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Our Story

It all started with a blog

In 2011 Auður was working for a travel company here as a webmaster and e-marketing manager when she came up with an idea for a blog.

She had been an active Couchsurfing host and had been involved with the Erasmus Student Network at the University of Iceland, not to mention the time she spent living and traveling abroad where she was often the only Icelander around, so a lot of the things she was doing on and off the job was answering questions about Iceland. 

One day, she thought to herself: Why isn’t there a place somewhere on the internet where people can find the answers they need? Why indeed. 

So that’s what she did. She made a place on the internet where people can find answers to their questions about Iceland. She promised to offer honest information, seen from the eyes of a local, and used her knowledge of how search engines and social media work to make sure the people could find the answers. 

She didn’t have a big plan or an agenda. She did kind of want to show her then boss, to whom she had unsuccessfully pitched this idea for a blog, that he had been wrong turning her down but first and foremost she just wanted to help people.

A hobby becomes a job

At some point, when Auður had been writing the blog for a few years, it all became a bit too much to handle. She was studying full time, had an almost full job as a freelance consultant and then when she had some free time, she spent it on the blog. As you can imagine, she didn’t get much sleep back then. 

She was left with a difficult decision: She would either have to kill the blog or she would have to find a way to make the blog her job. Killing her baby didn’t sound so appealing so turning the blog into a mini empire became the next logical step. So she left school, broke up with most of her consulting clients and dove into starting a business.

A job becomes something completely different

Auður started small and only offered one product to begin with: The I Heart Reykjavík Walking Tour. Then she started offering a few selected tours through her handpicked partners and before she knew it thousands of people had taken her tour, and she had become an employer to a small team. In December 2016 Hrannar quit his job and joined the team. 

The following two years we tried to keep up with the whirlwind of running a thriving business in the rapidly growing tourism industry in Iceland. Maybe due to our lack of experience and the excitement of everything that was happening, mistakes were made and we lost sight of what Auður had set out to do in the beginning. We were overworked, our family life was suffering and our physical health was deteriorating. We just weren’t happy. 

A new beginning

After some soul searching and contemplation, we decided to scale back in the fall of 2018 and reset our focus. We tearfully said good-bye to our amazing staff, closed down our physical office and invested time in figuring out how to balance this business we’d be trying to build and our personal lives. 

We stopped trying to be everything to everyone and put our focus on our strengths and where we could serve our guests best. We set up an office in our home which gives us a chance to alternate work and family life while making sure our daughter gets the attention she deserves. 

This change is turning out to be the best decision we could have ever made, not just for our personal lives but the business too. By defining more clearly what it is that we’re trying to do here, we’re offering better service to our guests and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Some might think that a husband and wife duo working out of their apartment can’t compete with bigger companies when it comes to customer service. One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned through all of this is that bigger isn’t better. It’s merely bigger.

A side note

In case you were hoping that this was the story of how we got together – we’re sorry to dissapoint.

We met at a bar. At 3 am.