Guys, maybe I am just the world’s biggest sap, but Proctor & Gamble does it again. This video brought me straight to tears. Mom’s are the best! Bring on the 2014 Winter Olympics.

I fell off my bike for the fourth? fifth? time since moving to Germany yesterday. This time I only have myself 100 percent to blame and I am 100 percent glad the Freund was not there because it was directly caused by one of the million lectures I receive from him about  my bike etiquette. I was trying to answer my cell phone and my zipper pocket was stuck. I tugged, tugged, tugged until I tugged myself right off my bike and onto the pavement. Go team. No broken shoulder though, so that’s a plus.

Today, I will be training all the way to Düsseldorf and then turning around and coming right back. It’s going to be a doozie. Boy am I thankful for train travel though. I am still very anti-bus after the Morocco trip.

Most importantly, it’s time to introduce y’all to my friend Kaelene. She lives in ICELAND! How freaking cool (literally and figuratively) is that? Without further ado…


Hello ifs ands & butts, I’m Kaelene and I blog over at Unlocking Kiki. Three months ago I left my life in my little hometown in Oregon and traveled 4,000 miles away to a tiny island floating above the rest of Europe called the land of fire and ice, better known as Iceland. I now spend my days exploring Iceland and trying to blend in with the other Icelanders.


Unlocking Kiki is where I talk about transitioning to life as an expat, my attempts at fitting into the Icelandic society, how awkward I am trying to make new friends with a language barrier and any random thoughts I may have on my mind that day.

Why Iceland? Totally random right?? Well you know its the usually story, girl goes to Australia, girl meets boy in Australia, boy happens to be Icelandic, girl looks on map to figure out where in the hell Iceland is, fast forward three years girl officially moves to Iceland to be with boy. Whew that sums up our love story in one run-on sentence!

H and I

Bringing in 2014 Icelandic style. NYE in Iceland is epic!

To give you a glimpse at my new home I complied a list of very unique Icelandic facts.

10 Icelandic Quirks

1. Police officers don’t carry guns when they are on duty. When guns are needed a swat team is called in.
Iceland for the 5th successive year was voted the best place to be a woman, talk about girl power and awesome equality!

2. Unlimited Hot water, no more fighting over a hot shower, enjoy finding hot springs randomly on hikes or even walking in the city.

3. Celebrity sightings are no big deal. So far I have had Russell Brand stand a few feet in front of me, a near sighting of Lady Gaga and Christmas shopping with Bjork.

4. The beauty of the northern lights and midnight sun.

5. Going to the downtown bars before 1 am makes you lame.

6. Mailmen knocking on your door at 10 at night is totally normal.

7. Don’t be frightened when you see baby strollers with a sleeping baby sitting outside a cafe, the moms didn’t want to wake the sleeping child when they went inside for a coffee with friends.

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. Babies aren’t named until they are at least 2 months old. What are you suppose to call the baby before then because “it” feels really inappropriate to me.

Iceland is one interesting place and I am loving discovering all the uniqueness this country has to offer. This list is just some of the things I have noticed during my time in Iceland, I have a feeling there will be many more to add. Come over and visit Unlocking Kiki I would love to meet you. Sjáumst and bless bless!



I was already sold on traveling to Iceland, but do I want to get there now more than ever! Note to self: ask Steinunn (my local Icelandic friend) how long it took her parents to name her. I do remember her telling me that you cannot just name your child anything in Iceland as it must be traditional and approved by a government entity. ICELAND Y’ALL.


  • http://montgomeryfest.wordpress.com MontgomeryFest

    after watching that walter mitty movie now THIS, i think iceland just secured its spot on our to do list! so pretty…and soo quirky! i mean, they made it sound like there were only 10 people who could handle living up there, so maybe thats why its safe to leave your baby outside? (thats bad?) also..i just found out that there’s an approved list of baby names in spain and there was one in france til the 80s….i did not even know that was a thing!!

  • Pingback: My Icelandic Bucket List | Unlocking Kiki()

  • http://www.thebartlettsabroad.blogspot.com Erica

    You’re definitely turning into a “Real German” in my eyes… Coming from a non-bike-riding-culture, I’m fascinated by what people can do (and wear…?!) while riding!

  • Rachel

    On my way over here I had an eight hour layover in Iceland and was lucky enough to get to visit the famous hot springs near Reykjavik. Now I HAVE to go back to see the city! Definitely recommended. And you can sometimes find really cheap flights to the USA through IcelandAir as well. :)

  • http://heleneinbetween.com Helene

    i recently discovered her blog and LOVED it. sooo cool. and awesome tips. and i need to go to iceland
    AND happy friday.

  • http://www.notentirelyperfect.com Stephanie

    Seriously?! Quirkiest place ever! What DO you call the babies?

  • http://www.landofcandycanes.blogspot.com Katrin

    Iceland is definitely on top of my travel list! Loved to learn more about that fascinating country. Thanks so much for sharing!
    P&G is such a horrible company, can’t believe they make videos like that to look better.

  • http://www.seekingsomewhere.com Megan

    Gah, this makes me want to go back to Iceland! I didn’t know most of this quirky facts…though the prevalence of hot water was so. awesome. I had a connection in Berlin, so I’m sure there are plenty of flights leaving Germany…hint, hint 😉

    Also, by the way…LOVE your new blog design! It’s like, totes perfect and minimalist and just really cool.

  • http://www.cubiclethrowdown.com Rika | Cubicle Throwdown

    Woah lady, I left for a couple weeks and came back to a whole new site! I love it, it looks awesome.

  • http://kim-wanders.blogspot.com kim

    awesome!! i LOVED iceland when I was there this summer and I want to go back in the winter to see the northern lights! popping by her blog now!

  • http://colleenbrynntravels.blogspot.com Colleen Brynn

    Such a great post, and what a cute story! I always find it so brave of people to move country for their love, and it is always nice to read of couples being happy in this decision. Of course it is never an “easy” thing to do, but when people can make the best of the situation, it warms my heart. Thanks for sharing these tidbits. I loved Iceland when I was there last year and can’t wait to go back soon!

    • http://ifsandsandbutts.com ifs ands & butts

      Hey Colleen! I get a lot of errors when I try and comment on your blog. I see other people are getting through, but others may have the same problems as me. Kaelene, the guest poster here, had the same problem. I sent her this link to resolve it :) http://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-jetpack-by-wordpresscom-invalid-security-token-error

      • http://colleenbrynntravels.blogspot.com Colleen Brynn

        Hey thanks for the heads up! I had a look at the link and actually I’m not 100% sure what I actually need to do… I’m not the most wordpress literate person out there. :S

      • http://colleenbrynntravels..com Colleen Brynn

        I’ve “deactivated” … is that all I’m supposed to do? And that won’t interfere with anything else?

        • http://ifsandsandbutts.com ifs ands & butts

          I just tried again to comment on your Martha’s Vineyard post, you’ll have to check and see if it did the trick :)

  • http://www.meganstarr.com Megan

    really cool facts! even though ive been to iceland twice, it is still fascinating to learn about it. it sounds so much like norway!

  • http://confuzzledom.wordpress.com bevchen

    Oh Alex, I am grinning to myself at the image of you tugging yourself right off your bike 😀

    Iceland looks gorgeous… but not naming babies til they’re 2 months old? How DO you refer to them before that?!

  • http://expatedna.com Edna

    I was JUST in iceland for ten days, including over new year’s! I loved it and miss it already! oh this takes me back…

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