When you hear the word “shameless,” what do you think of? For me, a little voice in my head chimes in with judgmental commentary about how someone else behaves, particularly a woman, and particularly in relation to her body. For instance, calling someone a “shameless hussy”, which feels like it must be something I’ve heard in movies since I can’t remember hearing it in real life. So it was a bit mind-boggling to me when I heard someone say that he was shameless in relation to his body – and to say it proudly. I tried to imagine what that would feel like, to be so assured about my body that I didn’t have any shame about it. Not only in the way I look, but in how I move, how much food my body

Eating in Iceland

One of the things I like about traveling is the chance to try foods from other cultures. Plus, I can try more food than I might normally, since all the walking and other activity balances it all out. That being said, I still prefer to have some reasonably healthy (and reasonably priced!) meals, so I like renting apartments that have kitchens. Happily the place my friend and I stayed at in Reykjavik had a decent kitchen area, enough for us for the week to have breakfast there, and some dinners. One of the first things we did the morning after our arrival was check out a local grocery story. I had read a little about them beforehand, but it was still interesting to see. For instance, other tha

Swimming in Iceland

How would you feel about showering naked, or changing into a bathing suit with only the privacy of two walls, in front of complete strangers as well as a friend? Until my trip to Iceland, this was a completely hypothetical question for me, and certainly not one I would have thought much about at all. Once I did start thinking about it, though, I got nervous. This was hardly my idea of fun, and not something I was excited about. Admittedly no one forced me to do these things. But they were requirements for getting to what I really wanted to do. The first experience was on Saturday, when my friend and I went on a hiking trip out to some natural geothermal hot springs. The one concession to pri

Making Exercise Fun

I’ve often wondered what an alien or someone from an earlier time would think if they went to a modern gym. Would they think all the exercise equipment is some form of torture, especially after seeing all the people sweating and groaning? Perhaps some of those who attend the gym might even consider the equipment that way. Certainly many don’t like exercise, or don’t consider it fun. It therefore amused me to see what my four-year-old nephew decided to do with my exercise equipment on a recent visit. When he first arrived, he asked, “Where are the toys?” “I don’t have any.” I felt like such a bad aunt. But it didn’t deter him for long, since he quickly discovered that the various pieces of my

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