Ten Things I Love About You, Iceland (KH)

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katharinahauptmann02_dlAfter my frustration-fueled article two weeks ago about things I dislike about Iceland, I will now pour oil on troubled North Atlantic waters and pay Iceland some compliments. After all, it’s Valentine’s Day.

Despite a couple of things that annoy me from time to time there are plenty of reasons why I made Iceland my home.

Nature:

Yes, I am one of the countless Germans praising Iceland’s unspoiled, pristine and rough nature. One encounters plenty of lava fields, glaciers, hot springs, volcanoes, geysers, waterfalls and rocks of every imaginable size, color and shape and a lot more.

The stunningly beautiful and surreal landscapes and the country’s vastness make you feel free and alive—and make you understand the need for windproof clothing.

Resources:

I love the fact that almost the entire energy supply here derives from renewable energy sources. That doesn’t only make water and electricity more than affordable but it also gives me a clear conscience.

Furthermore, Icelandic water is pristine and high-quality drinking water. Wherever you go you are provided with free and fresh tap water, when partying in a club, for example, you don’t have to pay for a glass of water. Awesome.

Self-confidence:

Icelanders are very self-confident, even little kids. It’s like they’re endowed with an extra portion of self-esteem at birth. In some cases this can border on megalomania, which makes it even more entertaining and adorable at times.

Living in Iceland has also made me much more self-confident and I am much less concerned about things to come. For instance, I don’t worry if the colors of my clothes fit together anymore before leaving the house. Being under- or overdressed is not an issue here.

Sexiness:

Somehow, Icelanders are just more attractive than any other nation. Well, I admit, I am totally biased. Maybe it’s that self-confidence which makes Icelanders extra sexy...?

Þetta reddast:

This saying translates to something like ‘everything will turn out all right’ and it could be described as the national motto of the Icelandic people.

Icelanders are quite laid-back and don’t worry too much in advance. Failing at something is not embarrassing, one simply tries again.

I’ve noticed this very often at work when new employees are given a new task, Icelandic workers don’t hesitate and just try it out, whereas foreign employees are be timid and cautious and maybe even reluctant. Icelanders are not afraid to get down to it.

Body contact:

As I’ve mentioned before in one of my previous articles, Icelanders are not shy to get physical.

Tolerance and equality:

Whether you are single, homosexual, bisexual, a garbage truck driver, lawyer, politician, transsexual, promiscuous, a single parent, fisherman, three-time divorcee, a man or a woman, whether you have a great or a bad haircut, are rich or broke, skinny or chubby, have light or dark skin, are a poet, stripper or a construction worker, you will not be discriminated against or judged.

Well, let’s be realistic: at least to a much lesser extent than elsewhere.

Icelanders are very tolerant and don’t make a big deal about superficiality or negligibility that don’t matter. As proof for that: Icelanders elected a lesbian as prime minister, single mom as president and comedian as mayor.

Coffee:

One probably wouldn’t expect it, but here in Iceland you can get the best coffee in the world. My top three places for my daily dose of caffeine are Litli bóndabærinn, Kaffismiðjan and Kaffitár.

Children:

Having children is a status symbol here and regarded as a welcome blessing. In many countries having kids is perceived as a career killer and inconvenience.

Not in Iceland. The entire society is designed for children and families. I guess that’s why Iceland’s birth rate is among the highest in Europe. Families are close-knit and welcoming. Thumbs up for that!

Now I should better stop my ode to Iceland before it blushes.

Katharina Hauptmann – katha.hauptmann@gmail.com

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.