Episode 19: Happiness Spells for Iceland


Finally -- happiness spells for Iceland, one of the strangest places I've been. From Reykjavik Roasters to buying groceries at Bonus, eating hotdogs at the neighborhood pool or visiting the Blue Lagoon, here's a road trip for your mind.

Sauntering into Reykjavik Roasters, early in the morning and watching the people outside, a latte, jam, slice of cheese and croissant at your side, the milk and coffee different than you’re used to.

Eating a hotdog outside Laugardalslaug swimming pool, the mayo and sweet brown mustard mixing perfectly with the taste of fried onions on top, in fact it’s so good, you have to get another one.

The stunning blue of the Blue Lagoon, you’d seen it in pictures but it so otherworldly there as you float and bob, a mud mask on your face, the air outside is as cold as the water is warm.

The strikingly different landscape that confronts you daily, fog obscuring your vision, mountains rising up from the ocean, volcanic rock - black and porous, bright green moss clinging to it, white snow everywhere, everything in stark contrast.

Everyone addressing you in Icelandic before realizing you don’t speak it and launching into English.

Wandering down through the heart of Reykjavik, avoiding the pricey restaurants and buying groceries at Bonus, the warm familiarity of a grocery store, all that food in tidy packages, candy you’ve never seen before.

Grabbing a bus pass and riding on the city busses to the end of the line, marvelling at the suburban neighborhood you find yourself in.

The bus man stops to take his tea break in a small shed, you wait and marvel at the mountains in the distance.

The weather cycling constantly through sun, rain, hail and back again.

The black sand beach where chunks of ice blue glacier dot the landscape, so strange and unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Finding the rhythm of your daily life in the city, reading as much as you’d like, carving out your own existence, your insides calm for the first time in months.

The joy of discovery, tall waterfalls jutting out from green mountains, some of the most beautiful land you’ve ever seen, devoid of trees with plains and mountains, grass and moss.

Heading to Braut or Sandholt Bakery early in the morning to get your pastries, watching the rolls and bread get made, kneading endlessly.

The Icelandic ponies that you spy everywhere, solid little beasts, firm legs, long hair.

Wanting to buy yourself an Icelandic sweater even though you know it’s a bit of a touristy thing, the knitting and colors so beautiful you can’t help yourself.

The spare, slim architecture of the place, very Nordic, very tidy and to the point, a little bit Swiss even, pulling you in and reminding you of places you’ve only visited in your mind.

Cobblestone street and overgrown gardens laying aside modern highways and gas stations, old and new, side by side.

The friendliness of everyone you meet, everyone eager to hear your story and speak to you.

A drive through the Southern curve of the island when suddenly the Northern lights, you thought you knew what they’d look like, they’re so strange and colorful, you can’t tear your eyes away from the colors and lights dancing across the sky.



Happiness Spells Podcast is a five minute list of all the greatest pleasures and smallest joys in life. Increase your capacity for positivity, curiosity and gratitude. New episodes every Monday and Thursday.

This episode of Happiness Spells was written, arranged, recorded and produced by Amanda Meyncke in Los Angeles, California. Our music is by Chris Zabriskie.

Amanda Meyncke