Traveling is stressful, that is just a fact. Making sure you get to the airport on time, that everything made it to your suitcase and last but not least finding your accommodation upon arrival. All of these things and more can really leave you drained and for some, even cause risen stress-levels leading up to the trip. However, the reason many of us travel in the first place is to escape exactly this kind of stress we find so easily in our everyday life. That is why the stress-free destination, Iceland, is the perfect location for those who are looking to rewind and recharge.
Let me give you 10 reasons why Iceland can reduce your stress levels!
10. This thing called “Ísrúntur”
In the Icelandic language, there is a special word for going out driving to get ice cream. That word is ‘ísrúntur’ This is one of the best ways to end a good day in Iceland and the cold delicious bites will surely calm your nerves and ease you into a good night sleep. This can easily be repeated every night.
9. The Swimming Pools in every town
One of the best things about Iceland is the dire need the population has to build a swimming pool in any settlement. This has, in the most part, to do with the cheap electricity and hot water which is geothermally sourced from Iceland’s grounds. The cost of soaking at such an establishment is therefore low, little under 10$ for adults and much lower for children. A bath in any of those swimming pools will leave you more relaxed and feeling more rejuvenated than you would have ever thought. A visit to Iceland is not perfected without at least one dip.
8. Everyone speaks English
It can be quite frustrating not to be understood. This is something most of us have experienced at least once during our travels and can often be quite a time-consuming.
English is undoubtedly the international language and given how few speak the native Icelandic language Icelanders have made it vital to teach it from an early age. This is why you will find that all Icelanders speak English, fluently even, and will have no problem understanding and making themselves understood.
Fun Fact: none of the tv programs in Iceland are dubbed which is why many speak with an American accent although Brititsh English is taught at schools.
7. Driving around is not chaotic
Icelanders stay within the marked lines while they drive and take traffic rules seriously. We do not make right turns at red lights and don’t honk unless absolutely necessary. Icelanders will also let you pass more often than not and a simple wave to say thanks is appreciated. This makes for a relaxed driving environment and fewer accidents.
Fun Fact: Road Rage is not a thing, we don’t even have a word for it in the Icelandic language!
7. The Wilderness and the Icelandic Highlands
The island is very spacious and the islanders not that many. This is why you will find yourself time and again quite alone in the world, in the best way. This is a rare feeling in modern society yet a treasured one. Make the most of it, maybe even venture out for some hiking trips. This feeling; being alone with nature is energizing beyond belief. It can even feel empowering!
6. The Natural Hot Springs
Iceland is known for its natural hot bubbling geysers and hot springs alike but many don’t know that conduits flow from most of them creating naturally formed pools for you to bathe in.
In some cases, humans have helped to make them bigger or even sculpted the pools to make them more accessible. Still, in any case, these natural pots are yours to enjoy. Just make sure to leave no trace and possibly have your bathing suit on under your clothes beforehand. There is no place but the open wild to change when bathing in nature.
5. The Icelandic “thetta reddast” attitude
‘Thetta reddast’ is a thing you will hear Icelanders say a lot. It basically means ‘everything will work out just fine’ and is a very describing word combination of the way Icelanders think. Things have a way of figuring themselves out and Icelanders are very keen on just waiting it out and seeing what happens.
This might also have to do with the nations’ lingering superstition. Some things are simply meant to be and others not and Icelanders tend to be okay with it.
4. The Food!
What better way to relax than to have a good meal and take a digestion-nap afterwards. In Iceland will find no shortage of great meals, fresh and healthy ingredients and A-star cooks. This combination cannot go wrong!
If you are looking to stay on budget things like flatkaka, Skyr, rúgbrauð and Icelandic tomatoes will be great snacks to pick up at the grocery shops. Excellent representatives of Icelandic quality food.
3. Camping is super easy and enjoyable (in summer)
This is also the most affordable accommodation option while traveling in Iceland, which is a very welcomed bonus. Whether you are looking for a Camper Van Adventure, a Tipi or a simple 2 person nook the Icelandic camping grounds will have all the basic facilities you need.
Spend a night under the Midnight Sun and listen to the river brook. Who knows you might just end up brushing your teeth in a waterfall or having a visit from elves. Either way, this is the perfect way to relax and get in touch with your more green side.
2. Iceland has so many charming villages to stay outside the capital
To most Reykjavík is not a big city. Even though it is a capital and hosts ⅔ of the population the 230.000 citizens will in most cases not seem overwhelming. However if you are looking to find complete serenity and peace other smaller towns such as Stykkisholmur or Seydisfjordur are just perfect.
1. The serenity and innocence
Iceland is not a noisy country and there are moments you will feel like you are standing still in time. The pace of living is simply not as fast as in other countries. So, make the most of it, indulge in the serenity and drink in all the relaxing energy you can possibly find.
The innocence of Iceland, the low crime rate and the friendliness of its people is yet another reason why you can let your guard down and relax.
Take all the time you need and miss out rather than rushing in between all the must-sees. Iceland is beautiful even in between those places.