holding a sign with my name when exiting the terminal, so obviously I had to do it.

Told you I love visitors! (And I really love my sister.)

When she unpacked her suitcase it was like Christmas morning. Let me tell you, as a full blown hippie that likes to buy weird things that no one has heard of to make products homemade, I really miss having access to stores where I can buy those things. I mean, what’s so weird about vegetable glycerine or grass fed beef gelatin?! And my husband can’t buy shoes in this country, we literally went to every shoe store when we moved here and they looked at him like a crazy person when he asked if they carry size 15. SO I sent a big Amazon shipment to her, which she claimed took up half of her luggage space. Oops!

Thankfully Iceland decides it loves Jennifer visiting, so it gave her the most gorgeous perfect weather days for exploring…which was amazing!

READ MORE:   Our Life in Iceland - Month 8

The first day of her trip we hiked Glymur. The fall colors were just starting and literally made it look like a different place! I had just done that hike a month earlier, but the colors were exploding today and with the blue skies, it was incredible.

9/30-10/8: The next week was jam packed with activities and adventure. We hiked mountains, discovered waterfalls, drove the golden circle, toured Snaefellsnes, saw the northern lights, ate, sang, and laughed. I can’t explain how wonderful it was to have her here! It means so much to me to be able to share this place with loved ones. It was an awesome week, and there is nothing like spending time with your little sister <3
I miss her already!

10/8: Today our Icelandic teacher informed us that we are halfway through the first course and states, “isn’t it fun to see how much you have learned!” (insert mixed looks of pride and confusion). Lets just say its still a work in progress.

10/10: Did you know Iceland has intermission at movies?! Bobby and I went to see The Martian in theater, and halfway through the movie/just as it was getting good, the movie cuts out, lights go on, and everyone sprints towards the door. We thought either something had happened with the film or maybe it was a fire drill, but quickly realized since everyone was walking with such purpose that there must be a reason. Hmm. Anyway, I recommend seeing The Martian if you haven’t already!

10/17: This weekend I decided to get my American version of autumn in by cooking, baking and of course pumpkin carving! American girl loves Iceland so much she carves a pumpkin of the country!

 

Things that are getting easier:
​-Grocery shopping, thank goodness! I’ve learned to get the same things every week, and now know which stores have what products.
-The language. Let me be VERY CLEAR, there are still days where I think it will be impossible, but I’m starting to pick up on words I learned in class or words I hear every day. For example, I know the Icelandic word for disc herniation – I bet most foreigners don’t learn that one!
Things that are still hard:
-Conversations with the locals. I would love to be able to communicate with cashier at the grocery store further than just answering if I want a bag or my receipt.
-The other day I cried when I had to drive around to four different stores in search of contact solution, and finally find it at the pharmacy and then learn that a bottle is $20.
Overall, an awesome second month and still loving every minute! I’m really excited to see Iceland in the winter time…I know snow is just around the corner!
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  • Amber
    March 29, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    I’m originally from upstate NY, but I moved around a LOT. I moved here for pretty much the same reason as anyone, given the opportunity, why wouldn’t you??? 🙂

    • Jeannie
      April 5, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Exactly, Amber! I didn’t know you were from NY, how long have you lived in Iceland?

  • Amber
    March 17, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    I’m an expat in Iceland too! When my husband and I went to see our first movie, we had the same reaction! It was SOOOO weird! P.S. Sometimes Kronan has contact solution, and its less than 800.

    • Jeannie
      March 20, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Amber! Thank you so much for the Kronan tip, I will definitely look there next time! Where are you from? What brings you to Iceland?!

  • Claire
    January 20, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    I’m so glad that I found your blog through Unlocking Kiki! I can’t wait to read about more of your adventures in Iceland!

    • Jeannie
      January 25, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Claire! I’m glad you found me as well…I love the Unlocking Kiki blog!

  • Dad
    October 28, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Everything sounds so nice Jeannie, it’s nice catching up on what you’ve been doing ❤️❤️

    • Jeannie
      October 28, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Thanks dad! Glad you found the site 😉

  • Jeannie
    October 23, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Yeah, I definitely need to get a wake up light – the mornings are getting tough!

  • KattiJo
    October 20, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Seven. Minutes. A. Day. That’s how much we lose here right now. Ouch. That means the sun sets almost an hour earlier with each passing week. You don’t really ever get used to it; but you will learn to love the low light. It’s like sunrise and sunset all day long here. AND JUST WAIT FOR SUMMER!!!! More than worth it.
    Love the blog post as per usual!

  • Kristy
    October 20, 2015 at 2:35 am

    Hahaha I loved your comment about intermission at the movies. I would have been SO confused!!! And fall in Iceland looks incredible!

    • Jeannie
      October 20, 2015 at 10:13 am

      You might be lucky enough to see Iceland with SNOW! Can’t wait for March 🙂

  • kaelene10
    October 19, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    I am so glad I found this! Congrats to you two for having a successful second month and yay for visitors! The first time I went to the movies here I thought it was broken when we had the intermission ha. Now I miss those intermissions when I go to the movies in the states.

    • Jeannie
      October 20, 2015 at 10:12 am

      I think it might be something that has to grow on me?! Thank you for being such a good welcoming committee!