Hæ! I’m Auður. Welcome to I Heart Reykjavík
Sometimes when I’m asked to explain what I do in life – you know, for a living – I don’t really know what to tell people. “Well, I have a blog, but I also have this company, and even though they are not really the same thing they kind of are.“
Confused? So am I most of the time.
It all started with a blog
In 2011 I was working for a travel company here in Reykjavík as a e-marketing manager, although my official title said something completely different (which is irrelevant at this point because basically that was what I was doing), when I came up with an idea for a blog.
I had been an active Couchsurfing host and I had be involved with the Erasmus Student Network at the University of Iceland, not to mention the time I spent abroad and was often the only Icelander around, so a lot of the things I was doing on and off the job was answering people’s questions about Iceland. One day I thought to myself “why isn’t there a place somewhere on the internet where people can get the answers they need?” as I answered the millionth question about the Golden Circle.
So that’s what I did. I made a place on the internet where people could get the answers to their questions about Iceland. I also promised to offer honest information, seen from the eyes of the local, and I used my knowledge of how search engines and social media work to make sure that people could find the answers.
I didn’t have a big plan back then or an agenda. I did want to show my boss, to whom I had unsuccessfully pitched this idea about a blog, that he was wrong but that was about it. Maybe, if the blog would be successful, I would be able to use it to show off my skills when applying for a job once I had finished the degree that I was working on at the time. First and foremost I just wanted to help people. That’s kind of my thing. I’m a compulsive helper.
To make a long story short it never came to using the blog to find a job. I also haven’t finished my degree but that’s a whole different story.
Fast forward a few years: A blog becomes an empire
OK, an empire is maybe taking it a little bit too far but at some point, when I had been writing the blog for a few years, it all became a bit too much to handle. I was studying full time, I also had a almost a full job as a freelance consultant and then I when I had some free time I spent it on the blog. As you can imagine I didn’t get a lot of sleep back then. Or much of anything actually.
I was left with a difficult decision: I would either have to kill the blog or I would have to find a way to make the blog my job. Killing my baby didn’t sound appealing so turning the blog into a mini empire became the next logical step. So I left school, broke up with most of my consulting clients and dove into starting my own business.
To be honest, now that I look back, even though I had finished more than half a business degree when I started my business I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. If I had known, I probably wouldn’t have embarked on this journey. Not because I haven’t enjoyed it, I’ve LOVED every minute of it, but because it’s a lot of hard work.
Sleep is still a luxury.
I Heart Reykjavík today
I started off small and only offered one product to begin with: The I Heart Reykjavík Walking Tour. Then I started offering a few tours through my partners and finally I made a deal with a car rental agency to offer affordable car rental through the blog. Before I knew it thousands of people had taken my tour and all of a sudden I was an employer.
All of this in the span of 12 months or so.
Today I Heart Reykjavík strives to make sure that your visit to Reykjavík will be the best it can be. We do that by offering unique and interesting experiences and by partnering up with companies we know will take good care of you.
We care about social responsibility, honesty and integrity and we try to reflect that in everything we do. We also love what we do and count our blessings every day. We heart this city and we want you to heart it too.
Meet the peeps
Owner, blogger, photographer, guide and everything else
You could say that Auður is I Heart Reykjavík and I Heart Reykjavík is her. When she’s not writing for the blog, doing her tours or pretending she knows something about running a business you can usually find her hanging out with her family or watching something she would never publicly admit to on Netflix.
Auður is born and raised in Reykjavík.
Guide, bill-payer, whatever-needs-to-get-done guy
Hrannar is our in-house specialist when it comes to beer, hot dogs and swimming pools! An electric technician by trade he quit his cozy job at Reykjavík University to join our team full time. Obviously, because we’re a lot of fun but the fact that he’s Auður’s fiancé (very soon to be husband) may have had something to do with it.
Hrannar is born in Húsavík but grew up in Borgarnes (West Iceland) before moving to Reykjavík in his late teens.
Guide, travel adviser and environmental evangelist
Ásta has a degree in Spanish and Translation Studies and she’s also the only one of us who is a trained guide (she has a fancy certificate and everything). With a background in environmental- and quality project management, she keeps us on our quality toes. Ásta also holds the company record for most countries visited in the world.
Ásta was born and raised in Borgarfjörður Eystri (East Iceland) but has been residing in Reykjavík most of her adult life – now with her husband and two lovely bi-lingual girls.
Guide, travel adviser in training and head of elf-department
Ólöf has a B.A degree in folklore from the University of Iceland and M.A. degree in Applied Studies in Culture and Communication (a mouthful!) so we depend on her on all elf-related matters. When she’s not showing our guests around she’s an aspiring stand up comic and a mother of three very active boys.
Ólöf is born and raised in Kópasker (North Iceland) but has lived in Reykjavík since her late teens.