The question we’ve gotten the most to date is: Why Iceland?
Indeed. Then we get a question about the volcano.
When planning started back in January, the whole world was an option (and there was no Eyjafjallajökull dancing on our tongues). We talked about Berlin, we talked about Dublin. Our first trip was going to be full of challenges so there were a few things we wanted to build in to make it easier.
*We wanted a place where English was spoken by a large enough portion of the population, whether because it’s the native tongue or because the nation’s education system supports it (I asked for a year to bone up on my high school French). In the future as we become seasoned we‘ll venture to less English-prone areas.
*We wanted a place that neither of us had been (which would’ve ruled out Dublin but I was ok breaking that rule).
*We wanted a place where the time change wasn’t so epic that it would make Brett’s “commute” harder.
*We wanted someplace that we could settle into and not be constantly wanting to go someplace equally awesome nearby.
On January 30, I wrote Brett an email:
And we were off. The planning was pretty easy. It came down to Ireland and Iceland. We searched for apartments for rent,discovering the term self-catering. The Iceland websites were clean, easy to navigate, and presented modern options. The Ireland websites had many more grandma bedspreads and thatched cottages. We’re excited about that for someday…just not yet. And thus we stumbled on Kalli’s Apartments (we live in #3). Our communications with the owner Systa, a well-regarded Icelandic artist were glorious.
Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, is home to 2/3 of the country’s population (which tops out at around 317,000). With some weekend day trips and by tacking on a week at the end to travel the Ring Road which circumnavigates the island, we felt pretty confident we’d have a feel for the country by the end of the five weeks.
Plus, there’s an island with 10,000,000 puffins.
So that, my friends, is why Iceland.
PS: one has to love the autofill options when doing a youtube puffin search.