Sunday, November 18, 2012

Things I will miss in Norway

In an effort to empty my brain today from the nagging stress and worry I seem to be fighting,  I went for a very long and brisk walk. It's a cold, sunny day, which is a nice change from the grey dreary rain we have been having. Everything is sparkling and bright and crisp, though muddy, but it makes for great walking weather. So I went over to Bygdøy and around there, and then along to fjord and back through Skillebek and back home. The walk was just what I needed, at least to calm me down for now. I didn't even listen to music, I just walked and walked and walked (really fast, that felt right, somehow) through forest and meadow and let my thoughts wander and go wherever my brain wanted. I teared up a few times, and I paused many times to look at the gorgeous landscape. When I am in Texas I won't get to see Viking burial mounds on my neighborhood walk, you know? There won't be fjords around every corner. There won't be cute white farmhouses on rugged coastline under bright blue skies, and little sailboats floating past historical palaces and castles. I have to remember that shit. I am going to MISS NORWAY in very many deep and irreplaceable ways. (Don't worry, there's a blog post brewing where I will also post what I won't miss. Balance in everything.)

Things I will miss, a bullet list:

  • Walkability. I can walk almost anywhere in central Oslo in 15-20 minutes.
  • Beauty. Oslo has some scruffy bits but the landscape is GORGEOUS. 
  • Summer. Summer, here, when the weather is good, is just about the best weather that can be imagined anywhere in the world. And you get SO MANY HOURS of sun. 
  • The silence of snow. That first snow, that blankets everything, is truly magical. It is so silent and everything slows down and glows with warm light from windows. Beautiful.
  • May 17th. A great day, and it heralds the traditional beginning of summer. 
  • Fresh cheap, yummy salmon. Yummy yum yum yum. 
  • The work/life balance. Sometimes it can be annoying when the office is empty in summer and everyone fucks off by 230 on a Friday, but damn, they have it right. Family comes first, and as long as you get your work done, you basically are trusted to set your own hours and your time is your own. Nobody gives you shit if you have a personal thing to take care of away from the office, they trust that you will balance the time in other ways to get your workload finished. I really do trust my coworkers, if they say they will do something, they do it. I really hope the Houston office offers this. I will not like it if they look over my shoulder and expect me to keep my desk warm until 5 for no other reason that what the clock says. 
  • H&M. I know they will have it in Houston, but it won't have the Trend section, which I swear by. 
  • The Dubliner, Forest and Brown, Lancelots, and my evenings at Burums. 
  • Our apartment. We really do have the most awesome apartment, at a fair price, and I am very sad to give it up. I will never live anywhere this elegant and cool again. 
  • My friends here, in Oslo and in the UK. Last, but definitely not least. I have met some great people here, and I hope they realize how important they are to me! It is going to be just as heartbreaking to leave behind the people I know in Europe as it was to leave behind my friends from Austin. 

I feel better after the walk. A bit of physical action helps get my body a bit calmer, and I am drinking some Tension Tamer tea while I type this, which tastes like cinnamon ass, but I think the mere act of drinking something called Tension Tamer causes a psychosomatic reaction where your brain says, "Ah, Tension Tamer, ok, shhhhh, quiet down now".

I am going to London next week, to catch up with family and friends. I have already decided that one of my rewards of the new job and the intense workload I am expecting (and am kind of jazzed about, learning all that new stuff) will be that I get to bugger off to the UK for a week every so often, because I am not done with London by a long shot. I'm not done with Europe or traveling or exploring.

I AM done with my tea, however, and I guess with this post. Help me calm down, peeps, help me stop worrying about the small shit and to look up to the bigger picture.


  1. I really enjoyed this post. We just moved to Oslo from Houston! We have been in Oslo about 6 weeks now. Oslo and Houston are such different cities. There are both great places, but so different. I hope you enjoy your move back to Houston.

    1. Well, you came at an unfortunate time (the beginning of the dark) but if you can hold out til summer, you are in for a treat (if the sun comes out, which it kind of didn't this summer.) You can email me with questions at karlagodwoman at yahoo dot com. Happy to help.

  2. jaymo7:27 AM

    I think it's both necessary and right to acknowledge and regret the good things you have to leave behind as your journey continues. You probably knew little about what you were going to find when you moved to Oslo, and you created a wonderful life here. Houston is the next stop, and I know you'll do the same thing there. We'll miss you over here, and look forward to hearing about your new adventures back home!

  3. My husband and I are preparing for a move to Stavanger from Houston. If you're looking for a place in Houston, we're going to rent our house ;) Haha - oh, and as far as H&M is concerned...there's only one - in the Willowbrook Mall in super north Houston. I have no experience with Norway and only a miniscule amount of experience with international travel (I have family in London that I visited once, and I've been to Mexico a few times, which doesn't really count). I'm very excited and very nervous and very stressed out! I'm glad I discovered your blog, and look forward to reading it from the beginning (should keep me busy for a while!). Take care, best of luck, and safe travels!!!

  4. Sarah, email me at karlagodwoman at yahoo dot com. Depending on timing and location, I am looking for a house! And believe me I know EXACTLY how you feel. And... I have some advice for you.


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