In 2016, yes...that 2016 for America...I traveled to the mystical, magical, land of the elves, trolls and striking Vikings. Every day was a new adventure, stop, ecosystem, other worldly system, waterfall, glacier, nothern dancing lights day after another.
As beautiful as this icy hot world is on the outside, it’s commitment to the land and people who reside here cannot be matched in the things I’ve seen anywhere else. Until our twinkling eyes meet again, here’s some reasons why Iceland is fucking amazing (they also have universal healthcare!!).
First parliament ever recorded.
The year is 930 AD and the very first parliament met in what is now Iceland’s (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) Þingvellir National Park. These first “democratically-elected” Icelanders would travel to this meeting place to hear the latest laws and judgements of the island.
See the world pushing and pulling.
The site of only two in the world, this same National Park is home to a meeting place of another sort (also seen in Season 4 of Game of Thrones). The Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet here, above ground. Iceland is the only inhabited island in the world where tectonic plates and ocean ridge are visible on land.
Most eco-friendly country in the world (in my opinion).
But also backed up by a TON of facts, including:
More than 80 percent of the country’s power is generated by geothermal energy.
Little to no fossil fuels are burned.
Most homes in the city and populated areas are heated using a geothermal water pipe system.
Iceland has been a strong voice in the fight against the pollution of the oceans; its waters are some of the cleanest in the world.
Iceland starts gender equality lessons in preschool and has 3 laws protecting women in the workplace. In 2009, Iceland became the first country to completely close the gender gap in education and health. It’s also banned any pay discrimination for equal work between sexes.
Despite being brutal cold and violently turbulent, it’s people continue to rank as some of the healthiest, happiest people in the world.
It’s almost like if you treat all humans as equal humans and protect all earth as if it were your home, you make it a better place to live.
Traveling teaches, words & pictures educate...
Charlie has over 10 years experience in social media, creative copy and multimedia, including a 4-year stint in the government, making science cool and accessible to the general public. She is now the main lady behind Checkmark Creative, a marketing boutique for the small biz and freelancer, based in Long Beach, CA.