There are two key events that help make a new place truly feel like home: 1. having someone visit you and getting to show off all your new local knowledge 2. leaving for a trip somewhere else and getting to return home. I’m taking care of the second one right now – I’m typing this from my parents’ home in Worcester, Massachusetts (!!) – while I completed the first this past weekend when my friends Kathryn and Rene visited from Oxford!
It was so much fun getting to show off this city that I’ve come to love so much and fake my way through some easy Norwegian conversations to make them think that I’m like, totally local now. I mean, as long as I can order ice cream my language skills are fine, right?
I think so.
The weekend was also a double celebration, because Dan just got a job! Luckily Kathryn and Rene were passing through Duty Free so they could pick up some celebratory bubbles that wouldn’t cost more than Dan’s first paycheck. I mean, thanks for keeping my liver healthy, Norway!
Having guests also reminded me how lazy I’ve been about properly exploring Trondheim. It’s crazy, but I think while traveling I’ll see more of a city I’m passing through for a couple of days than I’ve seen in a month and a half living here. Whoops.
Like the Nidaros Cathedral – I pass by it all the time, but had never really stopped to look at how freaking beautiful it is. Norway doesn’t have many old cathedrals (Nidaros was first built in 1070!), so it’s a pretty big deal.
I also enjoyed being able to take them to the fjord and casually mention that, oh hey I was swimming in these icy waters just a couple weeks ago! (Peer pressure is real, you guys.)
This also marked the weekend that I (finally!) discovered the wonders of Airbnb. I’ve read countless blog posts about how amazing Airbnb is, but I also knew that those bloggers were earning referral commissions so I was a bit skeptical. Plus it just seems like a paid version of Couchsurfing?
Wrong, Silvia, Airbnb is so much more! Since Dan and my apartment is teeny (I’ll post photos soon, I promise!) Kathryn and Rene booked a giant apartment just a few houses down the street from us. We ended up spending an embarrassing amount of time just hanging out in the apartment, but it was so nice! Plus, seeing as how expensive eating and drinking out is in Norway, it was really great to have the self-catering option.
Though we also did as Norwegians do on all sunny days and grilled in the park.
Moments after this photo was taken Rene and Dan had to rush to put out the bonfire we had inadvertently started. Apparently you’re supposed to take one-time grills out of the cardboard box before using them. And maybe not set them on a dried out wooden chair?
Anyway… it was really fun getting to show Trondheim to my friends! It’s funny how doing so really did make it feel more like home – one that I’m so proud to show off.
What do you do to make a new place feel like home?
P.S. You can get $20 credit if you sign up for Airbnb here ❤
Yay, I’m so happy to hear that Norway is beginning to feel like home. And it definitely helps to have people visit…no one from home ever visits me! Though I suppose Jakarta wasn’t a huge draw to my family and friends back home 🙁 It’s so true that when you live in a place you don’t do a fraction of the amount of sightseeing as you do when traveling there. I feel the same way about Phnom Penh. And in Jakarta it took me 10 whole months to see the main tourist attractions. Now that’s just pathetic 😉
Haha it is crazy how few sites I’ll see in places I live! I didn’t go up Doi Suthep, one of Chiang Mai’s main tourist sites, until my last week living in Thailand!
Van (@snowintromso) says
OOOHHHHH you were so lucky with the weather! Trondheim looks so beautiful in sunshine! When I was there on a student exchange, it was autumn and cold, rainy and grey all the time. Not very “koselig”! 😉
Oh no, I think that means you’ll have to return! I was nervously checking the weather ages before my friends arrived, because a little sunshine really does make worlds of difference here!
I love your polaroids! I’ve been planning on getting a camera and now I think I’m going to do it 🙂 I’m also loving your photos of Trondheim, you should post more!
It was my friend’s polaroid camera and so much fun!
Amanda | Lesson Plans & Layovers says
Nidaros Cathedral looks gorgeous! Love stumbling upon old churches and cathedrals when travelling – they can be absolutely stunning!
I often overlook churches while traveling, but whenever I wander into one I’m immediately impressed – the peaceful feeling just instantly makes me feel connected to the place’s history.
Haha whoops on starting an accidental fire! I’ve been playing tourist in my own town a lot lately and it has been really wonderful.
Haha yeah I’m glad we didn’t do more damage with the fire!
Victoria@ The British Berliner says
Awwwww! I really like this post and the photos of you and your mates are so cute!
Ha! Ha! I think we all fall into the trap of “I live here sooooo…!” and being that I live in Berlin I don’t wanna get caught out as we have friends basically piling in every so often. I did fail once but never agaain so to avert that crisis every now and then, I go on a walking tour. An alternative walking tour. A food walking tour…..Just to keep my hand in you understand.
It seems to work LOL!
Ahh that’s such a good idea! I’m totally going to be that local tagging along on walking tours of Trondheim come spring, lol.
Love this post! Showing off your home and then going away and coming back can definitely be a good way to feel more like home. I had to ask as well: What type of ice cream did you have!? It looks fancy. Also, if you ever want another traveler to come visit and couch surf with you- I would love to visit Norway!! 🙂
We’re eating soft is! Basically soft serve dipped in cocoa powder. I’ll show you when you come to visit 🙂
becky hutner says
Trondheim is so damn beautiful I can’t even stand it.
PS — congrats to Dan! What’s the job?
Oh it’s a good one! He’ll be putting winter tires on cars, woohoo! Haha. He had been seriously stressed about landing a job without Norwegian skills, but I always told him that at least he’s strong and can do manual labor, whereas I’m basically screwed until I master Norwegian.
Having someone visit definitely helps make a new place feel like home! I also like to get into a little neighborhood habit like walking my dog the same way every day or going to a certain coffee shop (okay, bar) every other evening. It helps when the barista (okay, bartender) recognizes you!
Haha you need to have a local bar!