65 episodes

Giving travelers the inside scoop on Icelandic culture, nature, history and language through the eyes of an expat. You'll hear interviews, quirky facts, useful travel advice, and what it is like to live in the land of fire and ice. Additionally, there is a segment of the show dedicated to teaching you an Icelandic word or phrase. Extra resources shared during the episodes can be found at https://allthingsiceland.com.



Jewells Chambers, the host of the podcast, fell in love with Iceland back in 2013 after her first visit. She moved to the country in 2016 and has been on an epic journey ever since.

All Things Iceland Jewells Chambers

    • Places & Travel
    • 5.0, 7 Ratings

Giving travelers the inside scoop on Icelandic culture, nature, history and language through the eyes of an expat. You'll hear interviews, quirky facts, useful travel advice, and what it is like to live in the land of fire and ice. Additionally, there is a segment of the show dedicated to teaching you an Icelandic word or phrase. Extra resources shared during the episodes can be found at https://allthingsiceland.com.



Jewells Chambers, the host of the podcast, fell in love with Iceland back in 2013 after her first visit. She moved to the country in 2016 and has been on an epic journey ever since.

    Being a Black American in Iceland & The Country’s Reaction to the Murder of George Floyd

    Being a Black American in Iceland & The Country’s Reaction to the Murder of George Floyd

    This week's episode is focused on giving you some insight into my experience as a Black American female expat in Iceland. Along with that, I share how Iceland has responded to the gruesome killing of George Floyd by a police officer in the United States. As one might expect, everything that is happening right now in the United States is deeply personal for me.







    My Experience As A Black American Female







    Whether I like it or not, how I am perceived in the world, starts off with my skin color. I have encountered various types of discrimination. Being the descendant of people that were first kidnapped and enslaved, then systematically oppressed is a burden that is hard to explain. 







    I often tell people that one of the unexpected positives of moving to Iceland is not feeling that weight of systemic racism. Yes, people in Iceland see my darker skin and sometimes stare a little longer than what is comfortable. However, the history of systemic racism toward Black people doesn’t exist in this country. It is not to say that there isn’t racism or white supremacy here. But it is vastly different from the overt, menacing racism in the United States. I don’t feel like having darker skin is automatically a strike against me here. I’ve been to many parts of the country and have met countless Icelanders who have been friendly, helpful and quite curious about my background.









    https://youtu.be/SebHO0flQiY









    Feeling Safe in Iceland







    Is everyone’s experience with darker skin the same as mine here? Absolutely not. However, so many of the Black Americans who have moved to Iceland have one thing in common - we feel safe. We. Feel. Safe. Knowing this has allowed for me to blossom in ways that I can’t fully articulate. This podcast was started not just because I like this culture, history, language and nature, but also because of my interactions with Icelandic people. 







    My husband’s family, who are of course my family, welcomed me with open arms. Before coming to Iceland for my first visit, my mother and grandmother were afraid for me. In the United States, you can meet a White person that is kind to you, but their family might not be welcoming. In fact, they might even be downright racist. Both my mom and grandmother grew up in the Rochester, New York area. They learned the hard way that no matter how nice, well spoken and well dressed you are, some White people will hate you and let you know it. They didn’t want that for me. 







    My mother and grandmother assumed that in Iceland, a land full of White people, I would for sure experience racism overtly. While they were happy that this didn’t happen to me, they were still a bit skeptical until they experienced the country for themselves. My grandmother, who is now 90 years old, still talks about how amazing it was to come to our wedding in 2017 and meet Gunnar’s family and friends. 







    Feeling safe and allowing myself to blossom after moving here in 2016 has been a blessing and a curse for me.







    Living in Iceland: A Mix of Guilt & Joy







    When I’d see videos online of another Black person brutalized,  I felt guilt for having the opportunity to live in a country where I am treated like a human being. Black and other People of Color in the United States are not afforded that basic right.







    It is not unusual for me to feel scared for my family, friends and people I may never meet who live in the U.S., because they are constantly on guard. They are afraid of being the victim of police brutality, attacked by White supremacists or being treated differently when they are just trying to go about their lives.

    • 22 min
    U.S. Expats in Iceland: Views on Moving, Racism & Current Events – Ep. 64

    U.S. Expats in Iceland: Views on Moving, Racism & Current Events – Ep. 64

    Lydia and Jonas  are fellow U.S. expats in Iceland that host their own podcast called “The Raisin at the Hot Dog’s End”. Lydia is a writer and artist, and Jonas is a writer and translator. As you listen to the chat we had in my living room, you’ll get to hear the stories of how each of them ended up in Iceland. While we did talk about a variety of topics, I feel like the exchange we had about racism within the Icelandic society, which is more covert, is important and insightful.







    It is amazing to me how much is bubbling to the surface here and all around the world after the murder of George Floyd. I plan to share my personal experience and thoughts about what is happening here in the next episode, but what Lydia and Jonas share shines a light on issues that deserve more attention in this country. If you are interested in listening to their podcast, check it out here and connect with them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.







    Questions I asked Lydia and Jonas:







    * Tell us about when each of you moved to Iceland and why* When you moved, was there anything about the culture that shocked you or just felt really unfamiliar?* Have Icelanders been welcoming to you?* Overall, how has it been adjusting to life here for you and your families?* Is there anything you miss from the U.S.A?* What inspired you to start your podcast “The Raisin at the hotdog’s end”?* Obviously, a lot has been going on in the U.S., regarding the uprisings against systemic racism. How does it feel being an American here seeing this unfold in the U.S. and around the world?* How do you feel about the gathering in Iceland to show solidarity with Black Americans?* Do you feel at home here and that you want to stay in Iceland for the foreseeable future?* What is your favorite Icelandic word or phrase?







    If you are enjoying this podcast, you can show your support by leaving a 5-star review of it on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, or any platform you listen to it on that allows reviews. Also, please share this episode with anyone that you think will find it helpful and/or interesting.







    Let’s be social! Here is where you can connect with me:







    * Instagram* Facebook* YouTube* Twitter







    Þakka þér kærlega fyrir að hlusta (og að lesa) og sjáumst fljótlega







    Thank you kindly for listening (and reading) and see you soon!

    • 1 hr 6 min
    This is How Iceland Flattened the COVID-19 Curve

    This is How Iceland Flattened the COVID-19 Curve

    This week’s episode is an update that details how Iceland has successfully flattened the COVID-19 curve. On April 1st, I published a podcast episode that detailed the steps Iceland took after authorities found out about the virus in late December. I walked you through all of the restrictions put in place, but the timeline for those updates ended in mid-March. If you haven’t already,  I recommend checking that out.







    Keep Up With Icelandic News 







    This episode is a continuation of that timeline and will provide insight on what has been happening in the country up until present day. I am recording this on May 27th, so keep in mind that any major news regarding the virus that happened after that date will be shared on my Instagram account @allthingsiceland. In fact, I do a weekly round-up of the news each Sunday in my stories, so join me there to keep up on interesting news happening within the country. If you prefer Facebook, you can follow along there as well. Just look for All Things Iceland or click the link in my show notes to be taken directly to my page. 







    Not surprisingly, a lot has happened in Iceland from mid-March to May regarding COVID-19. I find it interesting to look back on it and share it with you. Hopefully, you find it interesting too. 







    I’ve set this up in chronological order, and will provide an overview starting from where I left off in my previous Coronavirus podcast episode. If you want to read any of the articles that I referenced as I did research for this episode, check out the show notes below.







    Ok, let’s jump into it. 







    It was obvious that the cases of COVID-19 in Iceland were continuing to rise. Up until mid-March, travelers from all over were allowed to enter the country without going into quarantine. However, residents of Iceland coming from high risk countries, like China or Italy, were mandated to be in quarantine for 14-days. The argument behind this is that travelers don’t normally come into close contact with locals, so the risk of infection is low. I found that to be bizarre and didn’t agree with it because visitors would need to go to the same markets as residents, especially since restaurants had been shut down due to the ban on gatherings. Also, if a visitor were to fall ill, they would definitely come in contact with residents. 







    First COVID-19 Death in Iceland Was a Tourist







    Well, on March 17th, an Australian man in his 30s (36 years old) died while visiting North Iceland. Even though his symptoms were not typical of a person with COVD-19, he tested positive for the virus and so did his wife. It was sad and unfortunate that this happened. One consequence was that twenty two people who worked at the Húsavík health clinic that came in contact with him, had to be put in quarantine. The clinic had to scale back its operations after this because of being short staffed. This was the first Coronavirus related death in the country. I think it is worth mentioning that the response from Icelanders was really sweet. A Facebook group was started to send condol...

    • 59 min
    Axlar-Björn, Iceland’s Only Serial Killer: Ep.62

    Axlar-Björn, Iceland’s Only Serial Killer: Ep.62

    I know this seems like a really random topic but I have been fascinated by this story ever since I learned about Björn Pétursson (Axlar-Björn) some months ago. The Iceland we know of today has been ranked as one the most peaceful countries in the world since the Global Peace Index was launched 13 years ago. However, this country definitely has had some gruesome murders in its past. Many of those murders were linked to disputes, such as those in some of the Sagas. Björn was an exception.







    It is important to point out that even though Björn Pétursson was a real person that was a convicted serial killer, the many sources that recount his life and murders sometimes conflict. They are also considered to have some elements of folklore weaved in, so just keep that in mind as I go through this episode. 







    Warning about the content - not suitable for young children or those who feel uneasy hearing about the details of a gruesome murder.







    Was Axlar-Björn Destined to be a Serial Killer?







    While there are many reasons why a person might become a serial killer, it seems that Björn was destined to be so before he was even born. Björn's parents, Pétur and Sigríður, lived on the stunning Snæfellnes peninsula back in the 16th century. His father worked as a ploughman for a Ormur, a man who owned the farm Knörr. Pétur and Sigríður already had two children before  Sigríður became pregnant with Björn. During her pregnancy, she had nightmares and craved the test of human blood.







    I’ve never been pregnant but I think it is safe to assume that craving human blood is not normal. What is even more interesting about this story is that her husband Pétur wanted to appease his wife so he offered her to drink his blood to satisfy her craving. While that did do the trick, Sigríður was getting a very uneasy feeling. At some point she confessed to a female farmhand that she believes that the child she is carrying will be some kind of monster. 















    Björn was born in 1555 and he seemed like a pretty normal kid. At the age of four, his parents sent him to live with Ormur. Pétur and Ormur were good friends and because Ormur had a lot of money and influence, it seemed like a good opportunity for Björn to live with him. During those times it was common practice to have your child fostered by wealthier people because it can be difficult for a less fortunate family to feed and take care of all of their children. Björn adjusted to his new home and even became buddies with Guðmundur, Ormur’s son.







    A Dream that Changed His Life Forever







    It wasn’t until Björn was a teenager that the monster inside of him started to bubble to the surface. Like some teens, he developed a bad temper and was quite closed off. However, a turning point for him is when he missed mass one Sunday and fell asleep. During his dream, a man offered him a plate with pieces of raw meat. Without hesitation, he scarfed down the meat pieces. He only became nauseous after the eighteenth bite! This mysterious man in his dream then told him to go Mount Axlarhyrna because there Björn will find an instrument waiting for him. The man added that this instrument will serve him well in the years to come.







    At his first opportunity, Björn went to the top of the mountain and there he found an ax. Not long after this, a young boy who worked as a farmhand at Knörr, the same farm in which Björn was born, disappeared. Years later, Björn confessed to killing the boy with the axe and burying him in a big pile of manure.

    • 13 min
    Life on the NATO Base in Iceland during the ’90s – Interview with Mike Dell: Ep. 61

    Life on the NATO Base in Iceland during the ’90s – Interview with Mike Dell: Ep. 61

    This week I am sharing the lovely chat I had with Mike Dell. He is a former U.S. Air Force officer that was stationed in Iceland during the 1990s. We talked about what it was like for him to live in Iceland as a military officer, how he was treated by Icelanders, what he enjoyed about the country and more. Similar to my last episode, I was connected with Mike in a rather unusual way. 







    I use the service Blubrry to host my podcast and when I made the switch from the url fromforeigntofamiliar.com to allthingsiceland.com, I had to reset up my podcast rss feed so that Apple Podcast, Google podcasts and all the rest of the places that play my show will get the new episodes that are being published on allthingsiceland.com.







    Well, I ran into some issues doing it myself and I reached out to Blubrry for help. Dave and Mike, both work for Blubrry in their customer service department, were extremely helpful. While I was talking to Mike Dell via Zoom he asked me about my podcast. When I told him that I talked about Iceland he was delighted to share that he had lived in Iceland while he served in the Air Force. Of course, this totally piqued my interest. It was fascinating to hear what it was like for him to be in the country as a military officer and what he thought of Iceland. 







    Not Sponsored by Blubrry :-)







    For the record, I am not sponsored by Blubrry and I happily pay fully for their services because they do a great job. If the show is ever sponsored by a company in the future, I will make that crystal clear. Lastly, the cool thing is that Mike is one of the hosts of Podcast Insider, which is Blubrry’s podcast and he interviewed me for their last episode. We talk about why I started the podcast, why I moved to Iceland, what equipment I use, which to be honest, I am a minimalist, but that is what works for me, and which of my own interviews I like the most. Here is a link to the Podcast Insider interview where I am featured.







    Questions I asked Mike Dell during our Chat:







    * What was it like living in Iceland as part of the U.S. military?* What was it like interacting with Icelanders? Were they friendly, hostile, reserved or a mix of all of those?* When you did interact with Icelanders, did you notice any interesting habits that were unfamiliar to you?* In a separate conversation, you mentioned that you like the Icelandic hotdog (pylsa). What about the hotdog appealed to you?* Did you try any of the traditional Icelandic food?* Did you travel to other parts of Iceland? Do you have a favorite place that you visited?* Did you learn any Icelandic while you were here?* What are your fondest memories of Iceland?







    I hope you enjoyed listening to this episode of the All Things Iceland podcast. If so, please make sure to leave a review on whichever platform you are listening to this show on, and share it with someone who you think will find this episode interesting.







    My newsletter is dedicated to sharing even more fascinating information about Iceland. 







    For your convenience and listening pleasure, this podcast is available on many platforms. You can listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and pretty much any platform that plays podcasts.







    Let’s be social! Here is where you can connect with me:







    * a href="https://www.

    • 35 min
    How An Icelandic Herbalist is Empowering Refugees – Interview with Anna Rósa Róbertsdóttir: Ep. 60

    How An Icelandic Herbalist is Empowering Refugees – Interview with Anna Rósa Róbertsdóttir: Ep. 60

    I had the pleasure of sitting down with the awesome and very knowledgeable Icelandic herbalist Anna Rósa Róbertsdóttir. 







    She specializes in the use of Icelandic medicinal herbs and has been providing her services to people in Iceland for several decades. Before jumping into her interview, I have to mention the funny way in which Anna Rósa and I ended up becoming connected. 







    One day, I walked into an apótek in Iceland, called Jurtaapótek to buy some rosebud tea. As I was checking out, I saw a book about Icelandic herbs on the counter. The immediate thought that came into my head was, “Oh, I would love to interview the person that wrote this book for the podcast, because I find the topic of Icelandic herbs to be quite interesting.” So, I snapped a picture of the book, bought my tea and went about my day. 







    I think it was about a week or so later that Anna Rósa and I linked up. Maybe it was sheer coincidence or fate, but we both happen to have signed up for the same digital course and started messaging each other. Eventually, it dawned on me that she is the same person that wrote the book that I had snapped a picture of about a week prior. We both laughed at this and eventually we were able to set up an interview in her office. Anna Rósa was a delight to chat with and I love that her new skincare line was created to help empower refugees.







    During the interview, Anna Rósa and I talk about a salad dressing recipe that changed her life. She wrote a blog post about it. You can check it out here.







    Questions I asked Anna Rósa during the Interview:







    * What inspired you to be a herbalist?







    * Did you study to become a herbalist in Iceland or somewhere else?







    * How is the herbalist profession perceived in Iceland? Are people open to it, cautious about it or critical of it?







    * What kind of medicinal herbs can be found in Iceland? Are they wild?







    * How do you work with the herbs to create different mixes to help people with their ailments?







    * Your book “Icelandic herbs and their Medicinal Uses”, is like an encyclopedia of the many herbs in Iceland. Due to the herbs growing in Iceland, is the book mostly useful for people in Iceland or could it be used by those outside of the country?







    * Your new skincare line is unique in that the proceeds from it will be used to support organizations that help refugees. Can you talk a bit about that?







    * What is your favorite Icelandic word or phrase?







    Connect with Anna Rósa on Social Media







    * Facebook* Instagram







    I hope you enjoyed listening to this episode of the All Things Iceland podcast. If you think someone else will find this episode interesting and/useful please share it.

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

SLT NYC ,

Intriguing, informative and amusing!

Jewells is a great storyteller. The podcast both informative and fun to listen to!

Iris Stefania ,

A trip around my island

I love listening to Jewell’s soothing voice as she takes me on a trip around my island. Very informative even for a local.

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