I already posted my usual year recap post, but since 2016 wasn’t exactly a standard year – on both a personal and global level – I’ve decided to write one more reflection.
For me 2016 was a year of a few pretty massive changes, some exciting developments, a few things that fill me with pride, and a few straight up embarrassments. I don’t know, but I feel like I’m definitely ending the year as a bit of a different person than who I started it as. I think it’s a good thing, though on some levels it all just feels a bit bizarre.
And if this seems to similar to my last 2016 reflection post, just skip to the end for the exciting bit!
Living in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere
At 1,000 meters high with about as many residents, four hours from an airport, and on the edge of Europe’s greatest mountain plateau, this is an incredibly random place for me to have made a home.
Except the cool thing is, it’s really not random at all. Rauland is where my grandparents first met (though they soon moved away from here) and several of my mother’s cousins live here. It’s the first time in my life I’ve lived near extended family, and there’s something truly lovely about it.
Working at a supermarket
Again, this one is really random and definitely never featured on any of those life plans I’ve drafted over the years.
Living without an indoor toilet
Travel is forever showing me how adaptable we humans are – like how every time I leave on a big backpacking trip the idea of spending several months sleeping in dorms and surfing random couches seems exhausting, but in reality it never is. Constantly being on the move becomes totally normal to me.
And the same thing has happened with the outhouse.
Okay, I did it in 2016, but I don’t want to make a habit of this. I’ve never been much of a summer person, but a year without any summery weather was just a bit depressing.
Wishing I were Scottish
I’ve always been obsessed with all things Norwegian, so it was a bit of a surprise when I found myself intensely wishing I was from a different country – Scotland!
Traveling with my parents again
My travel bug comes 100% from my parents, but it had been years and years since we had traveled together. I loved changing that this year!
Connecting with distant relatives
I will definitely remember 2016 as the year I started getting to know my Norwegian family better. I love living near my mother’s cousins, and am now constantly asking them questions about my grandfather.
Squeezing a whole lot of travel in around my work schedule
While I did travel a ton while working full-time in Japan, it was nice to be reminded again that you don’t have to be a permanent nomad to get a lot of travel in!
Enjoying Norwegian TV
Okay, Norwegian television is the most bizarre thing ever, so it’s a little shocking to find myself enjoying it more and more. What’s happening to me?
Breathing in when I say yes
Again, what is happening to me?? 17 more habits to go and I’ll be a real Norwegian!
Washing my clothes by hand
You know how I said earlier that people can quite easily adapt to most living conditions? Never mind that – hand washing my clothes is always going to be a chore I loathe.
Though come to think of it, I’ve never been a big fan of doing laundry.
I think all my friends LOLed at this one, because vlogging is just so not me. I did Vlogmas because it seemed like it would be a good crash course in video making, but guys, I actually really enjoyed it! I think I’ll still vlog every once and a while – especially on my travels.
Dreaming fairly consistently in Norwegian
I feel like my Norwegian is still quite awful, but now about half of my dreams are in Norwegian, so maybe that counts for something? I think it really just depends if I’ve been speaking English or Norwegian right before bed.
Having lucid dreams
Okay this is totally random, but speaking of dreams, I’ve started having lucid ones. And once it happened I started having them quite often, which has been so weird, and trippy, and fascinating.
Making enough money blogging to live in Norway
Blogging has always been a hobby for me and in fact in the past I’ve been quite vocal about not wanting to become a professional blogger. So it felt like some sort of weird and maybe even terrible accident when my paychecks from blogging work started rivaling those from my “real job.”
In so many ways it was something I had never wanted, but then on the other hand, I put so much time and energy into this blog, so wouldn’t it actually make the ideal career?
Well, except for that final thing that I started doing in 2016:
Loving working at a supermarket
You know how at the top of the list I mentioned starting to work at a supermarket? That was supposed to be one of the lol totally random and silly things I started doing this year. Like, when I started it was purely a means to more quickly learn Norwegian and earn an easy income while setting up my life in Norway. I mean, I didn’t spend four years at university so that I could end up at a supermarket.
Seriously, that’s a thought that went through my head earlier this year. Ugh, cringe.
But once the snob in me got over herself I realized that this was in fact my favorite job I’ve ever had. Way better than those years as a private tutor, philosophy TA, high school teacher, NGO research assistant, and whatever else I used to do largely because it sounded cool or impressive.
I love working in the center of our small town, where I get to chat with locals all day. The people I work with have become some of my favorite people in the world, and I have the kindest and most laid back bosses a girl could wish for.
And this all meant that in autumn 2016 I found myself in an odd position: torn between the possibility of turning my favorite hobby into a career and an unexpected desire to continue at a job that I had never intended to care about.
When I was in Andorra with my mother I kept going through the pros and cons of each, and she couldn’t seem to see a solution either. Working part-time at a shop was the perfect balance to blogging, as it took financial pressure off of my beloved hobby and was a nice social balance to the sometimes lonely nature of blogging, but then I was also constantly having to say no to fun opportunities because of my day job that, let’s be honest, wasn’t really going anywhere.
And then GoPro invited me to Mallorca for the launch of their new camera and I was really sad to turn down the trip and my mom was like… “it sounds like you’re missing out on some things you really want to do.”
So… in 2017 I will start:
Blogging full time
At least I’m going to try it out and see whether or not it’s something I want to do.
I’m still going to work as extra help at the supermarket, but mostly come January I’ll just be hanging out over here.
It’s totally weird that I’ve been so hesitant to make this step, as the supermarket has already said they’ll happily take me back in the future if I want, but I think part of me is secretly scared that I’m going to irreversibly ruin my blog by making it my job.
So guys, don’t let me do that, okay?
I really don’t want to mess this up because I love blogging more than anything in life – well, besides my family and my friends and Dan and mountains and chocolate and airports and Tajikistan and a few other things – but blogging is way up there!
One of the great things about having a well paying part-time job outside of blogging is that it has made it very easy to say no to any paid projects that I didn’t think were a perfect fit. And I do think that will continue to be the case, since if I ever am tempted to compromise I can always instead pick up some extra shifts at the supermarket.
Ugh, so many feels!
Sorry for that, but now you’re all up to date on what’s going on with me!
Now I would love to hear your plans and goals for 2017 xx