Wednesday 27 November 2013

It was on a Tuesday

And it was early in the morning: 3.30am early! On that Tuesday. I woke up, packed the last few things and went down. Couldn't get any food down and shortly after 4am I was taken to the airport. Where I did eat a little. I checked in, then checked my luggage in. Went through security and then I was on my way. On my way to a new life in Norway. 

Those first few nights were bad. The bed was bad, the duvet was too thin and too short, I was nervous, I was jittery, I was a lot of things, just not relaxed. Once I moved into my own little place and got my own bed, it was better. Yet it still took a few weeks before I really was sleeping soundly again. When I moved out to the sticks it was even better. Hardly any traffic, my own bed, all of my own things. I sleep wonderfully now!

I refused to speak English, it was Norwegian from the start. But because my Norwegian was already quite good, everybody talked to me at jetspeed. And the only thing that was quite good was my Norwegian talking, my Norwegian understanding was lagging behind by a day! Fortunately, my decision to only speak Norwegian, meant that I soon picked it up. In leaps and bounds I understood more and more. Was able to say more and more and especially able to convey my feelings. Today I understand a lot. Language jokes elude me so far. But I understand most now and I have even lost my fear of the phone!

Work was slow at the beginning. Because of red tape I wasn't able to start driving immediately, which meant that I had to sit on the bus and learn routes. Again and again the same routes. But, on the plus side it meant that I actually got to learn most routes! Particularly the school runs can be quite tricky, but I managed to learn quite a few during my training. Once I finally started driving in January I can now proudly say I only took a wrong turn twice and both times I realised immediately. There is of course a difference between the job I had and the job I have and I must admit I still miss my old job at times. But overall I love driving here. The surroundings are beautiful and the passengers in general are nice and friendly. As are my colleagues by the way! Nice and friendly.

Finances have been going up and down all year. When I first arrived I had lots, but that soon dwindled when a new car had to be bought, double rent had to be paid, furniture had to be gotten. A holiday here and a few days away there didn't help either. However, I am a big believer in budgets and that certainly helped. I am nowhere near the amount I had when I arrived, but I can say that at the end of each month I still have a substantial amount of money in my account that goes straight into savings. And usually it's about the same amount I saved up while living in the Netherlands. And that for a year without holiday pay!

Then there were the visitors: my sister was the first to show up (last Christmas, she will be back this Friday), my friend Pepperfly and her son (see photo), my parents and last but not least my friend C. I went out with new found friends, went on holiday with new found friends, there were parties, meetings, hikes. It has been anything but boring. The first year in Norway has flown by. Hopefully next year will be equally exciting!

If you want to read last year's post again: click here! And if you still want to have a shot at winning my desk-top calendar, filled with photos from my first year in Norway, leave a comment before Midnight November 30th on this post!


  1. Nothing but admiration for you, Mara!!

  2. I think you had been very courageous to start a new life in Norway and if I see your house and the car in front of it, I think you did a good choice !!

  3. You did it! Moving to a new country is so brave. The past year has been full of challenges, and you've met every one!

  4. Hari OM
    YYYAAAYYYY - way to go Mara! This was great reading and a lovely way to process for yourself.

    Wish me luck for the same over here in UK now please - yes, safely arrived at Hilary's place yesterday! &*> Wishing you all the very best for your next 12 months in Norway and that the encroaching winter doesn't make that driving too dreadful. YAM xxx

  5. I'm so proud of you and all that you have done. First of all the big adventure of moving and learning a new language, then buying your home and car. You should be very proud of yourself and your even saving some money. Way to go!


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