Monday, 18 January 2021


On my recent 'Friends' post, Anvilcloud posted a comment which went as follows: Do you wish that you had stayed in Norway, or at least have stayed longer and not gone to Ireland?

It was a question which I have had before and every time I have given a 'sort of' answer. This time however, I will attempt to give you a proper honest answer. 

My life in Norway was pretty good. Especially on the social side I was doing fine with friends and nice colleagues that I actually did things with. Swimming, walking, cycling, even on occasion going out. I still miss that a lot. 

The work side of things was not that great which had more to do with me than with the job if I am going to be honest. That especially made me think about moving to be closer to my sister a bit more often. Then my mum got sick (all better now) and it hit home even more. And that's when I did the wrong thing.

What I should have done was look at my options, do my research, the way I had done when I moved out to Norway (even though that was inadequate as well). Research into the job I eventually got would have been a bit pointless, as it was a new company. However, research into the country I was moving to would definitely have been a good move. What actually happened was that I moved within the space of six weeks!

The fact that my sister already lived there got me over the line faster than it would have done otherwise. In fact, had my sister not lived in Northern Ireland, I would never have contemplated even to move there. Scotland, Wales, England: yes. Northern Ireland: no. 

To be clear here: Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and Ireland is a separate country to the south. I had severe prejudices about Northern Ireland. And in my time there, I barely got to meet enough people to prove me wrong. The fact that I worked all the time didn't help either. 

Do I wish that I had stayed in Norway then? Not so much, yet subconsciously.... I dream about Norway and moving to Norway a lot. In different forms, guises and such, but a lot. Should I have stayed longer? Yes. Definitely. 

Do I wish I had never moved to Northern Ireland? No, I don't. Even if it was a failure, I did give it a go and did learn more about myself. Should I then have moved back to Norway instead of to the Netherlands? No, as that would have meant being far from family yet again.

The big question now is: will I ever move abroad again and where to in that case? Never say never of course, but for now the answer is no. I don't know what the future will hold and perhaps in two years time you will find me back in Norway, but for now my home is in the Netherlands. Even if it is only an attic room at my parents'...

All photos taken on a recent walk in and around Kampen


  1. Hari Om
    This is all so familiar to me Mara, and something a can well relate to. Although my choices were informed and long-considered, it has to be said. This doesn't change the fact that I am a little in limbo... I am homesick for OZ but also have to accept that the times and finances make sense for me to stay put. I appreciate your dilemma but, as you say, another couple of years can hold an entirely differnt story!! YAMxx

    1. It's the head versus the heart. And even that changes around. Friends on the one hand, family on the other. Job here, job there. Life evolves, let's talk again in two years time!

  2. Good answer. If only I can remember, I will never have to ask again. But who knows? :)

  3. We never know what will happen in a couple year's time. Life lately has felt like living in limbo for all of us with Covid-19 hanging over our lives. My husband and I would love to move from our current city now that my mom doesn't live here but are waiting for the virus to subside first.

  4. I'm glad you have been with your parents during this time with Covid. You have been very brave over the years. You should be very proud of yourself.

  5. I think, good for you for being so adventurous. We are living through very different times now and being close to family is very important.

  6. Uprooting one's life is always difficult. Moving to be close to your family seems important. For me leaving friends of 38 years behind was difficult. We received word this week that our next door neighbor in Missouri passed away suddenly from a heart attack last weekend. She was my age. It made me think of your losing your friend in Norway. Even if we go back to a place we loved nothing is quite the same again.


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!