Those of us residing in the Northern climes are often wont of an escape come February. Whether it be Seasonal Affected Disorder, pre-tax filing willeys, or just a simple case of the Winter Blahs, we look for a bit of respite, often where it’s warm, where they have this big orb in the sky radiating heat and natural light, where the most common exchange of human language is “Can I get that margarita on the rocks with no salt, please?”.

But not this snowgal. I prefer to go where there won’t be drunken spring breakers puking outside my hotel room door, where my trip does not sequester me aboard a floating zoo of human toxicity and disease at sea, where golf does not exist for nearly 9 months out the year, where the sun doesn’t rise until almost 10 am and starts to set around 3 in the afternoon, where a beer costs $12, and where Robert Plant indelibly planted into our psyche The Primal Scream.

Yes, I’m going to Iceland.

Now before everyone goes all wiggy on me, let me point out a few things about the Land of Ice and Fire:

1. Last year, when Sailor Man and I visited, we left Erie in negative arctic temperatures and arrived in Iceland to a balmy 45 degrees at the end of January. Hell, any Erieite worth their sidewalk salt can tell you that’s Naked Weather.

2. Iceland is one of the youngest landmasses on Earth and is growing at a rate of 4 cm per year. Iceland is roughly the size of Pennsylvania and home to 300,000 descendants of the Old Norse.

3. Yes, they have glaciers, but some of those glaciers also sit on top of active volcanoes of which Iceland possesses no less that 22. I say, there’s few things more thrilling than standing before a volcano that is 7 years overdue for a good blow.

4. The Icelandic horse is the exact horse the Vikings brought to the island. They have not changed in over a 1,000 years.

5. The Icelandic language is unchanged from that of Old Norse. That too has not changed significantly in 1,000 years. In fact, Icelanders today can read the ancient sagas with no difficulty.

6. Damn, they’re a good looking people. Seriously. I don’t mean to say they’re all supermodels, but they are incredibly handsome overall.

7. And literate. They boast 100% literacy of their people. Also, they publish 20 times more books than the US every year.

8. The had the world’s first democratically elected female president in 1980. and she stayed in office until 1996.

9. One night every year, all Parliamentary members must speak in rhyme. No joke.

10. Their nation is powered by geothermal activity. Resulting in one of the cleanest countries on the planet. Their hot water is also piped in from hot springs, while their cold water is piped in from glacial melt. Literally two different sources. And their garbage trucks run on methane which comes from-you guessed it-their own garbage.

And did I mention the Vikings?

Last year, we bathed in flooded lava fields with mineral water warmed by geothermal springs, of which there are dozens throughout the country, we rode horses, we traipsed glaciers, hiked canyons, and drank ridiculously expensive beer all in January without the intrusion of other tourists.

I love this country and I love their people. Partly, because they’re pale like me and I don’t stand out so much, but mostly because they are a progressive and kick-ass society.

Descendant from Vikings.

And yes, when visiting, Sailor Man and I indulge in the Primal Scream: