It's been just over two weeks into my life as an expat. It still sounds strange to think of myself in that way, but it's accurate.
I sold or gave away most of my possessions and pared down my life to about 25kgs (which is admittedly still too much, but does include the weight of the suitcases), sold my van, abandoned the apartment I lived in for three years, and said goodbye to all of the friends I made in Asheville, North Carolina over the last five. I bought a one-way ticket and I will not be returning. Instead I've started a life of living outside of the USA, and my first job offer happened to be in Iceland.
This was convenient because I spent two months in Iceland last year in the winter, so I knew a little of what to expect. I have friends here and I'm familiar with some of the towns and cities, so worst-case scenario, I would end up taking a nice holiday to a country that I love.
The day that my flight left New Jersey, I received another job offer, which I was very grateful for. I had suspicions about my first job in the town of Mosfellsbær (Mohs-ells-buyer) which were quickly confirmed.
The man who hired me runs several guesthouses, which are hard to exactly pin down online. I see that he has now set up a small webpage explaining the job and it's location. But as for the guesthouse...It's a little bit of a trick for tourists. The rooms are very cheap, and when someone books one, they are not told the location, so they probably assume it is located in Reykjavik. In fact, it's located in a suburb about a 15-20 minute drive from Reykjavik. There is a guesthouse in Reykjavik, but it's more for large groups.
My reasons for being suspicious were based on the vague emails I exchanged with the owner. I'll call him Siggi, because that's his name. (It's also one of the most common names in Iceland, so whatever) When I asked him to write up a contract, he dodged me repeatedly, and send me a list of some chores I was expected to do. Mostly laundry and cleaning the rooms, spending some time speaking English with his children a couple days per week, and helping his elderly mother about the same amount. Actually...the exact words were: "