The Couple That Travels Together Stays Together

Today marks 4 years since I drunkenly stumbled into H’s life decked out in my Halloween costume and basically forced him to hang out with me( you can read more about there here). It has been a crazy four years with my Viking, we have done the whole international long distance thing, said tearful goodbyes in airports in three different continents, traveled all over Europe, and our now navigating life in Iceland. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us!

Justin Timberlake ConcertBeing an international couple travel has always been a huge part of our relationship. Whether it was traveling to one others home countries or going on trips together, it is a part of our relationship that I love. Traveling with your partner is absolutely amazing. I could go on and on about why you should travel together but I am just going to say, a couple that travels together stays together.

H and I have already made some wonderful travel memories together and I am looking forward to many more. To celebrate our special day here is a look at some of my favorite travel adventures with H.

Australia, SydneyOur first adventure (and picture) together, headed off to surf camp in Australia. Guess I did get my Australian surfer, just in Viking form.

Gullfoss IcelandThe first time I visited H in his homeland, heard him speak Icelandic and explored this beautiful country I now call home.

Rome ItalyNot every picture can be magazine worthy but that is why I love this photo of us in front of the Colosseum. Almost all our photos from this day are of us squinting our eyes against the bright sunshine. Squinty eyes and all this stop in Rome was one of many during our 5 week Eurotrip and the Colosseum will always remain a favorite visit for me.

MykonosPopping bottles on the beaches of Mykonos makes for one fun day with my man. Greece I love you almost as much as I love H.

Redwood ForestOh you know, just doing some couple bonding while bench pressing some trees in the Redwood forest.

Day in ParisActing like an intellectual couple while browsing the halls of the Louvre. Our visit to the museum is one of my favorite things we did in Paris, a must do for sure.

Wine Tasting in TusconyWe are clearly fans of wine and this trip tasting wine in Tuscany was one for the books!

CroatiaBoth of us lived out our inner GOT nerd while visiting Dubrovnik.

LandmannalaugarOur hike at Landmannalaugar will always be one of my favorite travel moments with H. Exploring a part of H’s country and learning more about where he grew up has been wonderful, and it doesn’t hurt that his homeland is full of stunning landscapes!

London AirportI even love our not so glamorous travel moments, like sleeping on the uncomfortable chairs at the airport. These unglamorous moments weren’t so bad with H by my side.

I sure adore this guy and am looking forward to all the adventures our future holds!

Split Croatia

Question of the Day?
Do you like traveling with your partner?

10 Surprising Icelandic Facts II

Before I moved to Iceland, before I met H for that matter, I knew little to nothing about Iceland. Now I can’t get enough of Icelandic facts! A few months ago I shared a list of 10 Icelandic facts, today I am adding to this list with 10 more facts, so read on to get to know more about the land of fire and ice

1. It is often said that more than half of Icelanders believe in elves. It is up for debate as to how many Icelanders actually believe in elves, but you often hear stories of roads not being built somewhere because it would disrupt the elves, so maybe they believe more than they think.

One of my favorite stories about the Icelandic elves is from H’s mom. Her family has a summer house in the countryside and since she was a little girl her family believed that elves lived in the rocks and so they would not cut the grass around that area to avoid disturbing the elves.

Iceland elvesThe elves are said to live in these rocks

2. Beer was banned in Iceland until 1 March, 1989. Maybe this is the reason why Icelanders drink so much beer! The 1st of March is now called “Beer Day” where you can find many Icelanders participating in bar crawls.

3. It is against the law to own a pet snake, lizard or turtle. This law was put into place in the early 1990s after a turtle infected its owners with Salmonella paratyphi B. As someone with a major fear of snakes I have no problem with this law.

4. The star of the Free Willy movies, Keiko, was captured near Iceland. He went on to live in the Oregon aquarium (where I visited him several times as a kid) before returning back to Icelandic waters.

5. Iceland is home to 8-10 million puffins and over half the worlds puffin population breeds in Iceland. Must be all those stunning landscapes that make Iceland so romantic:) I have yet to see one of these cute guys but it is on my list!

Puffins in Icelandvia

6. The popular app Quizup was created by the Iceland based company Plain Vanilla. I have even met several of the companies employees, I only mentioned the fact that I was obsessed with Quizup a few times during our conversation:)

7. A spoonful of lysi (fish oil) is taken daily starting from a young age. If you ever have a cold, are feeling tired or just looking pale, you must not be drinking your lysi. I am still working on getting use to the flavor.

8. Christmas is celebrated with not just Santa but 13 Yule Lads that bring children gifts every night for the 13 days before Christmas.

9. The water in Iceland is one of the purest in the world. The cold water from the tap is pure spring water from glacier runoff and is not even chlorinated. Trust me, the water in Iceland is the best you will ever taste!

Iceland WaterDrink straight from the river, it is complete safe and delicious!

10. The worlds first democratically elected female head of state was Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. She was president of Iceland from 1980-1996 making her also the longest serving elected female head of state of any country.

Bonus fact: Iceland was just ranked number 1 in gender equality based on the Global Gender Gap report for the 6th year in a row!

Question of the Day?
What is a fun fact from your country?

Linking up with Treasure Tromp!

Sunday by the Sea + A Giveaway

One thing I have learned about living in Iceland, when the sun is out you don’t waste anytime inside! So when we were treated to beautiful (but chilly) weather this weekend H and I bundled up and spent our Sunday afternoon biking along the sea.

Sunday by the SeaSunday by the SeaSunday by the SeaJust some fish hanging out on the sidewalk.

Sunday by the seaSunday by the SeaSunday by the SeaThese huts are some of the last remnants of the fishing heritage of the area before Reykjavik was completely suburbanized. Fisherman would bring their days catch to hang dry inside the huts as well as store their fishing equipment. I love the look of the rusty huts along the sea, it will always be an iconic Icelandic look in my mind.

Sunday by the SeaSunday by the SeaSunday by the SeaSunday by the SeaSunday by the SeaSunday by the SeaThese tracks in the sand was where the boats would be pulled ashore. It was like discovering a hidden piece of history in the sand as it is only visible during the low tide.

Sunday by the seaSunday by the SeaSunday by the SeaI took my role of photographer assistant very seriously. As in I pointed out things and told H to take a picture, an excellent assistant.

Sunday by the SeaSunday by the SeaSunday by the seaSunday by the SeaSunday by the sea

Soaking in the last of the fall sun #lifebythesea #traveliceland #instapassport #wanderlust #sundayadventure

A photo posted by Kaelene Spence (@kkiki10) on


A good Sunday indeed, I love life by the sea.

Question of the Day?
What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday? Would you want

jess | nelle | kaelene
amy | karli | sarah
rachael | jamie | lisa
ali | alycia

 

 

 


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12 Months in Iceland By The Numbers

Today’s post is celebrating a big milestone in my expat life. I have survived my first year in Iceland! I already shared with you all my amazing day at the Blue Lagoon to celebrate my milestone, but my entire 12 month in Iceland was full of wonderful things and in need of a recap.

With that lets get to by 12 month in Iceland and all the wonderful things I got up to.

Three hours being wined and dined at the Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon Iceland This year I am on the committee for our works annual ball and we are planning on having it at the Blue Lagoon and where invited to sample the menu for our event. During our dining experience I felt like I was VIP, a new wine to match each dish, the chef coming out to explain everything we were eating, the most beautiful dishes I have seen, ya it was basically amazing!

One sunny fall afternoon playing tourist

Tourist DayH and I took full advantage of the perfect fall weather and spent a Saturday afternoon exploring Reykjavik like tourists. There are so many wonderful spots in the city that are popular stops for tourist but the locals tend to never visit, it is a shame because they are all so beautiful. Always makes me appreciate my city a bit more when I get out and view it with different eyes.

Weekly Friday work breakfasts spent stuffing my face

Friday morning breakfastOkay not the prettiest picture but this event is a highlight every week. On Friday mornings we have a breakfast club at work where a group brings in goodies for us to enjoy. The picture above is from when my group was responsible for bringing in breakfast, the homemade breads and tasty treats are always amazing. It is such a great way to start a Friday, delicious breakfast, chats with your co-workers, basically a mini party to kick off the weekend!

Two runs on my favorite path by the sea

Iceland SeaI knew the snow and ice was on its way so I took advantage of any decent day we had to get out and run on my favorite path.

Iceland SeaUnfortunately the ongoing volcanic eruption happening here in Iceland sent gas our way that kept me exercising indoors for the past few weeks. And now the snow is here, sigh. At least I got a few more runs in before winter.

Five day trip to Amsterdam booked!

Amsterdam-The-Netherlandsvia
Living in Iceland makes traveling to other European countries much more difficult (and expensive) than living in mainland Europe. So when we see a good flight deal we jump on it and this is how we ended up booking a trip to Amsterdam over Easter. I can’t wait to stroll the canals and hopefully visit some tulip fields.

One chilly morning exploring Þingvellir

thingvellirWhile I was not prepared for the snow our morning at þingvellir was beautiful. If you missed it you can find the whole recap here.

thingvellir_0029thingvellir_0028thingvellir_0035 Stunning right? I already am looking forward to returning to Þingvellir next fall, hopefully without snow.

Countless smiles when I walk pass this sign

Cafe signI see this sign every time I walk downtown and it always makes me smile. I love the attitude here in Reykjavik!

Twelve months living in Iceland celebrated

FlowersDid I mention my Viking is a keeper? Not only was I spoiled with a weekend full of pampering but I also came home from work on my expativersary to be treated to these beautiful flowers.

Two hours soaking in the Blue Lagoon

Blue LagoonI know I have talked about this like a dozen times but hey a one year expativersary is a big deal and the Blue Lagoon is too pretty to not post constant pictures of!

Blue LagoonBlue LagoonBlue Lagoon

Through all the challenges that this year has brought my way I am happy to be ending the year on a high note and I am proud of the way I have grown. I have put myself out there more times than I can count, dealt with many feelings of homesickness, and taken several risks that have both paid off and failed. I have started to learn a new language, experienced Icelandic traditions and can now navigate my way around the city with ease. While I know that there will be many more difficult things that come my way I am finally feeling at home here in Iceland.

Previous by the numbers month recaps:
First Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Second Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Third Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Fourth Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Fifth Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Sixth Month in Iceland by the Numbers
Seventh Month in Iceland by the Numbers
8th Month in Iceland by the Numbers
9th Month in Iceland by the Numbers
10th Month in Iceland by the Numbers
11th Month in Iceland by the Numbers