Did I Just Fall In Love With Winter???

Reykjavik, Iceland

I have to admit something.

I really dislike the cold. Always have, probably always will.

And yet I live in the Arctic.

Don’t worry the irony is not lost on me.

Perlan, Iceland

Never in a million years did I think I would end up living in the Arctic, or anywhere cold for that matter. I was the girl that complained about how cold it was when the temperature dropped below 15°C (60°F) and spent my university days dreaming of moving somewhere warm and tropical after graduation. In fact, the few months before I ended up venturing to the Arctic were spent looking into moving to either Austin, Texas or Hawaii with H.

So how in the world did I end up deviating away from my plans of warm sunny places and end up in Iceland?

I blame that Viking of mine.

Somehow he came in and convinced me that life in his homeland wouldn’t be that bad. Sure the winters got a bit chilly, but the snow was so pretty I wouldn’t mind the cold he said. It sounded magical, or maybe that was my attraction to the Viking talking. Either way, whatever he said worked and I said goodbye to my plans of moving somewhere warm and instead opted for the complete opposite, somewhere far colder.

Perlan, Iceland

Now, here this sun lover is, in the middle of my third winter in Iceland, and on week 140303 since we have seen the sun, I have found myself thinking, why in the world did I move here?! I mean really what was I thinking, living somewhere with this harsh of conditions is tough. I have to take vitamin D supplements and drink fish oil daily, light therapy is a thing (never heard of that before moving here!) and I don’t know the last time I walked outside and didn’t have to worry about slipping on ice.

So what am I doing in the Arctic again???

As if Iceland heard my thoughts it reminded me why, despite the cold, I adore this chilly place I call home.

Perlan, Iceland

Do you see that yellow thing setting in the distance? That is right my friends, the sun came to Iceland this weekend, and just like that it reminded me why I put up with the cold.

Sure that glimpse of sunshine we got over the weekend lasted no more than a few hours, and the temperature didn’t get above freezing, but just seeing the sun was all I needed to shake me out of my “the grass is greener on the other side” funk.

Perlan, Iceland

It can be so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if something was different in your life than everything would be so much better. Especially when you are living somewhere that only gets a few hours of daylight for months at a time. Moving somewhere warm sounds like a much better option in the middle of an Icelandic winter to me.

I may wish that Iceland didn’t have as long of winters, but how can I complain?! I get to live in one of the safest countries in the world! A place that values a work/life balance and children are safe to walk to and from their friends houses on their on. And while this cold island may be covered in snow for more months than I would like, the landscapes that I get to see, they still take my breath away.

Perlan, Iceland

It may of taken me two and a half winters to adapt and come to terms with the weather, but I have to admit, this sun lover is kinda of fan of the winter, and everything else about this beautiful cold place.

I know the new year tends to be a time that people reflect on their life and where they are at and hope to be in the coming year. I am someone who has always done this and had always thought if only I could accomplish xyz I would be happy with where I was at.

This year, I am so happy to say that even though I live somewhere colder than I ever thought possible I am so happy with where I am at in life. My phone may freeze and turn off when I take it outside, but I have a great job, an amazing family, a wonderful group of friends, and a partner that supports me in all my endeavors, and takes a dozen pictures so I can get the perfect shot.

What I am trying to say is, my bones may be permanently frozen, but cold and all life is great and I am so happy with where I am starting 2016 at.

Perlan, Iceland

Oh and I tried geocaching this weekend, which was what I originally was going to tell you all about before I decided to get all serious. I will save that story for another day:)

Question of the Day?
How is your 2016 starting off?

*A big thank you to everyone who took my survey! I so appreciate you all taking the time to give me feedback!

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  • http://soimlostagain.wordpress.com/ Lynnae | So I’m Lost Again?

    2016 for me started great. And then the rain came. And then I went back to lectures. And then I realized I only have five weeks until exams begin. Eek! I feel like the New Year is a trick to lull students at German universities into a false sense of security. P.S. I will gladly trade you a week of sunshine for a week of snow. Still none here in southern Germany.

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Hope some snow makes it your way! It can be so tough jumping right back into the swing of things I so understand. Hope your exams go awesome!

      • http://soimlostagain.wordpress.com/ Lynnae | So I’m Lost Again?

        Thanks. Snow is in the forecast for the weekend! I’m like a five-year-old knowing that there’s a 40% chance it might snow!

  • http://www.rhymeandribbons.com/ Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

    It sounds like 2016 is a good year for you so far! I’m willing some more sun your way though! xx

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks so much dear :)

  • http://www.adventurings.com Cynthia

    I am feeling about the same right now! Historically I kinda hated January but now I find myself even liking the winter and all of the things it brings. And, like you, you can appreciate the sun more when it comes out!
    Beautiful photos, by the way… I love your braid!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Right, I can’t believe I feel this way, but I am enjoying the dark winter days :)

  • http://beertimewithwagner.com/ Jordan Beck Wagner

    Girllll, I get you. I don’t think I’ve seen the sun in Scotland since November!!! Although I’m much more a winter person than summer person, I absolutely hate not seeing sunlight. Happy 2016!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Ugh it can be so rough not seeing the sun! I will do a sun dance for us both! Happy 2016 to you too dear:)

  • Sophie

    Coming from the UK i quite relish the cold – moving somewhere hot would be my worst nightmare haha! It’s funny how we soon get used to the cole weather. The rain is a whole other ball game. That I can do without!


    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      It really is funny how quickly we can adapt to the weather! The cold is usually fine for me, but the lack of sunshine I find a bit tough. Here is to sunny thoughts and summertime:)

  • http://www.solongusa.blogspot.com Danielle Crouch

    I’m so glad you are happy with where you are in life! That’s something not everyone can say, and sometimes I have to remind myself that my life is pretty damn good, even though there are things about it that I might want to change. I’ve almost always lived somewhere cold so the cold in Germany does not bother me any more than the cold at home would, but it still can be a hard thing to embrace. Oh well, it just makes curling up on the couch with Netflix that much cozier :)

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks so much Danielle. It really is a tough place to find and I am so happy that I feel happy with life. A cozy day on the couch watching Netflix really does help make those chilly winter days better:)

  • http://www.seeyouinaporridge.com/ Kristen @ SYIAP

    yay! this makes me happy. i can’t imagine living in such a cold place, but i love that you’re looking at the positives. and to be honest, i think living in one of the safest places in the world would make it worth it for me as well. hope 2016 continues the way it started for you!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I had some rough negative winters before now, but keeping a positive outlook really does help and I don’t want to cry about the cold as much this year. The safety here, it really is a huge plus!

  • http://www.notentirelyperfect.com/ Stephanie

    Your photos are always so pretty. I’m glad you’re happy! I would love it there. It’s 9 degrees here today and I want it colder and with more snow. I’m outside like a little polar bear and everyone is inside crying. I’m a cold weather person, I can’t explain it. But I love it.

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks so much Stephanie :) Winter in Iceland would be your happy place!

  • http://meetat-thebarre.com/ Amanda Elizabeth

    That first picture is absolutely stunning. You seriously live in a winter wonderland. So glad to hear that you are loving Iceland right now!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      The snow covered mountains and colorful houses, they get me every time!

  • http://www.backhomeblue.com/ Sarah

    I’m also the girl who reaches for a parka when the temperature drops below 50! I’m interested to see how I would/will handle the arctic. I hope 2016 continues to be great for you – mine is starting off pretty well, too!

    Now, if it would only snow in Virginia… That’s the only way being cold is acceptable – if there’s snow on the ground!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I so agree, if it is going to be cold outside then there needs to be snow, otherwise it should just be summer:) Glad you year is starting of great Sarah!

  • http://simplicityrelished.com/ Daisy @ Simplicity Relished

    I’m loving your perspective on this! I know that living in New England for 5 years doesn’t quite compare to Iceland even for one year, but I definitely get the light therapy thing. People who moved out there definitely got depressed for lack of sunshine! So glad you’re enjoying yourself despite the challenges of living in the arctic. I’m certainly enjoying it vicariously through you!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      It can be so tough when there has been little sunshine for long periods of time. I never knew how much weather could affect me until I moved to Iceland! I definitely have to make sure to get my fill of sunshine over the summer months that is for sure!

  • http://heleneinbetween.com/ Helene

    this makes me so happy. i’m worried that i won’t be able to get over the cold if I ever lived somewhere really cold. so i’m glad to hear that you are falling in love with it!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I still can’t believe I am saying it but I did finally get over the cold (a bit). I still love my hot summers though!

  • http://www.sedivaabroad.com/ Sarah Elizabeth

    This is so sweet and inspiring xxx Expat life can suck, and I’m sitting here whining about the cold in Ireland and you’re quite literally in the Arctic! But this is severely lovely and uplifting, and I’m so happy to read it. Happy New Year, lady, and I can’t wait to see where this year goes with you!! xx

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks so much Sarah, I am so happy this was an uplifting read, just what I was going for! It can be tough in the middle of winter for sure. Happy New Year to you too! xx

  • http://www.thesiberianamerican.com Olya

    Love your positive outlook! It looks super cold, but it is insanely stunning! :)

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thank you! Hope your staying warm in Chicago! Thankfully the weather here stays around 32F so not to chilly.

  • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

    Iceland looks great on you. I can’t imagine living in such a beautiful place, in snow or sunshine!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      It is growing on me, snow can be quite pretty especially when there is sunshine! :)

  • Steph Gregerson

    Winter is so beautiful, plus you are in a place that stays “warmer” in the winter. I have loved winter more now that I moved to the coast. Minnesota was so damn cold all winter. It’s currently negative temps right now and it’s 40 degrees here and I’m hoping for snow at some point this month. I love that first picture. The colors in Icelandic towns/cities are the best.

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Some people think Iceland is just beyond freezing but you are so right, it does stay “warm” for winter I couldn’t imagine winter in the midwest! I just love the colorful houses, they are even prettier in the snow!

  • http://letuswanderlust.com/ Carly @ Let Us Wanderlust

    I totally hear you, except I was the opposite! Growing up in Aus where the summers are so brutal, I’d dream of moving to a place that saw a proper winter. As I’ve gotten older though, summer has really grown on me and I’ll forever be grateful for the amazing weather we have pretty much year round! Doesn’t mean I’m not excited for snow holidays (I love them!) though. I can’t imagine what a winter in Iceland would be like, let alone 3. You’re amazing! And I love that you are so happy with where your life is! Here’s to a fabulous 2016! Xxx

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks so much Carly! Even though I love summer I know I would miss the seasons so much, so untested of complain about the cold I am focusing on seeing the beauty in it. So far Iceland has made that pretty easy!

  • Mrs Suvi

    I guess living in Iceland is kind of like in Finland except you guys have even harsher winds. I do wish I lived in a summery climate like I did as a child but in the end, I don’t think the weather would make my life any better or worse. The winter and dark periods are a challenge for sure, I cannot deny that! xx

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Those winds, they sure are rough! Any tips for the dark winter days?

      • Mrs Suvi

        Well I guess the key is just to stay active – that is, go outside for walks or runs even though you would rather stay inside and in addition be active socially. Meet up with friends for coffees and dinners. But of course at times you will need to curl up with a good book too :)

        • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

          All very true! After my first winter here I quickly learned how important it is so get out of the house and stay busy, even if it is tempting to just stay curled up inside:)

  • http://www.meganstarr.com/ Megan

    haha i can totally relate to this post. before moving to norway, i always saw myself living somewhere tropical. don’t get me wrong, i always had a fascination with the arctic, but just in a travel way. after ending up in norway, i HATED the winter. but slowly, i began to like it. i still hate short days, but the cold weather and snow is something i grew to LOVE. now that im in germany and our winters consist of rain and 40 degree temps, im longing for the days of snow and -10 ;)

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Isn’t it funny how the cold weather grows on us! The sun rose before 10 this morning and it was like the greatest thing ever ha. I would much rather have cold snowy days than rainy ones for sure.

  • http://www.therandomwritings.com/ Rachel G

    You’re a brave woman. I also have always detested the cold (and I was born in Michigan). I’m glad life has brought me to more tropical climes, but I’m glad that you’ve found such happiness in such an icy place. I admit the country looks beautiful, but I’m pretty content to look at the pictures. :)

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I hope one day tropical climates are in my future, I wouldn’t mind soaking in the warmth year round!

  • https://theredphoneboxtravels.wordpress.com/ Tanja / The red phone box trav

    great post!:)

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thank you :)

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  • http://www.slightlyastray.com/ Anna | slightly astray

    I love this post Kiki! I seriously can’t imagine how it’s like to be cold all. the. time. It’s been cloudy and rainy for 3 months here in Taipei, and I’m ready for some sun! The sun was out for a couple of hours over the weekend and I was like “wow, I forgot what sun feels like” haha. I’m glad you’re finally enjoying it! And I think as long as we’re near the people we love and are happy, we can live anywhere and it’ll feel like paradise. :)

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks so much Anna :) It can be so rough when it feels like forever since you have seen the sun! But when the sun does come back out it is so amazing.

  • http://www.laurenonlocation.com laurenonlocation

    Love this! So great to see you happy where you are and who you’re with! It’s easy sometimes to get into a funk (especially with all that darkness and cold) but it really seems like you’re looking at everything from a positive side which is amazing! Expat life is hard, but then we remember why it’s all worth it :D

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      So very true, it can be tough to not fall into a funk during the winter but I am doing my best to not let that happen this year. And so very true, expat life is hard but oh so worth it!

  • http://www.thesunnysideofthis.com/ Isabel @ TheSunnySideofThis

    I can totally relate! I really enjoyed this winter in Ljubljana while I was here, maybe it also had to do with the fact that I knew I will be in sunny Mexico for a while?! But still, snow is too pretty to hate!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      It really helps to enjoy the winter when you know sunny days are in the future! And so true, snow really is too pretty to not love :)

  • http://www.travelsito.com Travelsito

    It seems you did, Kaelene!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki


  • http://snowintromso.com/ Van @ Snow in Tromso

    Haha, I hate the cold too!!! But those gorgeous landscapes and views we have up here definitely make up for it!!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      So very true, they make it all worth it!

  • http://treasuretromp.com/ Nicole @ Treasure Tromp

    I’d fall in love with the winter if I lived there as well. I still can’t believe that you live in the Arctic!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      I still can’t believe I live here either ha.

  • http://www.toandfroblog.com/ Mar

    Right there with ya girl! I went to school for Marine Biology and pictured myself somewhere down south in the ocean. Little did I know, I would end up in Alaska for 3 years and absolutely LOVE every minute of it.

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Isn’t it funny how life works out? :)

  • http://www.driveontheleft.com Drive on the Left

    I’ve been to Iceland exactly once. It was January, we got amazing tickets from Boston, and I rode a furry Icelandic horse in the dark. At 10am. That darkness just killed me, but the temps were much milder than I expected (coming from US East Coast). What a beautiful and enchanting place, though. I’d come back in a second!

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      The darkness is definitely so strange! This morning it was light before 10am and it was all anyone in the office could talk about ha.

  • http://www.smalltownsandcitylights.com/ Rachel @ STCL

    At least you have the incredible Icelandic sights to see despite it being chilly! I’d love to see Iceland this time of year (esp those Northern Lights)! I think the irony is quite common – I live in Florida and hate the heat :)

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Those beautiful sights really do help make the cold worth it!

  • http://adventitiousviolet.com/ Camila @ AdventitiousViolet

    haha hey the sun came to Scotland as well this weekend! It made me so incredibly happy, it was crazy! I don’t miss the cold as much as I miss snow from Canada, but you falling in love with it makes me hopeful that my Brit might be able to get used to the cold and move to North America one day ;)

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Yay! Sunny days just make things so much better! When it is cold in Iceland it doesn’t feel as cold as where I am from, even if the temperature says so. I grew up with a climate that had a wet cold and it chilled you to your bones. The cold in Iceland is much more dry and I like it much better!

  • http://amontrealerabroad.com Marie-Eve Vallières

    I just discovered your blog and I love it! Keep up the great work :-)

    • http://unlockingkiki.com/ Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

      Thanks so much! Thanks for reading ;)

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