Yesterday I said goodbye to the United States and today I said hello to Iceland. It’s been an interesting experience leaving the country at the tailend of a pandemic. Every day seems like a new adventure.
My adventure actually started almost a month ago with plans to go to Estonia. On the Friday before Memorial Day I purchased my tickets and accomodations to Estonia, which apparently is the Entrepreneur capital of the world. By the following Tuesday the borders were closed to Americans and I was back to the drawing board.
I looked at a number of places: Italy, Croacia, United Kingdom, and I finally landed on Iceland figuring the chances of another miss were less since they’d been open for tourism for months. It’s also considered a Green (aka safe) country to travel from when you want to go to other countries.
While I bought my plane ticket fairly quickly, I didn’t buy my lodging until the last minute. I couldn’t decide how long I wanted to stay, whether I wanted drive the country or stay in the city, etc.. Two nights before my departure I booked my first two nights lodging with airbnb. Almost, immediately I received an email giving me all the protocols & restrictions on traveling into Iceland from the United States.
Ugh, I felt like it was happening again, but I just persisted and today I am writing this blog from beautiful Iceland. I’ll tell you what I needed to do to travel abroad, but you should know, the information changes daily and varies by country. I use this handy dandy tool by the State Department to get the latest information.
First, I needed to be vaccinated. Second, I needed to pre-register with Iceland. They asked me for my vaccination information as well as my arrival and departure information. Finally, upon arrival I needed to show my vaccination passport as well as take a COVID-19 test at the airport and quarantine until I received the results. To adhere to quarantine I had to purchase a non-public-transit transportation to my hotel and book one night in a private room – aka couldn’t stay in a dorm or shared hostel room. I was not allowed to go to any public places until I received a negative result. They text you your results and you’re free to leave quarantine upon negative results. I received mine in about 8 hours after arriving at the airport.
I have to admit while the actual process was quite smooth, the information leading up to travel is far from definitive. It changes frequently, different sites list different information, sometimes in contradiction, and sometimes the information is so confusing you’re not sure what to do. I am, however, here to show you that it is possible to travel abroad with preparation and diligence.
So, what’s next? Well, I’ve already walked into the city, saw what is the largest display of hopscotch I’ve ever seen, and have seens some pretty cool shops. I am definitely looking to explore more, interview some of those shop owners for this blog, and find out the history of that hopscotch. I’ve only booked two night’s lodging. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to stay in the city, or travel the country. I have a big livestream event I need to plan for on Sunday, and because there is endless daylight here, that means people could be coming and going at all hours so that’ll take some thought in finding a quite place with good wifi. After that, again, given the endless daylight it’ll be quite possible for me to explore full days and work full days.
They have amazing naturally thermal heated lap pools here, it seems to be a great walking city, and I’ve already seen plenty of safe bike lanes so training will not be an issue. Check back frequently has I work out the logistics of traveling, running a business, and training all over the world.
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