Want to 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 two years ago 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.

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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. White, Latina, Asian, 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.  Hannah Ezra of the An American in Iceland blog details splendid scenery and provides wonderful photos while blogging about her life as an expat in Iceland.

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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 2015*. Yes, Blues festival and Iceland in the same sentence.

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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.

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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 and author of Black Women Dentists: Inspired, Determined and Beautiful 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 and civic leader 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 completed 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.

Though not usually a concern for white and non black visitors and immigrants, 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. 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!

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Aurora Borealis view from Islandic Countryside

Photo: Milky Way Scientists

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Dr. Lori Wilson

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Catherine Saevarsson

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 Enid Mbabazi

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Patience Karlsson and hubby Þórir

Karlsson Children

The Karlsson Children

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Patience and Þórir Karlsson on graduation day!

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Glamorous and stunning beauty Juanita Grey is a fashion stylist and style expert in Reykjavík, Iceland.

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Juanita L. Grey, Reykjavik, Iceland

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Job Information

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Job Information

 * Keep checking for the The Reykjavik Blues Festival schedule.

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