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World Wide Women: Auður in Reykjavik

My first installment of World Wide Women took us to Singapore, Hokkaido and Paris, and I am thrilled to be able to introduce the second part of the series which will feature some more amazing cities that are very close to my heart.

Let us get started with Auður, a blogger and photographer turned entrepreneur and tour guide in Reykjavik, Iceland, the northernmost capital of the world.

I had the pleasure of meeting Auður two summers ago when we went on her I Heart Reykjavik Walking Tour during our honeymoon in Northern Europe, and she is just so full of energy and light. You can get more travel tips from her website or get your daily dose of Iceland on Instagram.

I Heart Reykjavik

Ni Hao Auður! "I Heart Reykjavik" evolved from a personal blog into a small family business that runs unique and quirky tours of Rekjavik- tell us about your journey transforming your passion into a business.

I started I Heart Reykjavík 5 years ago for many different reasons. I wanted to help travelers that were coming to Iceland navigating the country as a tourist but I was also studying marketing at the time and working as a e-marketing consultant so I wanted to see what I could do with a blog. Prove the power of the internet and blogs if you will. Without selling my soul.

I Heart Reykjavik
After three years of writing the blog, however, it had kind of taken over my life and because I had never had any plans to monetize it I wasn‘t getting any compensation for all my hard work. People were always asking me to show them around Reykjavík so I decided to offer a walking tour.

I Heart Reykjavik
I always thought it would just be a fun summer job but it took off very quickly and today it‘s my full time job and I have two people working for me. Three if you count my boyfriend who decided to take some unpaid leave from his work this summer to help out with the company!

Where would you recommend to someone who wants to travel off the beaten track in Iceland?

I Heart Reykjavik
The Westfjords are beautiful and little bit off the beaten track. I did a trip around there with my family last summer and some of the roads we drove we didn‘t see any other people for hours on end. It‘s different from the south coast, which is where most of the tourists are, and it doesn‘t have as many Instagram moments but a different more subdued beauty which I really enjoy.

I Heart Reykjavik
What are the seasons like in Iceland?

The seasons are different, like everywhere, but I think our spring and fall are maybe a little bit shorter than most people are used to. Our winters can be harsh and unforgiving but they can also be amazingly beautiful with the Northern lights and everything covered in snow. 

I Heart Reykjavik
The summer is cooler than most people are used to but also beautiful because of the midnight sun and seemingly endless possibilities.
I Heart Reykjavik
I had some of the most amazing meals of my life in Iceland. What is the Icelandic food culture like?

Since we don‘t have very strong food traditions, apart from the sour and pickled stuff that we only eat now as a novelty once a year, we tend to borrow things from here and there and incorporate what we do best: our lamb and seafood. I think what makes Icelandic food good is that it‘s fairly simple and honest somehow.
I also believe that our culinary scene is quite young because Iceland is a harsh country where it‘s difficult to grow things and we have to import a lot of the ingredients and maybe a few decades ago they were harder to come by. That‘s my feeling anyway. Because we‘re such a small nation we maybe also feel like we have to prove our own worth a lot so we sometimes work extra hard to be able to be the best at what we do.

I Heart Reykjavik
What do you like to do to unwind?

Unfortunately I‘m so busy that I don‘t get to unwind much. But when I need a break from it all, I tend to either book a ticket out of Iceland or book a summer house somewhere in the countryside where I spend a few days just chilling in the hot tub.

I Heart Reykjavik
More often than not I do this alone, thankfully I have a very understanding family that knows the pressure I‘m under every day and the need I have to get away. I, of course, like spending time with them too but sometimes I just need to be with myself. 

I Heart Reykjavik
One of the reasons I go abroad when I need to get away is because I‘m a bit of a workaholic and if I have access to the internet I will work. If I go somewhere abroad my access to the internet is cut dramatically and I actually manage to relax a little.

We also bought a new home recently and I find it very fulfilling and relaxing to work on making it cozy and nice. I guess I'm nesting in a way, now that I finally have a nest to call my own.

I Heart Reykjavik
Can you teach us an Icelandic phrase today? 

I think everyone who visits Iceland has to know Þetta Reddast which basically means "don‘t worry about it, it will be okay". This is not just a phrase we use a lot in Iceland, it‘s a philosophy of sorts.

I Heart Reykjavik
þakka þér Auður for the stunning visuals- sounds like we need to plan another trip to Iceland soon!

The I Heart Reykjavik Walking Tour runs daily and costs 6000 ISK (about US$50) per person. You can check availability and book your spots here.

If you know someone who could be featured in this series, you can email me at tricia [at] nihaonewyork [dot] net.

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