From Iceland — Perfect Day: Helga Kristín Torfadóttir

Perfect Day: Helga Kristín Torfadóttir

Perfect Day: Helga Kristín Torfadóttir

Published June 1, 2022

Alice Poggio
Photo by
Helga Kristín Torfadóttir

Helga is a young Icelandic geologist, specialising in volcanology. She has been working on the most recent eruption in Reykjanes, while studying for her PhD, researching Iceland’s largest and most dangerous volcano, Öræfajökull. When she is not testing out spacesuits for NASA, Helga loves to share her geological knowledge as well as photography on Instagram. There she documents her adventures, and attempts to explain complex geological topics in a more digestible format for those of us who cannot tell the difference between an epicentre and an epidote—her passion for the subject is contagious. Here’s how she’d spend her perfect day.

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Anti-snooze dogs

Since I am working on my PhD research, my time is rather flexible, which allows me to design my mornings however I desire. I usually wake up before 6:30 with a wake-up call from my boyfriend, who is studying for his PhD degree on the other side of the planet. So it is evening where he is. When my two labradors hear that I am waking up, they come running in with excitement and jump into bed with hugs and kisses, so there is no room for snoozing. Then I chat for a bit with my boyfriend over a cup of coffee, and then it’s time for me to head to Cross Fit practice to do some heavy lifting. After that, I can start focusing on my research, which takes up the rest of my day.

Brain break

For Lunch, I either bring some delicious dinner leftovers from the day before, usually from my mother in law. But otherwise, I buy some juicy salad from an overpriced salad bar. I always try to eat away from my office to change the scenery and let my brain rest from all the PhD work before diving back into it. If I feel like it, I go for a run or a hike or even a bike ride after work in the afternoon if the weather isn’t horrible. But usually, I just place myself in front of the TV to relieve my brain from all the hard work.

Salads with attitude

I usually don’t go out to dinner unless it’s a special occasion, because going out to eat in Reykjavík can be expensive. But a nice versatile meal with my family is always the best. I love healthy meals, and honestly, salads are my favourite but not just boring ones; I need them to be a bit extra. But I also like fast food, and I could never say no to pizza.

Unwinding with ice cream and good chats

In the evening, I walk my dogs, and then I call my boyfriend to wake him up, and we chat for 1 hour or so. Some nights I meet my group of best friends. We have known each other since we were children, and it is always nice to catch up and eat some ice cream.

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