traveling

Dream Locale: Iceland

Though it has become a popular destination for adventurous American travelers, Iceland is still considered to be off the beaten track. Relatively close to the East Coast and quite cheap to get to, it features a great city completely surrounded by unspoiled natural wonders. 

Reykjavik is a convenient (and totally adorable) base. 

Andsurprise, surprisethere's a jeweler we'd like to pop in on.

Award-winning designer Guðbjörg Kristín Ingvarsdóttir (we also tried to sound it out) is based in the capital. Her shop, Aurum, features delicate Icelandic nature-inspired creations.

Venturing outside the country's largest city (though it's only home to 118,000 people), you'll encounter waterfalls,

other-worldly coastlines,

and, for such a cold country, a surprising number of swimming pools.

Though we haven't actually been, our favorite spot might just be Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. In case you haven't noticed by now, Icelandic names are pretty much impossible to pronounce. As a result, visitors have started referring to this dreamy locale by it's less formal name: "Sweet-Ass Mossy Canyon." 

Though not a direct translation, it does seem pretty accurate.

Dream Locale: Croatia

As the winter months approach, our minds start to wander to warm, colorful locales (even more than usual). 

Recently, the stunning coast and fairy-tale waterfalls of Croatia have fueled our wanderlust. 

The small country, positioned on the Adriatic, has garnered more attention from American tourists in recent years.

However, it's still a relatively unknown destination, so unlike other travel hot spotssuch as the Amalfi Coast or Greek Islesit's not overrun with or geared toward tourists.

It's just all too easy to picture ourselves relaxing, cocktail in hand, near that perfect waterand with over 1,000 miles of coastline, there's certainly no shortage of it.

And, of course, the jewelry industry happens to be amazing, too.

Filigree jewelrya delicate metalwork reminiscent of lacedominates the business. There are no trade schools, so apprenticeships are the only way to learn the craft.

Each village incorporates its own style into the designs, so it's worth popping into shops in different parts of the country. 

Now we just have to make it through the day without booking a flight...