I still can’t believe I am writing this but here it goes…
At the beginning of April, I got the chance to experience Iceland for the first time AND I got to do it all for FREE. Yep, you read that right. I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Iceland for a week and assist on a winter campaign for Brooks Brothers and it was amazing. To be real, it all happened so fast and even though I’m back in Brooklyn, I’m trying to let it all set in.
The way the opportunity came about was nothing but a blessing. I have to share the story as it was God working the entire time behind the scenes. To make a very long story short, the initial date for my Cupcakes & Coils event was April 13th. The venue I had canceled on me last minute and forced me to postpone the event to a later date. I was devastated and I didn’t understand why things weren’t working out as I had planned. Yet, God knew that a week after that incident, Brooks Brothers would contact me to see if I was available to assist. If my event would’ve still been on that date, I would’ve had to declined the offer (that they never give freelancers). But, as I always say, everything happens for a reason.
On April 8th, 2019, ya girl took the 5.5 hour Delta flight to Reykjavik, Iceland and embarked on her first journey out of the country without friends or family. While majority of my time was spent working on set, lugging clothes and chasing models to get ready, I got the chance to experience Iceland with a fellow stylist and Black girl creative: Celia Williamson, owner of Stickiicki. After wet step off the plane we coined the term #2BlackGirlsInIceland as our title for the week and it was definitely an experience to remember.
I decided to write a quick post highlighting 5 things you should know about Iceland in hopes of helping you and your friends when planning your adventure to the land of fire and ice!
There Are Not Many Black People
While being in Iceland for the entire week, I counted a total of 10 black people, 2 of them were Celia and I. Therefore, out of 337k people in Iceland .002% of them are black. Not saying this to worry you but more so get you prepared for the stares and awkward smiles. While a good bit of the Icelandic people were nice and welcoming there was still some shady situations that occurred. Thankfully, we both didn’t allow that to hinder our experience but it’s very interesting to see how other cultures/people interact with you when you are not like them.
Iceland Can Be Expensive
I was warned about this before going to Iceland and I didn’t want to believe it. However, it’s true. It’s EXPENSIVEEEEE. From the food to the clothes and whew chile the taxis, everything is expensive. To put things in perspective, a 30 minute ride out to the Blue Lagoon was $150… one way. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Iceland is 39.91% higher than in United States. Thankfully, I didn’t have to pay for anything since I was on the companies dime, but be sure to budget accordingly when coming.
Fresh Food + Water is a Thing
With Iceland being covered with natural springs and surrounded by some of the worlds freshest water it’s no secret that their tap water is grade A. You rarely see people drinking out of bottled water, and some Icelandic people take it as an insult when you do so because they that take pride in their green water system. Now with fresh water comes fresh food! I can honestly say, while in Iceland, I never had a bad meal. The food was probably the best part for me. From the fish, to there soups and their sweet treats everything was soooo good! Another thing I loved was that everything they did had an aesthetic appeal. No matter how simple, they made sure to present everything as if it was a million bucks (and it damn near cost it lol)
The Scenery is Breathtaking so Explore
You remember in middle school when you learned about the other continents across the world and you saw all the cool pictures of the landscape? They looked too good to be true, right? Well, imagine that in real life. Iceland was so beautiful that pictures really don’t do it justice. You have to experience it in person. From the mountains, to the moss to the black sand and even the miles and miles of ashes from old irrupted volcanos, everything was breathtaking. So bring your camera, but let your eyes do the real photography.
You Only Need 4 Days Max
After day 5, I was running on fumes and low-key over it. Don’t get me wrong, I was super thankful but I personally don’t think you meed to see the same place or be in the same space for 7 days straight. I would let Iceland be a stop on your journey for about 3-4 days and then head on to your next destination. Due to work, I wasn’t able to do everything I’d like to. But here you can check out the top12 things you should do when traveling to Iceland!
Overall, my first trip across the pond was a success! I ate good, got the chance to experience a new place and got paid while doing so. I mean, what more can you ask for? Check out my Iceland recap vlog and let me know what you think!
Special thanks to the brands who traveled to Iceland with me and helped to make my trip even better.
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