Location: Reykjavik, Iceland – “The land of fire and ice”
Lodging: Couch Surfing Internet: DSL (landline) Backup: Siminn Mobile Broadband (3g)
Airfare: Jetblue: Tampa – Chicago Icelandic Air: Chicago – Iceland (check out Icelandic Express)
Do you remember that volcano that exploded in Iceland that stranded millions of travelers because of the volcanic ash? Well, I just happened to be standing on that volcano (actually a glacier) in December. I know what you’re thinking, why would I travel to Iceland in December? IT’S FREEZING, but there are less tourists and cheaper airfare. And why would I stand on a volcanic glacier? I have a bad habit on climbing on things I’m not supposed to. My excuse is habits are hard to break.
I never considered traveling to Iceland in my lifetime. Not because of the cold weather, simply because I didn’t think there was anything to see (boy was I wrong). They call it the land of fire and ice because it sits right on the convergence of the North American and European tectonic plates (which I actually was able to stand with one leg on each plate). This causes an immense amount geothermal activity. There are gorgeous mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, and waterfalls as well as plenty of nightlife. The people are extremely friendly and everyone speaks English. I am pretty good with languages, if you search on YouTube someone speaking Icelandic you will see why I was more than relieved when I found out everyone spoke English.
Iceland is huge and not densely populated which makes it hard to do things on your own. Two thirds of the population lives in the capital and there aren’t very many places to stay outside of the capital. For a travel company, I would recommend Gotraveliceland and make sure your driver is “Gummi”. Part owner of the company, he goes out of his way to make sure your stay is more than pleasant and even takes you to locations that the other travel companies don’t. Quick side note: The battery on my camera died (I now carry 3 on every trip) and I started taking pictures with my cell phone. Gummi noticed the situation and took my battery, did a MacGyver trick with tape and a car charger, and returned my battery at the location (fully charged) where I was staying later that night.
This was my first experience couch surfing and I really lucked out. I had my own bedroom (and bed) with my own cable DSL internet connection. You don’t have to worry about the internet in Iceland. They have reliable high broadband cable internet connections as well as 3g mobile broadband provided by “Siminn”. This is exactly what you need to work and travel or day trade abroad. Ásgeir, my couch surfing host, was extremely gracious and even took us out to party and showed us around the city.
See you on the other side