A year ago today Lillesøster and I boarded a plane (one of many) in Jackson, Mississippi to fly from the Deep South to Northern Norway. I was scared, nervous, excited… I was a bundle of emotions. It was the first time Lillesøster had ever been on a plane, and I was doing it all myself, and it wasn’t just one plane trip it was four plane trips alone and 2 with Bestefar once we got to Norway. To say the past year has been different and a change would be an understatement. It has been a massive change for this Southern Belle, but change is useful and sometimes necessary.
Life is ever-changing! When life changes, it is scary and challenging, but in the end, it is beautiful and fulfilling!
Living in Norway the past year has been incredible. While it is painful (extremely at times) to be away from my loved ones and my beloved South I’ve never been happier! Life here is more comfortable (except for the language) and more straightforward.
The kids love attending Barnehagen (Daycare) where they spend the majority of their days outside carefree. I’m more of a relaxed mother since moving here. I’m not as fearful about their safety as I was in the States.
There are so many things I have learned since we moved here but I am going to share with you my top 5!
Norway isn’t as expensive as we believed: I’ve always thought Norway is super expensive but since living here for the past year it isn’t as bad as I assumed. Not don’t get me wrong if you visit here it will be expensive for you but as someone who earns their money here, it isn’t so bad. Of course, there are some items that are expensive anyways. For example beer! In the bar, you can expect to pay roughly $10 per beer!
Nepotism Exists: Here is Norway and especially in Northern Norway, it’s not as much about what you know it is more about who you know! Yes, you still have to be qualified for that job, but it’s about who you know if you are qualified! Renting an apartment, it’s about who you know or if the landlord thinks he or she will like you!
Bank Accounts Aren’t Private: In the US we never give out our banking information even if we know the person. Here in Norway, it’s entirely different! If you owe money to a friend no worries, they just send you their bank number you transfer the money boom you’re done!
Trust: Most Norwegians are extremely trusting of other Norwegians (not foreigners, unfortunately). I guess this plays into the above. I don’t know how many times we’ve bought or sold stuff on a Facebook group only not to have the exact cash just to be handed a bank account number to transfer it later. To be honest, it’s a breath of fresh air to see the honesty and trust that people here have. It is something I feel the US lacks.
Most Important Reason Why I Love Norway
Community: This is probably my favorite and the most important thing I’ve learned! While a lot of this is country-wide, I have decided that this one is more so in the North. Here in our little town community is everything especially in neighborhoods. The neighbors in my in-law’s area are fantastic. As we learned last summer, they genuinely care for all the kids! They are our future, and so they help in any way they can! I don’t know how many treats and toys Alexander got from the neighborhood. He got to know them so well that when he was out gallivanting around, he would just stop in play with some of their toys have a banana or whatever else they had and then pop over to the next house! They loved it!
The Last Reason
Family: In addition to the overall community feeling like a giant family our family here in Norway is close as well! Mr. Viking’s Aunts and Uncles spoil both of our kids! It’s like they are the family’s kids! Not to mention I am super thankful for my in-laws! The family is incredibly important here in Norway, and the government makes it simple that it is essential and the focus! The work/home balance is fantastic, and most people are home from their jobs at 4 pm during the week so they can spend time with their loved ones. It is mind-blowing, and I love it!
These are only a tiny portion of things I have learned while living here for the past year! For us moving to Norway last year has been the best decision we could have made. It hasn’t been drama free or easy, but it was right for us!
Have you ever wanted to live in a foreign country? Have you ever traveled to Norway? If so what has your experience been?