My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

Anyone from Iceland out there?

Canada is an excellent place to live. We have a high standard of living, lots of yummy technology, a diverse mosaic of culture, and many other advantageous qualities that make us a good country in which to birth your offspring. But I don't think Canada is necessarily the best place to live. Naturally this begs the question, where is?

Which makes me think about Iceland. For those of you who do not live in Iceland, let me jog your memory: island somewhat between Greenland and the United Kingdom. It's got volcanic activity, which makes it a geothermal hotspot--literally. For such a northern country, it has a good climate (or so the literature tells me). Not only that, but it's also second in the world in human development and fifth in GDP. According to Wikipedia, its population is slightly over 300,000--in other words, about 3 times the population of my city. Iceland, like Canada, has a 99% literacy rate.

Put all these facts together, and Iceland seems at least on par with Canada in terms of quality of life. But wait--there's more! :w00t: Iceland is small, has few people in it, and is remotely located. Who would want to invade Iceland? What does Iceland have that anyone would want to take? Unlike Switzerland, which is another peaceful nation with a high quality of life, Iceland is not located in the middle of a continent that has a history of marching troops through other countries. Germany would be very hard pressed to find a reason to march their troops to Belgium via Iceland.

Iceland seems like a pretty cool place. So what's the catch? It sounds almost too good to be true, so what are the disadvantages to living in Iceland? Since the tourist literature is conspicuously lacking in these points, I'm not sure. If there's anyone out there from Iceland, or who has lived in Iceland before, do chime in. If you don't fall into those two categories, don't bother commenting.

(Unless you have something to say, of course, in which case you should comment anyway. :))