Posted on January 6, 2011 by Colin

Iceland!

 

I tried something a bit different with the voting on which country I’ll move to next this time around, and I’m glad I did.

Rather than taking an initial vote for 8 countries, and then allowing everyone to choose from those a place for me to live, I left every single country in the world available up until the very end. I also left voting open for the entirety of my time in Thailand, not just the first month as I had been doing before.

This resulted in thousands of votes from people living all over the world and a huge diversity in the countries people were voting for.

Previously, most of the countries on the list were popular tourist destinations…the spots most Americans would want to go on vacation. And though countries with thriving tourism industries are fantastic in their own right, I’m looking forward to digging in to some of the lesser-traversed locales out there.

Some countries that got votes that I was excited to see on the list:

  • Isle of Man
  • Tunisia (this was in 3rd place)
  • Sandwich Islands
  • North Korea (!)
  • San Francisco (soooooo not a country)
  • Nauru
  • Terceira
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines

But enough buildup: if you didn’t guess already by the title of this post, the next country I’ll be living in for 4 months (voted on by you) is Iceland!

I usually start out these kinds of posts by telling a bit about what I know of the country before I head there, so let me give you a rundown of what I’ve heard about Iceland and its people.

  • There are about 300,000 people in the whole country, and this apparently leads to some awkward situations when it comes to dating (such a small dating pool invariably leads to some questions about who’s related to whom).
  • They export a lot of fish and culture.
  • There was an economic crash there a few years ago, and I seem to remember there being an even bigger meltdown there than other places, as all of their banks tanked and they only have so many. This is good for people like me who earn mostly USD’s, but bad for anybody who had to live through the crash.
  • The main city is Reykjavik (I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I spelled that correctly, as I’m not using any references for this list so as to get an accurate initial reading on my general knowledge about the country), and I’m pretty sure there aren’t any other major cities.
  • Bjork and Sigor Ros are from Iceland. I’m pretty sure I’ve liked everything I’ve heard from there, and I’ve come across a good deal of visual arts and fashion design that I’ve liked from the area, as well.
  • I’ve heard that their language is one of the most difficult to learn in the world, but that most everyone speaks English to some degree or another.
  • I’ve been told that the women in Iceland are some of the most beautiful in the world (and I’ve been told this by guys and girls from many different countries with many different tastes in women).
  • I remember hearing that Greenland is super-icy and Iceland is a bit greener, but that was in elementary school and I’m more than a little skeptical of most of the history and geography I was taught back then.
  • I hear they drink a lot in Iceland, though I’m not sure what.
  • There are thermal pools in Iceland that I’ve heard are basically necessary to live in such a place. I’ve heard some wild stories about sweat tents and spiritual retreats, as well, but the people telling me about those may have been exaggerating or just delusional (you know, from all the drugs).
  • Seems like I heard several years ago that Iceland had ambitions to be the first fossil fuel-free country in the world by 2020, but I have no idea if those plans held out through the economic collapse. I hope so.

So there it is, most everything I know (or think I know) about Iceland.

I’m looking to make some connections in the area before I move there, and looking to get involved with some fun stuff locally, so shoot me an email here if you think you can help out!

Do you live in Iceland? From there or have lived there in the past? Hit me up.

Looking forward to freezing my balls off and deep-diving into the culture!