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I added a new category on my web page. Interviews with people who moved away from the Netherlands. Whatever the reason maybe, chasing dreams, love or something totally different. Today, thanks to Karin from Iceland we get a look into her life since she moved there in 2008. Enjoy
Who are you and why did you move to Iceland?
My name is Karin Esther and as many stories about moving abroad, it was for love. My husband and I got to know each other online in World of Warcraft. First play together, call, calling became hours of calling, and finally met each other. I immediately knew it, six weeks after meeting I moved to Iceland in 2008. We got married in 2014; this gives security lawfully, they don’t know (or knew) a cohabitation agreement over here.
What was it in Iceland that appealed to you?
I only knew the country before I met Jón from pictures and some documentaries that I watched on television in the Netherlands. Didn’t feel attracted to the country at all. In my opinion, it was a cold place with too many dark days. That’s far from the truth; Iceland is beautiful, fairylike.
What were the problems in the moving process?
Mainly the costs. Arranging everything was a breeze. I am handy with the internet that definitely helped. Wrapping things up in the Netherlands was much harder. Especially the paperwork.
What kind of work did you do in the Netherlands and what are you doing now?
When I decided to move, I worked for Randstad at Philips recruiting for higher educated people. Jón is a sculptor, and we have our own studio and gallery. Myself, I work with glass. Since I was a child, I had a fascination with glass, and here I got the chance to work with glass.
What is the most beautiful thing you experienced?
Oh, so many beautiful things happened in the nine years I am here now. On a personal level, weddings of the family in the Netherlands and here on Iceland, grandchildren who were born, in both countries. The traveling we do, because of Jóns work as a sculptor we have been to China, Turkey, Nepal, and the United States of America on invitation. Thankfully I can always come along. This kind of experiences you will never forget.
Did you have any challenging experiences?
The first few years were challenging, missing your family and friends and because of the language barrier, there were misunderstandings. Our main language still is English. Although, nowadays we mix it up with Dutch and Icelandic a lot.
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What do you miss from the Netherlands and what absolutely not?
Besides family and friends, there isn’t much I miss. The lack of choice in fresh vegetables in the grocery store I find difficult. I also realize very well that we have lots to choose from in fresh products back in the Netherlands
What is the biggest difference between the Dutch and the Icelandic?
Icelandic people are much more relaxed I think. They have a so-called island mentality. The lack of (maybe more not following) rules and laws. You see so many people using their phones behind the wheel. Half of all the cars drive with half lights or even with no lights at all. There are many things in traffic for wich you would be fined in a heartbeat in the Netherlands. People are very laid back about a lot of stuff in Iceland. Need papers at the last moment, but the office is closed? If you are lucky, they open up again and arrange it for you (not from my own experience but I heard about this).
In what city do you live and what makes this place special? What are the things to see?
We work and live in Kópavogur above our small art gallery with workshop. After Reykjavík, this is the biggest town in Iceland. Where Reykjavik and the surrounding towns have grown into each other, they now feel like one big city. We have a local museum over here, and they host fascinating exhibitions on a regular basis. Furthermore, we have one of the two big malls. Personally, I only go there when it’s needed and that’s almost never, thankfully. Reykjavik has plenty to offer for tourists. Reykjavik has a great night life, so I have been told.
What places should you have visited when in Iceland?
The biggest attraction in Iceland is besides my better half, nature. Everywhere outside of town, it’s beautiful, a new view around each corner.
What advice can you give people traveling to Iceland?
Make sure to pack warm clothes, always follow up warning signs, and don’t leave junk behind. Keep in mind that Iceland is an expensive country, also for the locals. There are no tips to travel around Iceland cheap. Unless you hitchhike and sleep on the roadside wich I highly discourage to do.
What is your favorite Icelandic dish, do you have a recipe you want to share?
Icelandic cuisine consists mainly of fish and lots of cabbage. As previously noted, the choice of vegetables is not very big (though it has considerably improved over the last five years). My favorite food in Iceland is leg of lamb. Lamb is relatively inexpensive here and is so-called free-range. Sheep and lambs walk in the mountains from spring until the winter. I do not have a specific recipe for lamb because I buy lamb seasoned in the supermarket. However, I have a real Icelandic fish recipe: Plokfiskur, chopped fish with potatoes and sauce.
Thank you so much, Karin!
I want to thank you so much, Karin, for taking the time to answer my questions. You are so sweet to share your story with everybody. I can’t close off this interview without sharing the recipe Karin sent me to share with all of you. However, I will not share it right now. The recipe will get a separate post coming Wednesday. First, I need to cook it and make pictures. The recipe is online now and can be found here.
See an amazing sculpture from her husband Jón, down below. Want to see more beautiful creations of Karin and Jón? Browse to: www.vikingbead.com for Karin’s glasswork and go to www.jonadolf.com for Jóns sculptures.
Like my facebook page if you don’t want to miss any upcoming interviews. I hope you enjoyed taking a small peek into the lives of Karin and Jón. Leave a comment and let me know if you liked it.