This past Saturday the Viking and I packed up the car and got ready to head off for a quick weekend adventure. Before we could leave town we had a few errands to run so we were getting a later start to our day, and with our later start came some clouds and rain. Not the best weather, no big deal, we decided to stick with the plan and still head out for some exploring.
As we sat in traffic slowly making our way out of the city H and I started talking about how tired we were and what a busy week it had been. Before we had even made our way out of downtown we decided to turn around and head back home.
We were just too tired and burnt out for an adventure.
Life has been busy up here in the Arctic. These past few weeks have flown by in a blur and the Viking and I have hardly seen more than a few minutes of each other during the week. With crazy work schedules, Icelandic classes and extra freelance projects it is safe to say the Viking and I were feeling burnt out.
When we started the new year H and I knew January was going to be a crazy busy month for us both. We even made a plan that on Saturday’s we would unplug and do no work at all, a complete day off. These Saturday day offs quickly turned into the day that we could go off on an adventure, something we both really enjoying doing. But sometimes you need to know when to just take a break and do nothing, something that I struggle with.
But on Saturday when we were feeling more exhausted by the idea of an adventure than excited we both knew it was time for a break, from work and adventuring.
Sometimes you just need to spend a weekend doing nothing but relaxing on your couch. And that is exactly what the Viking and I did all weekend. While I love filling my weekends up with exploring Iceland my mind and my body so needed this relaxing weekend. This is one of the first Monday’s in a long time where I feel like I am starting the week refreshed and ready to tackle my to do list. Lazy weekends, they are good for you.
Now that I finally had the time to sit down and think let’s talk about the things that have been happening around my little neck of the tundra lately with some pictures that haven’t made the cut from our latest adventures.
Driving in the snow | Okay not the most exciting life update, but for me this is huge. Last winter I never once attempted to drive and relied on the Viking to carpool me around. This was fine, but it also made me rethink my own social schedule for things that required driving somewhere. For someone that has always been really independent having to rely on H to drive me everywhere was not an ideal situation.
Once the snow melted I forced myself to get behind the wheel and learn the Icelandic rules of the road. Being able to hop in the car and just go whenever I liked gave me such a new feeling of independence, and as silly as it may sound it really helped me feel more settled and in control of my life here in Iceland.
Fast forward to this winter, and the snow came back. I instantly panicked and decided I didn’t even want to try learning how to drive in the snow. Going from being able to drive wherever, go off and meet my friends and do my own thing without H to needed him to drive me around really was a blow. After about two months of this I finally decided I needed to suck it up and learn. It was terrifying at first, but now it is no problem and I am so happy that I can head off on my own adventures again without my chauffeur H.
Icelandic | For two weeks now I have been spending my Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Icelandic class, until 10 pm. Not going to lie, the class time is really not ideal, but I told myself I have to suck it up for these 10 weeks, Icelandic is not going to get into my mind on its own.
Even though I have only been in class for two weeks I have noticed such a huge difference in both my confidence in speaking and my understanding of the language. I can just feel this time around how much I want to learn for me, not because I think I have to learn, and that makes the world of difference.
There have even been some language wins, and even if they are small I want to celebrate them. The other day I had a conversation with a co-worker at the coffee machine where I spoke almost all Icelandic to her. Many of my co-workers speak Icelandic to me ( these co-workers know me and know my understanding level) but I always just respond back in English even if I know how to say the things back in Icelandic. Well not this time, I told myself I had to try and out came Icelandic. I have been trying everyday to just throw in Icelandic words for things I know how to say and can feel my confidence in speaking the language increasing.
I have to give a shout out to my Viking. Never once has he ever pressured me to learn Icelandic, but he has always supported me when I am trying, which means he now gets to spend lots of time helping me with my homework. This usually involves me having him repeat a word over and over while I watch how his mouth moves so I can try and figure out how to say the sounds, homework time is fun at our house:)
I think I should start practicing Icelandic with the Icelandic horses, they would make for some cute study partners:)
Visa Renewal | Speaking of language wins, last week I had to make the dreaded drive down to the immigration office to renew my visa. I told H I wanted to do it myself this time and I practiced a few sentences in Icelandic that I could say to the immigration.
As I waited my turn I kept saying those sentences over and over, I am not going to lie I was so nervous I really just wanted to rely on English like I always do.
But I walked up there, said my practiced sentences and I have never had a better experience at the immigration! I am not kidding, by the end the woman wanted to hear my whole life story and put a rush order on my card so that I could be sure to have it before I went abroad next month. Amazing!
Scotland Recommendations??? | Okay enough talk about all these wins for me, lets talk travel. You guys always give me the best ideas when it comes to travel tips so I am coming to you again.
The Viking and I are going to Scotland this May, and while this is still a few months away we are currently trying to plan out our itinerary. We are planning on spending four days driving around the highlands and are working on figuring out the best path to fit in all the stops we want to see and what are the best places to stay overnight. If you have been to Scotland and have any tips, must see places or things you loved I would love to hear about them in the comments!
Pescetarian Month | When it comes to diets the Viking and I are on the opposite side of the spectrum, he is your typical meat and potatoes kind of guy, and I have been known to play around with a vegan diet. I am always trying to add more vegeterirain dinners to our weekly meal plan in attempts to convince the Viking that we don’t need to buy meat anymore. So far this has been somewhat successful, but this moth we have a big win.
For the month of February (because it is the shortest month of the year) H decided to met me half way for a pescetarian month. I am loving making new recipes and after the lentil burgers I made over the weekend I might have my Viking convinced that we don’t need to have meat in our lives all the time. We are only one week in so we will see how this continues. Any fish or vegetarian recipes you love? Let me know in the comments!
While I have had a lot of wins lately one thing is pretty certain after our past few adventures, I still have some work to do when it comes to walking in the snow.
I look super confident here, but a few seconds later…
And one second later… I fell, and then rolled, and was covered in snow.
I am just here to provide entertainment for my Viking. He turns around for one minute and then turns back to find me laughing so hard rolling around on the ground. I like to keep thing alive in the relationship, I mean what is sexier than helping get snow out of my clothes am I right?!
As my Dad would say, there is your newsy letter for the day. While nothing on here is monumental I am trying to be better about recognizing the small accomplishments and I encourage you all to do the same! Celebrating any kind of success is important, and it really helps me stay motivated to keep working hard.
And with that I am off to tackle that long to do list of mine for the week. Happy Monday!
Question of the Day?
Have you been to Scotland? Any recommendations? What is a win in your life lately?