I’ve made a post about my time in Iceland and what I’ve integrated into my life from Icelandic culture.
You can read it here. The copy and paste is below:
When I lived in Iceland for a short time, my host recommended taking cold showers. They suggested this so that I would become more Icelandic, or Nordic in general.
I was seriously considering living in Iceland forever. We had an apartment ready for us. I spoke with real-estate officials; I was legally allowed to buy land there. I still may one day, but it would be for personal use, not cultural.
The only reason why I chose to leave is because I really respected the Icelandic people.
What would it seem like to the Nordic people there if a non-white immigrant set up shop, talking about building the Vannoken tribe? I thought it would be disrespectful to them, awkward at the very least.
In *my* head, I’d be thinking: I’m rebuilding my culture. I’m demonstrating how I’m genuinely catching up from cultural evolutionary damage while taking personal responsibility for my life. I’m intertwining my European heritage as a part of that as a part of becoming a whole person, rather than following bygone one-drop rule logic. I’m straightening myself out and becoming a high-functioning citizen in a way people thought was impossible.
In my head, I’d be doing a wonderful thing. Many would agree.
However, that’s not how it would be perceived, in general. This is because of political timing that’s neither my fault nor Icelanders’. I would have been perceived as concurrent with the cultural invasion of non-white immigrants and illegal migrants that were trying to get into these countries while disrespecting the natives. Even though that’s *totally not* the context of my intent, where *I’d* be coming from, the military taught me that perception is reality.
Of course, I would have learned Icelandic to full fluency. I had already started learning the first day I’d arrived. I would have absolutely embraced the history, such as the Íslendingasögur (the Icelandic Sagas of Viking lore) and intertwined that into the history of my tribe. And, technically, I still am. I’m still reading the sagas (for they’re long and there are many), and I’m still intertwining them into the history of the tribe for future generations to learn. I don’t have to live in Iceland to do that, to show that kind of respect.
I just wanted some kind of individuality, which is why I invented the term. I just wanted to do it because I knew it could be done. Though, no one really has yet, in quite the same way that I am.
Meanwhile, it’s different in America; I’m already an American. I’ve *already* read many books on American history. I’ve been educated in the American system. I have a citizenship with *direct* cultural ties to it. I even served in its military. I already put in my time to show the utmost respect I can for American culture. I also already speak English, well enough, even, to make money with my ability to speak and write English.
Even though I’m *technically* foreign to *Alaska*, it’s still my *country*. And if it’s a Nordic environment I wanted, then Alaska is a Nordic environment with all the same geographic beauty, like Aurora Borealis.
Another good point is that Iceland doesn’t have a standing military. This means that if I want to maximize my chances of making it to Valhöl, I have a much higher chance by remaining in America, and joining the American military.
But, what isn’t typical in American culture that I really liked in Iceland was the concept of bathing in ice water. They have their hot springs; I went to their famed blue lagoon. But, that’s a tourist venture because everyone loves warm or hot water.
It’s when you get into the cold water that you run into a real cultural difference. And I mean freezing cold. I mean, you’re outside, and there’s a thin layer of ice on the water itself.
I thought the water in the training tank of SEAL training was cold. Nope. My horizons swiftly expanded when I was in Iceland. The pool at BUD/S was child’s play! That was a
(NOTE: I am not a SEAL. I don’t mean for new people to misunderstand the context.)
And, now we see people like Wim Hof, a Scandinavian, selling training for building health and mental endurance with
It was a hard sell for me. But, I realized it was just habit. I had been culturally indoctrinated to always go for the hot shower. I didn’t understand the benefits
As a daily regular act of living, bathing in ice water is considered insanity by most Americans.
But, I’ve learned better. I get it. There are tons and tons of mental and physical benefits to acclimating to the cold. And what I *really* like is the concept of recessive genes within me activating as I acclimate. I liked how Wim Hof actually went into that aspect of the acclimation. He explained how you have the DNA that you have. However, certain genes activate or deactivate with different stressors.
For the people who remember the
It’s such a crazy cool feeling, opening yourself up to this other aspect of being. You get into the ice water. You have a reaction that makes you want to scream. But, then, with the right control of your breathing…something clicks. You can *feel* it as it happens. You relax. And you’re fine. It feels natural.
You can walk outside, barefoot and no heavy clothing, in the cold this way. At least, to a much greater degree than most other people in the world can. You still have to follow the laws of physics, of course. *Enough* cold will kill anyone, but your tolerance, what bothers you, changes.
I know I sound crazy, especially to the black people following me (I have no problem addressing the elephant in the room), but you can look all this stuff up. It’s real. I’m not crazy. I’m trying to express a means of adaptation that few people experience.
I had such a hard time with the cold when I was younger, especially when I was homeless, but I just needed the right mentor to show me how to do this stuff. And I’m happy I’ve traveled.
And these experiences, how to adapt to these climate changes by tapping into different genes by understanding what triggers their activation, is wonderful to record for future generations of the tribe.