So far there have been a few lessons I have learned about traveling outside of the US.
1. When you book a hotel make sure to check the check-in time. They are very strict on their check in times, period.
2. Make sure your allowed check in time coincides with your arrival time. We had a 6am arrival time and a 3pm check in time. They didn’t coincide. This mad for a very long day. Especially since our red-eye flight to Iceland wasn’t very sleep friendly.
3. It’s inevitable. A person who is a night owl will sit next to or behind you and talk for hours. A poor baby will have a hard time and cry most of the trip. When you book an overnight flight, bring earplugs and take some over the counter sleeping pills before you board.
4. Be prepared to parrrtaaay on the weekends, especially if there is good weather! From 5pm – 11pm there is a dj playing catchy beats and happy tunes on the streets for our entertainment.
5. If you aren’t the partying type, make sure to ask for a room away from the street, otherwise just go with the flow and party it up with the natives!
6. Not everywhere in the world is up at the crack of dawn and hurrying to put their nose to the grindstone for another dollar. Nothing is open – including grocery stores – except coffee shops before 10am.
7. It is possible to be in a big city but it is still quiet and peaceful and a happy place. While walking around we noticed even the construction seems quieter here. Even though there is a lot of graffiti among the street art it is very clean. There is no trash, not even cigarette butts on the streets. Reykjavik is beautiful, slow-moving and very quiet, peaceful and happy.
8. It is very rare for Icelanders to have diabetes because they use all natural, non-processed, foods and eat a lot of fish.
9. The coffee outside of the US is STRONG! However; there are a lot of lovely bookstore/coffee shops that are open before 10 that serve baked goods and sandwiches.
10. Don’t be afraid to be the dumb American and ask questions. The people are extremely friendly and speak English well and are happy to answer and help.