With its glaciers, fjords, volcanoes, Northern Lights displays, and distinct culture, there’s no question Iceland is a bucket list-worthy destination. But regardless of how amazing a trip is, many travelers don’t pay the full price for their vacation until they get home and have to wade through an overflowing email inbox.
Visit Iceland, the country’s tourism bureau, has a new offering to sweeten the deal: Out-horse your email. It’s exactly what it sounds like: outsourcing work emails to a real Icelandic horse that’s been trained to type on a gigantic, horse-sized keyboard. “Disconnect from work and let the horses of Iceland reply to your emails while you are on vacation. (Seriously),” their website promises.
The three equine writers-for-hire have different strengths. The all-white Hrímnir and black-and-white maned Hekla both sound like consummate professionals, with résumé descriptions like, “Assertive. Efficient. Shiny hair,” and “Friendly, trained in corporate buzzwords.” But personally, I would probably hire brown Litla, who, like me, “Types fast, but might take a nap.”
(Photo: Joshua Earle/Unsplash)
In a video, Visit Iceland shows the horses clip-clopping their hooves on a gigantic custom keyboard. While the animals have no trouble operating the keys, they don’t appear to have refined it to the point of actually spelling anything—which could be an issue.
Certainly, we would love nothing more than to enlist a talented horse (or personal assistant of any species) to take care of things at work while we’re on vacation and spare us any interruptions or dreaded slew of unread emails. But there’s a kernel of wisdom at the heart of the irreverent offer. A horse pawing at a keyboard to spell out “8io:l:;l:oiipP” is silly, yes, and imagining sending that as response to a colleague asking you about a “deliverable” is even funnier.
But, if you think about it, it also makes the idea of someone on vacation interrupting a dip in one of Iceland’s famous hot springs to check in on a work project seem just as ridiculous. While a horse can’t really write an appropriate email, they also sort of could, because how important could the contents of such an email really be when you’re visiting somewhere totally unique?
Leave it to Iceland to crush tourism marketing with this hilarious way to encourage travelers to log off and be present.
Miyo McGinn is an assistant editor at Outside, where she writes about travel and adventure news. While she has not been to Iceland, she hopes to go soon—with or without a horse to take care of her inbox.
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