I left home immediately after I turned eighteen. I was headed to live in London, but before that I took a little three-day trip on my own to Reykjavík. Iceland was the first foreign country that I ever went to, and just like travel often does, it opened my eyes, and it changed me.
That trip to Iceland sparked a love for travel that I've never lost, and it inspired the making of a publication for which travel is integral. The trip also introduced me to people who were more free and open-minded than my sheltered Catholic-schooled existence previously exposed me to. On my first night at the hostel where I was staying, the one next to the big swimming pool on Sundlaugavegur, I decided to ask the cute fem Turkish boy at the front desk if there was a gay bar. I'd never in my life been to a gay bar but I felt ready to try. He explained that there was, a bar called "22", but you had to be twenty-two years old to get in. So instead he recommended a bar called Nelly's that was mixed, and that I'd probably be let in there. I also asked if he'd be there, but he had to work. Damn!
So I went to Nelly's, and honestly I found it kind of gross, and very straight too. But whatever, I decided to have a drink or two and give it a chance. Soon this girl latched on to me, a girl who in my memory looks a lot like younger Amy Schumer. She was relentless. I guess you could call her aggressive actually (which reminds me of the story Glenn W wrote in Elska Reykjavík), but to be fair I didn't mind the attention, at least for the novelty of having someone falling all over me for the first time.
Anyway, just when I got to the point when I was truly uncomfortable, a boy called Bergþór rescued me, pulling me onto the dancefloor to dance, and mostly to snog. But I'll always remember what this girl told me in midst of her trying to pull me. She said simply, "Sex is fun, and so we all should have lots of it." It was a revelation for me. And it's another reason why I named Elska Magazine after an Icelandic word, because of the openness I encountered there, an openness I want to reflect in each Elska issue.
Check out Elska Reykjavík or any of our mags at bit.ly/elskamag.