Good morning from a very snowy Rauland! It had been snowing heavily every day since I came home from Finland on Saturday, but today the sun came out and it is gorgeous. It’s supposed to be sunny for the next few days now, so I’ll definitely try to get out and take some photos, but until then here’s a photo from my kitchen window, where I’m sitting writing this:
I’m incredibly grateful to get to travel so much for my job, but I’m even more grateful to be able to live in such a beautiful country. Sometimes I come home and just think, why do I ever leave this place?
In fact I’d say moving to Norway has made me feel more settled than I ever have before, to the point where I feel just as excited returning home from a trip as I did leaving for it. And that’s not the only thing that’s changed since moving to Norway.
I developed a chocolate addiction
Guys, it’s bad. Norwegian chocolate is just so tasty that whenever I’m home I struggle to go even a few days without it. But there are studies that claim chocolate is good for your health, right? That’s a thing? ??
I became comfortable with long silences
I’ve always been more of a listener than a talker, but living in Norway has exaggerated that. I think it’s a mixture of not being proficient enough in the language to always jump into conversations when I want to and the fact that Norwegians also seem to be totally okay with long silences.
I started saying “mmm” much more
I made fun of the Norwegian “mmm” in this post about Norwegian people, but sure enough, after long enough living in Norway I’ve started doing it too!
I ditched my vitamins for fish oil
Okay to be honest, I was never good at taking daily vitamins. But now I no longer feel guilty about it, because I start off each morning with a spoonful of fish oil! As does I think just about every other person living in Norway.
I stopped worrying about health insurance
Who needs health insurance when you’re taking fish oil?
Lol just kidding. But seriously though, if I were self-employed in the US I would likely be spending a small fortune on health insurance, so I am very, very appreciative of the health care provided in Norway.
I started investing in expensive face cream
After moving somewhere with more days below zero than above (I doubt that’s even an exaggeration – thanks, mountains), I now understand why people would pay so much for face cream. A good moisturizer is so necessary here!
International travel is beginning to take a back burner
While I still have a lot of international trips planned for this year, I’m finding myself more excited for my travels around the Nordics, and most excited for my travels around Norway.
And as I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I can reduce my carbon footprint and travel in a more sustainable way, I’m realizing how lucky I am to have so many beautiful places to explore close to home.
I started watching sports on TV
And I’m not just talking about the Premier League games Dan makes me watch. Since moving to Norway I’ve found myself watching a whole lot of sports that take place on skis, plus any other sport Norway might be excelling at (I’m looking at you, fencing and chess).
I fell in love with slow TV
Shortly after moving to Norway I wrote a blog post poking fun at Norwegian TV shows, especially the Norwegian obsession with slow TV. Who wants to watch 8 hours of a log burning in a fireplace?
I do. I suddenly get what all the excitement is over!
I fell in love with no TV
While I did fall for slow TV, I can’t say the same for the rest of Norwegian televesion – though I did just get some great recommendations from people on this post!
Since moving to Norway I’ve actually watched less television than ever before in my life, and I’m considering that a good thing. I would just much rather spend time outside these days.
I started eating tacos at least once a week
Of all the foods I thought I’d be adding to my diet when moving to Norway, I hadn’t anticipated tacos playing such a prominent role. But what Norwegian can ignore Taco Friday?
Waffles also make a regular appearance on my plate
Sometimes I do feel a bit like a Norwegian cliché with the amount of times I’m pulling out my waffle iron these days. When in Norway, right?
I get my haircut way less often
Okay this one is random, but haircuts are so expensive in Norway that I now only cut my hair once or twice a year – or sometimes I’ll just ask a friend to give me a trim.
I get weirdly excited about seeing the Norwegian flag abroad
In Krakow Catriona and I passed a building with a Norwegian flag and you would have thought I had just spotted my favorite celebrity, the way way I was jumping and pointing.
I hear Norwegian all the time on my travels
We are everywhere.
I now worry less about my job and more about life
All of my friends who are bloggers work so hard and have such impressive motivation to take the blogging world by storm. And then there’s me.
It’s weird, because growing up I was a total overachiever, but it seems like something in me has really mellowed out – and I’m blaming Norway. I’m surrounded by people here who care a lot more about enjoying life than excelling in their jobs, and I think it’s rubbed off on me. In a good way!
I’m less anxious about the future of my career
Every time I bring up the work life balance in Norway I feel like I need to add that one of the big reasons it’s so easy to be relaxed about work here is that wages are really high, regardless of what your job is. So basically, as long as I’m employed I should be financially secure in Norway.
So while no one really knows what the future of blogging will look like, or even if people will continue to be able to make good incomes from it in the future, I’m not too worried because I know I could always go back to blogging as a hobby and making money working in a shop or something. I don’t need a big fancy career in Norway to secure my future.
I spend more time outside
The last two places I lived before moving to Norway were Thailand and southern Japan, both of which got unbearably hot in the summer. So it definitely makes sense that I’m happier to spend time outside here.
But I’ll even find myself taking long walks on freezing cold days, or even rainy days, which is sort of crazy when I stop to think about. I guess Norway has simply given me a huge appreciation for being outside!
I have a greater appreciation for fresh vegetables
Speaking of things I appreciate – living in Norway has made me so, so appreciative of fresh vegetables! The vegetable selection here in the winter isn’t great, for obvious reasons, so now whenever I travel south and can enjoy tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes I’m so happy!
My heart rate halved
Okay, maybe not actually. But I do feel so calm these days, as well as way more patient than I used to be (confession: I used to have zero patience). I almost feel like Norway has prematurely turned me into an old woman. Though I will be turning 30 this year!
I feel super uncomfortable talking about myself
Lol says the blogger. Okay, clearly I have no issues writing about myself, but talking about myself with people is a whole other story.
Part of blogging involves networking with people in the industry, but at the last few travel events I attended I noticed I’m getting worse and worse at talking about myself in any sort of promotional way. It just makes me cringe. I used to love interviews, and really any chance to talk about the things I was passionate about, but now I’d rather just keep quiet. And when I think of the difference between Americans and Norwegians, I suspect I have living in Norway to blame.
I’m less shy
I wonder if I’m actually less shy, or if Norway is just the first place I’ve lived where it seems like the majority of people are even more shy than I am. But I’ve found that even on my travels abroad these days I’m finding it much easier to speak up in groups, so maybe spending so much time around awkward Norwegians has given me the confidence boost I always needed?
I spend all my money on cashmere
I originally wrote that as a joke, but now that I think about it, it might not be? I own at least ten of these sweaters – they make for an incredibly warm base layer under my thicker wool sweaters and oh my goodness, they are so soft. I may have a problem…
And in case you missed it, here’s a video my friend Vanessa and I recorded last week all about life in Norway: