Hi folks! As they say here in Norway, Velkommen til Norge — and welcome to my blog about learning to live in the Land of the Midnight Sun. I’m Kimberly, by the way, and this is my hubby, Matthew. We’re expat Americans who originally expected to be here for a year that somehow stretched into four … and beyond. (Although we’ve temporarily relocated back to Chicago, we’re now commuting to and fro to Norway every other month.) Not that we’re complaining, mind you. I can truly say it’s a gorgeous country and we’ve loved every minute. Okay, maybe not every minute — the winter cold and darkness can sometimes be a kick in the head — but I wouldn’t trade the experience for a four-year stint in the tropics.
So why’d I start a blog, when every other expat in Norway does the same thing? Well, there’s the obvious. It’s a great way to share my adventures with distant friends and family, who can be hard to keep in touch with due to that pesky time-zone thing. And of course, my blog is basically my diary, acting as a record of the great memories I hope to preserve. Not to mention that it’s a vehicle for reviewing the best sights, museums, and tourist experiences in Norway and around Europe — helpful for those of you who are looking for recommendations in preparation for an upcoming visit.
But above all, it’s a chance to dive deeper into the culture, examine my perceptions, and inhabit the experience to the fullest. So I hope you enjoy learning about living in Norway along with me, and I’m sure we’ll have a lot of laughs as our impressions of the people and country grow and change over time. (I’m a professional storyteller with a reputation for having oddball things happen to me, so I promise an amusing read.)
So how’d we end up in Norway, of all places? That’s a story better told in my “About” section. And in my earliest posts. Which brings me to wayfinding. Because some of you have already asked, here are a few tips to help you navigate the site:
- You can explore all my posts chronologically via the scrolling menu on the left side of the page (oldest posts on the bottom, newest up top.)
- Or for topical themes, check out the menu bar above.
- And remember, if you get lost, clicking on the title “A Newbie in Norway” (upper left corner) will always bring you back to my Homepage.
- Don’t forget to click on the photos and galleries for bigger views and captions.
- If you’ve enjoyed something you’ve read, feel free to “like” it or share it with others via your favorite social media (see the bottom of each page.)
- And if you really get hooked on my nutty adventures, be sure to enter your email address on the top left-hand side of the page and click on FOLLOW me. You’ll get an email notifying you of each new post.
Takk for lesing! (Thanks for reading!)
4 thoughts on “Welcome!”
We are considering a bike/boat trip from burges to Amsterdam. Would you suggest this type of trip? Or should we just enjoy the adventure by car, boat and train? I love your travel blog and it inspires me to plan a trip to this country soon !!! We love exploring and hiking also. Thank you for your detailed explanations of trips! You are. A Talented writer!! Cindy
Hi Cindy! Thank you so much for the positive feedback! I really appreciate your kind words, and I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the blog!
I think a bike/boat trip sound like a great idea! Whether you’re with a group or on your own, you’ll travel at a more leisurely pace that’ll give you ample time to stop and explore or hike along the way. And by biking and boating, you’ll be enjoying the country the way the Belgians and Dutch do, so it’ll be a more authentic experience.
Sure, you may have moments where you’re a little lost, or even have engine trouble or a flat tire (this can happen even with a car or on a train), but since you’ll be in charge of your schedule, it won’t be any big deal. And you’ll find loads of enthusiastic folks who’re excited to help an American because you’re attempting to do the Low Countries like a local.
My only advice would be to avoid riding or boating in the cities during rush-hour traffic, as the Belgians and Dutch are incredibly talented at negotiating bike and boat crowds, and it can be a little intimidating with the throngs of people jockeying for position.
The other thing about biking and boating is that you’ll get to absorb the obscure — the sounds and smells that cars and trains insulate you from. The bird calls, the scents of flowers and sea breezes, the whiff of rain, the sound of families laughing and clinking glasses at the local taverns or in their back yards as you ride or cruise by — all of this is what really helps you feel “in the moment” and makes an indelible impression in your memory.
Of course, if your vacation time is short and you have a long agenda of “must-see” sights, a car will afford you more flexibility to cover greater territory in less time. But as someone who’s done this kind of hectic trip a lot, I’d say there’s a lot to be said for taking in fewer sites but savoring the moment more.
Trains are also good for traversing great distances quickly (especially on the bullet trains), and it’s fun to strike up conversations with fellow passengers trapped in the moving box with you. But too much time on a train ends up feeling a little like you’re sitting in a mobile movie theater, with an endless scenery backdrop unfurling before you. Pretty, but a little like watching Rick Steves on a giant screen TV.
I hope this helps, but whatever you choose, you’ll love the Low Countries — simply a dreamy, watercolor landscape with incredibly friendly people.
Fantastic blog! I have a norweigan friend, and it’s so cool to be able to read about all of these things and actually understand some of the things he takes so seriously like fitness and fashion! Also really enjoyable to read, you put a lovely personal twist on everything. Thank you
Thank you so much for your kind words, Archie — you made my day! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it!