The Foreign Service is full of bloggers, both spouses like me and employees of the Department of State, that chronicle our crazy, nomadic life. The FS bloggers do a regular round-up of posts and, while I’ve participated, I almost never have written a new entry specifically for them. But I’m a sucker for lists, and because bidding season is underway, I decided to take the bait. This week’s theme: Five pros and cons of your current post. Here goes:
1. Unbelievably breathtaking vistas—a view of the massive Snæfellsness glacier rising out of the sea, the small fjord outside our front door at high tide when the waves gently lap against the shore, steaming earth rising in tall plumes off a bright red or black mountain. . .
2. A fun, interesting, smart group of mama friends to exercise with, to meet for drinks and a sushi dinner, to soak with in a hot pot, to have over for play dates, to share a coffee or a glass of wine. . .
3. Miles and miles of running/bike trails that snake along the coastline, past the fishing village, beside the sleek modern homes and tin-sided classic homes, through the barren lava fields, beside the family of swans and Arctic terns, and right back to my front door.
4. Mokka, C is for Cookie, City Hall Café, Kex, and all the little coffee shops where I can tuck into a table, get a terrific cappuccino, type away at my computer, and people-watch, while the wind howls outside.
5. Long drape-y shirts cut on the bias, woven ponchos, wool capes, multi-patterned dresses, bright tights, tall boots, and all the other gorgeous and eclectic designs worn by Icelanders and now also worn by me.
1. You can visit the striking Westman Islands, the breath-taking West Fjords, the dramatic waterfalls in the north, the bubbling earth along the active Kafla Volcano. Oh, but actually only during a two-month window in the summer. You shouldn’t travel from November 1- May 1. Too cold, too windy. Bad roads. Not advisable.
3. Time in air from Reykjavik to NYC, only 4.5 hours! So close. Why then is it so hard to find a ticket for under $1000? And a trip to the west coast, sometimes costs twice that unless you lay over in NY for a day or two.
4. Employment options for non-Icelandic speaking spouse: slim to none.
5. Morning routine during winter: Wake at 6am with young babes, dress, feed all, pack lunches, drive everyone through snow drifts to work and school. Go to gym, exercise, come home, shower, dress, make coffee, open computer. Look outside: still pitch black with a full moon. Nearly 11am and it feels like it will never get light outside again.