Today I’m kicking off a video project called Backpack Chats, where I sit down and chat with interesting people I meet while traveling.  These people either have a unique story, are living intentionally doing things they love, are incredibly inspiring, or all of the above.

My goals for this project are to share people’s stories, learn about life from different cultural perspectives, and really understand what makes people tick around the globe.

I see this project as a means to achieve my personal goal of experiencing living in a place like a local, versus visiting as a fleeting tourist.  But more importantly, by sharing the stories of a diverse group of people who are living intentionally doing things they love, it’s aligned with the greater goals of GiveLiveExplore.

For Backpack Chat #1, Steve and I (along with Mike as videographer) sat down with Ásdís Ólafsdóttir outside a coffee shop in downtown Reykjavik.  Ásdís sings in the female choir who recorded with Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk on her most recent album Biophelia…  Ásdís recently returned to Iceland after touring with Björk around UK, New York, and South America.  We happened to uncover her story while talking with her in Geysir, the Icelandic clothing store where she’s working over the summer.

In this chat, Ásdís discusses life on the road with Björk, how the recent financial crisis impacted Iceland, “Incest Facebook,” and the similarities (and differences) between how Icelanders and Chicagoans handle their depressing winters.  Plus she gives a couple bar suggestions if you’re partying in Reykjavik.

Ásdís is as cheerful, thoughtful, and beautiful in person as she is on video, and quite representative of other Icelanders we met.  I really hope you enjoy this first Backpack Chat.  It was a pleasure sitting down and chatting with you, Ásdís!

On Wednesday, Mike and l are flying to Dublin and will be traveling around Ireland for the next week.   Do you know someone in Ireland would be an interesting person to meet for a Backpack Chat?  Please share in the comments if so.


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