Break Some Ice in Iceland
As I am always encouraging black women to explore the world outside the United States, I finally get to discuss Iceland, first in a series about Scandinavia. Before you envision a permanent frozen tundra, be aware that the temperature in Iceland is closer to that of the US Atlantic Seaboard. Anyone from Maine to Virginia should be used to the winter weather and elements experienced with cold. Iceland gets all four seasons. And there is a warm current from the Gulf Stream so you are actually able to withstand the temperatures. There is a lot of darkness in the winter, but midnight sun brings light in the summer for long days. This is similar (milder actually) to what I experienced while living in Alaska just last year in 2012. Anyone can adjust to the climate if relocating for love. Just get used to some wind, winter driving but on the flip side, one could get used to lots of cozy, snugly nights. Last year, blogger American expat Nicole of Nicole Is the New Black, blogged about her wonderful experience while on vacation in Iceland.
What is so attractive in this Nordic island country? Apart from the beautiful landscapes and countryside, Iceland is untapped territory for sisters wanting to swirl. Although it would not be a good idea to pack up and move there just to find a man, online dating makes it an option. You may also meet a quality, marriage minded Viking and decide that he will relocate to your city as well. But for those looking for husbands and are willing to relocate, you just may want to consider Iceland. Black American and African women are all over Scandinavia in countries like Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark but people forget about Iceland. Before moving across the street or across the world, do your homework and find out all you can about opportunities and daily life. Whether for love, work and career, education, economics, climate, government, lifestyle and people in general, find out all you can. Be diligent in your research.
Reykjavik is the capital and most populated city in Iceland. It is a cultural Mecca with lots to see and learn. You can explore contemporary design, literature, visual arts, film, theater and music. There is a growing Jazz and R&B presence in Iceland. I found out about a fabulously talented R&B duo called Kenya and Nemor. Oh my please review their last cd available on Amazon.com. You may even want to catch The Reykjavik Blues Festival in April 2014. Yes, Blues festival and Iceland in the same sentence.
In the way of education, there are several junior colleges and universities including the University of Iceland for adults as well as vocational and technical schools. At the U of Iceland, they offer several degrees in English. There are public and private schools for children. And the Iceland International School is for those English speaking children of diplomats, military members and those there on business for extended amounts of time. Icelandic children attend too as they have a bilingual immersion curriculum for those wishing for their children to be bilingual.
For those who just can’t fathom Iceland, I do again suggest you keep an open mind and consider it along with all your other Scandinavian and European options. You have the world available to you. By carefully planning, you can go anywhere. Geographically, Iceland is only about a 4 ½ hour flight from New York City. One of my friends, Dr. Lori Wilson a dentist in Petersburg, Virginia goes to Iceland several times a year. It is nothing for her to take a week and just go to enjoy the sights, sounds and people. Ghanaian born Catherine Saevarsson lives in Iceland and is pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Iceland. Fellow Ghanaian Patience Karlsson has made Iceland her home after meeting and marrying an Icelandic man. Her three children were born in Iceland so it is home for them. The Karlsson family lives in the city of Kópavogur, which lies to the immediate south of Reykjavik and is part of the greater Reykjavik area. Patience is completing a Ph.D. program at the University of Iceland after having obtained her BA, M.Ed and International MBA degrees there. She is on course to become an executive in addition to all around super mom.
There is a small community of black people living in Iceland and many of the sisters are married to Icelandic men. These black women are from Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean. There are also black American women living there with their husbands raising their families too as we are all over the place. Black women are living their lives there as they would in any other place. Juanita L. Grey is a style and fashion expert living in Reykjavik with her family. Enid Mbabazi relocated for love and works for Air Iceland. She is a school assistant as well and is exploring opportunities in Australia or New Zealand to continue her advanced level education.
All of these ladies are fluent or near fluent in Icelandic which can be hard to learn. But for the determined learner, you can do it. If you find your way to Reykjavik, Europe’s northernmost city like many others have; and decide to break a little ice, let us know your progress. Best of luck to all takers!
Aurora Borealis view from Islandic Countryside
Photo: Milky Way Scientists
Dr. Lori Wilson
Patience Karlsson and hubby Þórir
The Karlsson Children
Patience and Þórir Karlsson on graduation day!
Glamorous and stunning beauty Juanita Grey is a fashion stylist and style expert in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Juanita L. Grey, Reykjavik, Iceland
Lenora Young, Scandinavian Culture Expert
The Faroe Islands
According to recent reports, women seem to be disappearing from the Faroe Islands, an island group and archipelago set between Norway and Iceland (and about 200 miles from Scotland). Young women leave the Faroes to pursue their education or work elsewhere and they are not coming back. Their departure has resulted in a shortage of women on the Faroe Islands. They have such a shortage of women, that some of the men have taken to importing women from the Philippines and Thailand to marry and increase the population. Living on these beautiful but isolated islands is not for the faint or weary of heart. The climate is windy and colder but not all the time. The cultural activities in Tórshavn, the capital and other cities are numerous. Some women are obviously up for the challenge and they may bring their culture with them. Isolation can make one creative and I would not be surprised if these women started teaching classes in the Filipino or Thai language, culture and dance. Anyone up for bringing in Black History Month or African celebrations to the Faroes? The FIs join the rest of the world with their famed G! Festival. The hottest musical acts around make much anticipated appearances as this mega concert event. Maybe you can join them in 2014? They have blues and jazz fests too!
It will be just a matter of time before we see other women seeking opportunities for marriage and family in the Faroes. If some African or Latin American women had the means and opportunity, they would be there too, married with children. What about black American women? Lenora Young, who is an expert in black woman-Scandinavian male relationships says that the concept sounds wonderful as theory. But being able to cope in isolation with not much to do could be challenging for sisters who are used to big city living or comfortable urban settings. The reality can be something completely different. I agree it could be hard for some and maybe even unbearable, but for others it may not be that much of an issue if they have found true love and want to give it a try. Just get used to lots of fishing and lots of sheep.
Torgið Shopping Center
How does one even meet people in the Faroe Islands, Iceland and the rest of Scandinavia? One way is online dating. Black Female Scandinavian Marriage is one of many online dating sites that connects those in the US with each other and those in Scandinavia. Just remember that it is a general database so you will see Americans as well as Scandinavians and you should reach out to some of those men in Scandinavia and see if the interest is mutual. If it is, he’ll let you know by taking the lead pursuing you. It is ok to make the first move. Those outside the US may want to consider Interracial Dating Central where you can also meet men from Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the rest of Scandinavia. Again, do your research and find out all you can including employment, immigration and obtaining the proper Visas.
This tourism video will show you a little more about these beautiful Faroe Islands.