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Iceland’s Unique & Strict Naming Traditions – Ep. 29

Icelandic names can be difficult to pronounce, spell and understand when being spoken, especially for someone that doesn’t know the language. Even though, Icelandic people are pretty laid back about many things, mainly because they live in a world where flexibility of plans is a crucial part of their survival, they take their names seriously. I will first start out with explaining the structure of Icelandic names, and then I will delve a bit deeper into the fascinating rules and unique...


Icelandic Food Culture: From the Middle Ages to Modern Cuisine – Ep. 28

Icelandic food culture is deeply rooted in Scandinavian cuisine. As I mentioned in the "Brief History of the Icelandic language" episode, Iceland was settled mostly by farmers from Norway along with Vikings and some Celtic people who were made slaves after being captured by those Vikings . These Scandinavian people brought with them their cooking traditions and farming lifestyle. However, there is not much evidence of Celtic influence in Icelandic cooking. Icelandic Food Culture During the...


Useful Icelandic Words & Phrases for Visitors & Language Learners – Ep. 27

Even though, English is widely spoken in Iceland, I think these words and phrases will certainly come in handy if you plan to visit or if you already live here and want to learn the language. Even if you don’t have Iceland on your bucket list, I find it is a fascinating language to listen to, especially since it has not evolved much since the 12th century. For anyone that is curious about the history of the Icelandic language check out the podcast episode I did about it. If you find yourself...


How To Prepare For A Trip to Iceland – Ep. 26

If you are planning a trip to Iceland at any time in the future, this episode of the All Things Iceland podcast will arm you with useful facts and tips that will make your preparation much smoother. Prepare for Icelandic Weather I’m going to start off with one of the most important things to keep in mind when you travel to Iceland - the weather! Regardless of the season, the weather in Iceland can vary wildly. In one minute, it can be raining and windy and in the next, the sun can be shining...


10 Popular Icelandic Foods to Try While Visiting – Ep. 25

This episode might be short but it gives you a good overview of foods to try while in Iceland. Before I jump into this list, I have to inform you that I have been a plant based eater, usually referred to as vegan, for the last five years. However, I did taste all of these foods before I made the transition. The foods on this list are very much a part of the Icelandic culture and it would be difficult to talk about Iceland without mentioning these foods. I just want all of my vegetarian and...


Iceland’s 13 Yule Lads: Ep.24 – All Things Iceland Podcast

In the last episode, I went over Iceland’s noteworthy traditions, holidays and celebrations. I recommend checking it out, if you haven’t already. This week, I am expanding on the Christmas holiday celebrations that I spoke about in that episode. While most countries that celebrate Christmas only have one Santa that comes to town, Iceland somehow ended up with 13! During this episode, I will talk about where these 13 Santa Clauses or Yule Lads come from, when they come to town, what they do...


Icelandic Holidays, Celebrations & Traditions – Ep.23

Because the holiday season is right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share the list of Icelandic holidays and traditions they celebrate throughout the year. Some of the traditions might sound the same or similar to some of your traditions while others might be completely new to you. Icelandic Holidays, Traditions & Celebrations 1. Fyrsti Vetradagur - First Day of Winter As I am recording this, it is October and the next holiday tradition coming up is fyrsti vetradagur, which...


Jón Gnarr on Being a Political Tourist & Spreading Empathy in Iceland:Part 3 – Ep.22

This is the 3rd and final part of my interview with Jón Gnarr, Iceland’s funniest and most famous Mayor. If you haven’t listened to part 1 and part 2 of this interview, I recommend that you do because Jón dives deep into why he ran for political office, Taosim, his experience as the Mayor and other fascinating things about his life. During this episode, Jón shares his feelings about the current political landscape in Iceland, why he feels it is important to teach people about empathy, what...


Jón Gnarr on Using Taoism & Judo Tactics While Being Mayor of Reykjavík: Part 2 – Ep.21

This is the second of a three part interview that I did with Jón Gnarr, Iceland’s funniest and most famous Mayor of Reykjavík. If you haven’t listened to part 1 of this interview, I highly recommend that you do. Jón shares why he decided to run for political office, his concern about polar bears and more. Plus, it will provide context for some of what we discuss in this episode. For part 2, Jón and I have a fascinating philosophical discussion. I learn about the profound impact that Taoism,...


Jón Gnarr on Politics, Polar Bears & Being Mayor of Reykjavík, Iceland

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jón Gnarr, Iceland’s most famous and funniest Mayor. Jón became Mayor of Reykjavík not long after Iceland’s economic crash in 2008. His victory was just as shocking to him as it was to many others in the country and around the world. He was kind enough to host me at his home in Iceland for this interview. We chatted for almost three hours about a variety of topics. In part one, you will hear about why he ran for political office, his feelings about the...


Icelandic Beer History & Culture with Óli the Brewmaster – Ep19

My love of delicious beer and curiosity about Iceland blended together perfectly when I sat down to chat with Óli, the brewmaster at Ægisgarður brewery. While there are bigger and well known breweries in Iceland, I was drawn to Ægisgarður for a few reasons. The first is that I got married in that brewery in 2017 and I had the pleasure of attending a beer tasting earlier in the spring of this year. Óli conducted the beer tasting and dropped some major knowledge about Iceland’s complicated...


Aldís on Growing Up Half Black & Half Icelandic in Iceland – Ep18

Aldís Amah Hamilton, who is half African American and half Icelandic, shares what it is like living in Iceland as a person of color. Aldís and her friend were the first people of color in the country to be admitted to and graduate from the country’s National Academy of Theater. She is a working actor and flight attendant in Iceland. It was fascinating to chat with her about her experience growing up with physical features that are different than what you typically associate with being...


Laki Volcano Eruption – Devastating Effects in Iceland & Around the World- Ep17

Iceland is home to 130 volcanoes and as of today, 30 of them are active. While the country has experienced 13 eruptions since it was settled in AD 874, none has been as devastating as the Laki eruption that started in 1783 and lasted for 8 months! During this episode of the All Things Iceland podcast, you will learn about the effects this massive eruption had on Iceland and other parts of the world. Where the Laki Volcano is Located If we are being technical, the mountain Laki did not erupt....


Politics & the Pirate Party with Iceland’s Youngest President of City Council: Part 3 – Ep16

This is the third and final part of my interview with Iceland's youngest President of City Council, Dóra Björt Guðjónsdóttir. If you haven’t listened to part 1 and part 2 yet, I highly recommend that you do. Dóra shines a spotlight on the political scandals, deep seated beliefs and opportunities for positive change in Iceland during those parts. During this episode, Dóra shares why she became a member of the pirate party, her views on information freedom, the responsibility of politicians to...


Politics & the Pirate Party with Iceland’s Youngest President of City Council: Part 2 – Ep15

During part 2 of the interview that I did with Dóra Björt Guðjónsdóttir, Iceland’s youngest President of the Reykjavík City Council, she reveals even more details about Icelandic society that are unknown to the outside world. If you haven’t listened to part 1 yet, I highly recommend that you do because Dóra shares some insightful information about Icelandic politics and society. In this episode, Dóra talks more about Iceland’s aggressive discussion culture and ways she is working to combat...


Politics & the Pirate Party with Iceland’s Youngest President of City Council: Part 1 – Ep14

Dóra Björt Guðjónsdóttir is amazing not only because of her passion to create positive change in Iceland, but also because she is the youngest person in Iceland’s history to be elected as the President of the City Council. Dóra’s passion and values, which are aligned with the Pirate Party in Iceland, shine through strongly in this interview. We ended up chatting for an hour and twenty minutes in Reykjavík City Hall. In order to keep these episodes relatively short, I have broken this...


A Deeper Look into Icelandic Society with Alda Sigmundsdóttir: Part 2 – EP13

During part 2 of my interview with Alda Sigmundsdóttir, an Icelandic author and journalist that has her thumb on the pulse of Icelandic society, Alda shares some eye opening information. Alda talks extensively about Iceland’s economic meltdown, scandals that people outside of the country might not be aware of, a place in Iceland that is close to her heart and her favorite Icelandic word or phrase. While the two parts of this interview can stand alone as individual episodes, I very much...


A Deeper Look into Icelandic Society with Alda Sigmundsdóttir: Part 1 – Ep12

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to chat with Alda Sigmundsdóttir, an Icelandic author and journalist that has her thumb on the pulse of Icelandic society. Even though Alda was born in Iceland, she grew up in Canada and lived in a few different countries. The insight that she shared with me about Iceland and its people was enlightening and sometimes surprising. We had such a great time chatting, that we ended up talking for an hour. In order to keep these episodes relatively short, I...


The Rise of Yoga in Iceland – A Conversation with Baddý Hinriksdóttir – Ep.11

I had the pleasure of chatting with Bjarney "Baddý" Hinriksdóttir, a yoga instructor and yoga studio owner in downtown Reykjavík about yoga in Iceland. Like many Western countries, Iceland has seen a significant rise in the number of people practicing yoga. With just a quick Google search you can easily find 4 or 5 studios in the Reykjavík area. What makes Baddý’s studio unique is that her classes are only taught in English and it is smack dab in the middle of the downtown area. When I first...


The State of Mental Health Care in Iceland with Dr. Gunnar Ingólfsson – Ep.10

For episode 10 of the All Things Iceland podcast, I had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Gunnar Örn Ingólfsson, a practicing psychologist in Iceland. We spoke about the state of mental health care in the country. Even though Iceland has consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world, according to The World Happiness Report, the country ranks as the fourth most depressed nation in Europe. I find that quite shocking and I wanted to get better insight into why there is such...