Last Thursday I had to leave work twenty minutes early to catch a bus from Rauland to Åmot, where I was going to get another bus to Oslo. I was heading to Germany the next day to visit my parents in Tübingen (I’m there now!) but since Rauland is so far in the middle of nowhere I had to spend four and a half hours on a bus and a night in a hostel in Oslo, just to catch my noon flight the next day.
It’s an absurdly long (and expensive) journey, and one I do a lot these days, so I was just a bit grumpy about it. Like, I really, really wanted to go ahead and move to a city with an airport.
But my bad mood faded when I got on the bus (which was more like a minivan) and started chatting with the driver. We had never really spoken before, but he asked how my day at work had been, because of course he knows that I work at the local supermarket. In fact I think he had bought lunch from me earlier in the day.
I asked him if he was originally from Rauland and he told me a bit about growing up in the neighboring village of Øyfjell. And then he asked where I was from and did the whole obligatory “your Norwegian is so good!” thing because Norwegians are polite like that, and I gave the whole “no, no, it’s terrible!” response, because I’m modest like that (and because it’s true). And so we talked about learning languages until a girl with a thick Bergen accent got on the bus.
And then we rounded a corner and came face to face with a moose! He was beautiful and even did a sort of confused twirl for us before dashing off into the woods. And the other girl on the bus freaked out. She was so excited and kept saying how this was “the experience of a lifetime.”
But the thing is, I wasn’t as excited over the moose as the girl from Bergen was. And the other thing is, I am such an idiot.
You see, I’ve seen enough moose around Rauland that I can now spot one without totally losing it. And chatting with strangers feels like the easiest thing in the world, since in Rauland none of us are really strangers anyway.
I am so lucky to be living in as special a place as Rauland, and I definitely don’t appreciate it enough. I’m constantly dreaming of my next move instead of acknowledging how wonderful it is to live in such beautiful surroundings (they can even awe someone from Bergen – that place all the tourists flock to every year) and work in the very heart of town, where I’ve managed to weasel my way into this lovely little community.
It’s a place where people not only greet one another with smiles and friendly chit chat, but they also seem to be actively rooting for each other – at one point the girl from Bergen asked me if I was from Oslo and the bus driver beamed up at me through the rear-view mirror with something that I swear looked suspiciously like pride.
So I’ve decided to stop. Stop thinking about possible future homes, stop daydreaming about the cool things I could do somewhere else, and simply stay still (except not literally because I have a lot of trips planned this autumn). I want to enjoy the present and appreciate everything I have here, because maybe I won’t be here for ever. Or maybe I will, and maybe that would actually be pretty amazing.
So… I think that was the longest intro ever to one of my monthly round up posts, but now you guys know where my head is at these days. And maybe it’s good having such a long post this month, since I think this is actually going to be my last monthly recap published on my blog.
Because I’m finished blogging.
Ahaha just kidding, you’re not getting rid of me that easily. What you are getting rid of, however, is my new posts emailed to your inbox if you are a subscriber.
Basically I kept getting messages from people saying that the photos in the emails were often weirdly distorted and I couldn’t find a way to fix it so I’ve decided to scrap the whole bombarding your inbox with blog posts thing and instead bombard your inbox with newsletters.
So instead of publishing this monthly recap post on my blog, I’ll be sending it out to all of my newsletter subscribers at the end of each month. I’m really excited about this because sometimes I’ll start writing something and then realize that maybe I shouldn’t be putting this on the Internet for all the world to see, so now I’ll have a more private space to share those secrets.
In addition to my monthly recap letters, I’ll also send out weekly-ish emails letting you know about the posts I’ve recently published. If you have any thoughts on how often you would like these notifications (once a week, once every two weeks, never) let me know in the comments, or hit reply if you’re reading this post over email!
So basically, if you aren’t already subscribed to my emails you might want to head down to the bottom of this blog post and subscribe, because from now on I’ll be sharing some things only with my email subscribers and not on my blog.
And if you are an email subscriber and still want to be kept up to date with my posts, then you might want to follow some of my social media outlets to be notified when I’ve posted something new.
I always share my new posts on Facebook and Twitter, but my personal favorite place to keep up with blogs I’m following is Bloglovin’ – I love that you can subscribe to blogs and see their new posts in your feed (whereas Facebook often won’t show you posts from pages you’ve liked), and then you can also save those posts to read later if you want. Super convenient! You can follow my blog on Bloglovin’ here.
September on Heart My Backpack
Phew, now that we’ve taken care of that business, let’s get back to this September recap!
I published 9 posts last month:
Where to Find the Cutest Village in Norway // seriously, the views here are probably the prettiest I’ve seen in Norway, you have to go!
10 Things I Hate About Bergen // a few people complained that this title was click baity, which taught me that not everyone in the world is obsessed with the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. Whaaaat??
My 3 Biggest Lessons from 3 Years of Blogging // sharing all my blogging wisdom here! Or at least like, a few things I’ve sort of learned.
The Prettiest Road Trip from Bergen // people often ask what to do when visiting Norway, especially around Bergen, and this is my answer!
The One Norwegian Road Trip You HAVE to Take // I’M SO OBSESSED WITH THIS PLACE.
The Other Side of Trollstigen and Geiranger // that time I went to two of Norway’s most famous sites and saw all the wrong things.
Should I Move to Ålesund (or should you?) // ah, so much angst (and so many pretty buildings).
19 Awkward Things That Happen When You Return from Backpacking // I had so much fun putting together this list, and I’ve loved the things you guys have been adding in the comments here and on Facebook.
Barcelona and Andorra: The Perfect Weekend Getaway? // that time my mom and I got a little too excited.
And here’s my most popular Instagram photo of the month, which I’m trying really hard not to take as a sign that I should in fact move to Ålesund:
How was your September?
Enjoy recaps? You can also read about my first, second,third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth months in Norway. And remember, if you want to read future monthly recaps and some more personal updates, then subscribe to my newsletter in the sparkly gold box below!