Californian Expat in Reykjavik - Interview With Erica

Published: 1 Mar at 9 AM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Filed: Interviews,Iceland
Erica has worked in book publishing for nearly twenty years as a children’s book editor at Chronicle Books and the Director of Publishing at Discovery Channel, among other roles. Her award-winning writing has appeared in anthologies, newspapers, and online. Currently a freelance writer and editor, Erica is also the co-founder of Ever After Studio and at work on a novel. Originally from California, Erica lives in Reykjavik, Iceland with her husband and two small children in a house full of traveler’s artifacts. Erica's expat blog is called Navigating Wonderland (see listing here)

Meet Erica - US expat in Iceland
Meet Erica - US expat in Iceland

Here's the interview with Erica...

Where are you originally from?
Los Angeles, California

In which country and city are you living now?
Reykjavik, Iceland

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
15 months/ 2 years total

Why did you move and what do you do?
For my husband's job - he works for the US Department of State as a diplomat. I'm a freelance writer and editor.

Did you bring family with you?

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
We move around a lot - a new country/city every few years. I never knew that my other moves were difficult until I came here and the transition was so easy.

Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon
Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I found Iceland really easy to make friends, through the kids' schools and the expat community. I mainly socialize with expats and/or couples where one person is a foreigner and one is native.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Wander through quaint and quirky downtown Reykjavik stopping in at one of cozy cafes or cool design stores or taking a day trip to some amazing fjord or mountain to experience nature at its most extreme.

What do you enjoy most about living here?
Breathtaking scenery - picturesque coastline, dramatic mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, geysers, lava fields. . .

How does the cost of living compare to home?
Iceland is super pricy.

Geysir (geyser)
Geysir (geyser)
What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
The winter is incredibly dark. I couldn't survive it without my happy light, daily exercise, and copious amounts of strong coffee.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Plan in advance to take a holiday in January or February and brace yourself, be ready, for the long, dark months.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Not to beat a dead horse here, but the darkness of winter.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
Reykjavik has such a lovely rhythm - it is slow but fun, quirky but not too fast-paced. I think being back in a loud, noisy, busy city will be the biggest shock to the system. That said, I don't think the adjustment will take too long.

Winter sky at noon
Winter sky at noon
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Be ready to spend big bucks for winter gear.
  2. Buy your Hunter rain boots and seriously warm winter jacket before you come.
  3. Quickly get into all that Reykjavik has to offer - find the Facebook groups, go to the expat meet-ups, attend all the festivals, join a gym, find your favorite hot pot, do it all right off the bat. The longer you put it off, the harder it is to settle into routine and life here.
  4. Use your time in Iceland to develop your creative side - learn how to knit or felt, discover your hidden talents for music, this will help you meet some of the people doing amazing art and craft in Iceland.
  5. Don't be afraid to take up outdoor sports, even in a place with such a hard climate-swimming and horseback riding can be great fun, even in the dark of winter.

Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
I muse about all kinds of things from life as an expat, to being a mom, to career choices, to restaurant reviews and travel tips. I hope you'll check it out.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Through my blog

Erica blogs at which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. Navigating Wonderland has an listing here so add some feedback there! Erica is also the co-founder of Ever After Studio. If you liked this interview with Erica, please also drop her a quick comment below.
Please share:

Grab a featured expat badge that links to this interview!

Copy and paste code to display the Featured Expat Badge:

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Articles by Category

Now featuring 633 expat interviews


Latest Headlines