We promised forever to each other, packed our new wedding-shower luggage and honeymooned in Iceland.
The word “honeymoon” seems synonymous with the image of azure seas, white sand, swaying palms, and all-inclusive resorts with fancy meals and bottomless frozen cocktails. Not for me and Eric.
We traded flip flops for hiking boots, bikini cover ups for warm coats, and the blazing tropical sun for the refreshing glacial air. Our honeymoon was an epic adventure — far from the typical — and it was worth trading in those summery expectations.
An Iceland honeymoon is far from ordinary, but it’s no less romantic. It’s snuggly. It’s wool sweaters, cute leggings, warm hugs, and quaint towns. It’s wowing vistas, complete isolation, private hot tubs, and geothermal nature pools.
It’s also surprising. We learned toward the end of our trip that marriage is not a common institution in Iceland. There’s a lack of formal marriage and most children are born out of wedlock (and this is not stigmatized). The dating culture is seemingly absent and much of the population enjoys being single. It may be old data, but I found on this website that from 2006-2011, there were only 1,676 marriages (that’s about 280/year). We even met a recently engaged Icelander who shared that he intended to be different than most of his peers… and actually follow through with the marriage and have a wedding.
This knowledge inspired conversations about the value of marriage, what it means to us, and our thoughts about our union through the lens of another culture. It made us appreciate marriage, our committment, and one another even more.
As striking as Iceland is on its own, it’s even better with another. Especially if that another is your husband. Your newlywed husband. Iceland is better with someone you love.
Five hours in a car feels like 30 minutes.
Sheep crossing the road becomes infinitely more hilarious.
The fermented shark tastes better (not really).
Towns are quainter.
Puffins and seals are cuter.
Mountains are easier to climb.
Glaciers are grander.
Wool hats and winter coats look sexier.
Risks seem safer.
Winding, cliffside roads aren’t as scary (though it’s questionable).
Iceland feels more romantic.
And love feels more sacred in this big, magical world.
The return home had our bodies exhausted, our spirits refreshed by nature, and (if it’s even possible) more sure that we found our companion for life.
Iceland is great, but Iceland is greater with someone you love. Happy honeymoon, Eric!