As strange as that may sound to some people, spending a week doing intense work is actually quite relaxing. Of course, the key here is spending it in Iceland.

When they heard I was coming to Iceland for a week, some of the people around me were excited. When they heard that I was coming to work with a client in their offices, they immediately started consoling me.

But I do actually think of this as vacation.

First of all, working for me is relaxing. When I'm not working - that's when I get anxious. Partly because I'm not on a monthly income, and if I don't work I don't get paid. (Freelancer life, yo.) But also: I love what I do. And that means working for me is like spending time on a hobby for others.

Secondly, and more to the point of this post: it's Iceland. I know I gashed a lot about it lately, but it is a magical place. (Not like T.A.H.I.T.I. That sucks.*)

It's not the weather (which is fine, by the way; make all the jokes you'd like, but I actually do like the weather here.) - it's the atmosphere.

I lived in Iceland for years, so this isn't some novelty-drive a rose-colored glass thing. The atmosphere here is relaxing.

I grew up and socialized in places where stress was (and still is) the base beat of the atmosphere. Wherever you look, you see grumpy people, working is a never ending balancing of complaints and excuses. The default facial expression is the frown.

Icelandic people have their fair share of stress and problems and what-have-you. Yet when I look around, I see none of the gloomy, grey mood that's so characteristic of where I come from. Problems are dealt with, and people enjoy being... well, being.

I don't know. Maybe l've been lucky with the company I've been keeping. Whatever the reason, this week (which sadly ends the day after tomorrow) with it's 8-9 hours of intense work every day was to me like a spa. I feel untied from looming stress, and energized to full.

Or, maybe the Icelandic wind just blew it all out of my system.

*: if you understood that reference, congratulations: you're a nerd.