At the end of the earth
So this is the end of the earth.
At least that's what I thought when I stood above the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall in southwest Iceland. It's a roaring wonder of power and beauty that takes your breath away --- as did the fierce wind whipping around me (it was actually really hard to talk and breathe at the same time.)
And that's Iceland in a paragraph. It's part metropolis, part desolate, and all magnificent. It's proud inhabitants are reserved yet welcoming, stoic yet witty, cool yet very friendly. There's a thriving food and nightlife culture in the center city and a naturalist's paradise of lava formations, waterfalls and mountains out on the island. It's a place I came to for two weeks, and ended up wishing I had two months --- or more.
I visited Iceland in March, 2014, as part of my Fulbright fellowship. I lectured for two weeks at the University of Iceland on digital and evolving media trends. It's a nice campus, located within an easy 25-minute walk to the city center (add another 15-20 minutes to walk to most of the main shopping areas). While there, I was fortunate to meet with several of the island's top journalists to talk about how evolving media trends are impacting them, and some of the strategies and tactics they might use to keep their audiences growing. I hope the experience was an interesting for them as it was for me.
I'd like to thank the following: Belinda Theriault, the Executive Director of the Fulbright Program in Iceland, and the program adviser, Tanya Dimitrova; the Fulbright Commission for giving me this opportunity; the University of Iceland's Valgerður Anna Jóhannsdóttir, who supported my application to lecture at the university; the Grenier family --- Robin, Paul, and their daughter Catherine --- for inviting me to their home for dinner and letting me know about the weekly Happy Hour gatherings with other Fulbrights (Check out their blog here); Wright State University and Cox Media Group for giving me this short respite to take advantage of a once-in-a lifetime opportunity; and most importantly, my family, who gave up two weeks of their life with me so I could live a dream.
What follows is a look at what I did and saw while in Iceland. All of the photos and videos were taken by me, though I pulled a couple of maps from Google. The work is my own, and in no way reflects the views of my employers, the Fulbright Commission, the University of Iceland, or anyone else for that matter. When I say something was good or bad, that's me talking.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, I hope you find the enclosed information useful, or at least, entertaining. There's a contact form on the last tab, and I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.