2017, Life, Uncategorized

What I Learned in 2017

It is December 2017, and honestly, not everything went as planned this year. I had “a brief stint of adulting” and I was restless and ready to move on, and make my life happen. Now it is months and months later, and I feel like I took one step ahead and two steps back. Well, kind of anyway.

This is the situation. Next week I will be graduation from my Travel and Tourism Management Course from UiT – The Arctic University of Norway. The one year course will be over and I think I feel ready to leave university behind for a while. The final exam and the graduation ceremony will be in Arkhangelsk, Russia and I absolutely can not wait. I am also currently balancing two part-time jobs, one doing Social Media, one working in a hotel. My English love is in Norway with me, and we are loving experiencing the Arctic seasons together. These are all great things. However, after eight months of traveling, working odd hours, living at home, living in the UK, working 120% each week and only working a couple of hours… I miss adulting. I miss routine. I miss having an office to go to every day, following my to-do lists, going to the gym and knowing what the week looks like.

When I read my post from the beginning of the year I realise how much I have changed, and how my perspective has changed with new experiences. During this year I had a job interview with one of the most reputable tourism businesses in Norway, but didn’t get the job. I learned that although I feel like an adult, I am insecure. During this year I had my first real job in the service industry. I learned that servers are heroes, and receptionist have to accept a lot of negativity for things they don’t even know anything about, with a smile. During 2017 I wrote a thesis about film-tourism, but learned more about Destination Development than anything else. I travelled around Europe for almost a month, and I learned that strange things are only scary until you experience them. This year I got to learn to not take what I have for granted, and to sweat the small stuff less. I have also discovered that I still don’t know what the dream is.

That is, I know now that I do want a life with routine, as well as adventures. I am my best self when I can plan everyday life ahead, stay busy and surround myself with good people. I am my best self when I can relax in the little moments at home, as well as on a beach in some foreign country. I am my best self when I can feel physically strong, mentally capable and emotionally free. These are the things I need to prioritise going ahead in 2018. My ultimate goal is just to be happy,  and live a life that is full of memories with people I love. I think it’s a sign that I am growing up that I am building less castles in the air, and building more life.

This is not all that I have learned this year, but it is what I felt strongly about today in particular. I don’t know if I will manage to land a full-time job in 2018, or if my English love will be able to stay in the country, or even if I will be able to leave my home town. But I hope so. Despite having gone one step forward and two steps back I still believe in walking the path and ending up where I was supposed to. Eventually.

Hopefully another year down the line I will be able to update you in another post, having learned even more about myself and the grand world around me,

Hope you are all well,

-Cat

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2016, Expat Life, Life, norway, Uncategorized

What is “Home” to Me?

I never quite know how I feel about my hometown. When I am away, I long for the mountains, for the food, for the friends and family that I left behind. When I am home however, all I do is dream about interailing and flying and going away to the farthest corners of the world.

After living in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for three years I feel too foreign for Norway. I can’t quite settle down and the travelbug is bugging me (Ha.) more than I thought it would. Is this little town in Northern Norway still my home? I don’t know. I know that it is where I came from. But I lived in over 15 different houses/flats/apartments in two different cities growing up so I don’t have much of a tie to the place other than my family. I don’t have a house that I’ve lived in all my life and a room that still has toys from when I was a kid on the shelves. I have boxes and suitcases and a lot of books and clothes that I have unpacked, but most of my stuff? It’s waiting for me to decide where home is as much as I am waiting for figure it out.

I guess looking back it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I struggle to find peace and a true feeling of home anywhere. I grew up on the go, shuttled between places and schools and parents. I was loved and spoiled for attention, but I grew to love the change of scenery too. The new room, new decorations, new sights and sounds and routes to school.

I thrive on new situations and new places because for a large part of my life that was all I knew. I don’t know how to stay still. I can feel at home and I certainly consider where my family lives for home… but I don’t think it will be my permanent home. I want to live in more countries. I want to see more of the places I have read about. And make no mistake, when I can’t travel in flesh, I travel in mind. Thailand, India, Italy, Australia, Narnia, in my mind I have visited them all.

I read a lot as a kid. As much and as many books from remote countries and imaginary magical realms as I could get my hands on. I scoured the library and spent any and all savings on books. The pattern seems to be that the constant in my life was movement and imagination and travelling the only way I could at the time.

What “home” is to me then, are the people I love and the few things I bring with me wherever life takes me. It is the things I treasure, the values I have and the lessons I learn. It is the comfort and peace of mind I, like many other travellers, seek when we go abroad. Home is the paved road, the gravel path and the rough rivers that bring me to and from moments in life. Home is the little smiles, the warm fuzzy feelings of reunions and the knowledge that a small town as a home is in no way limiting, but inspring. Home is the roots of who I am and the safe and loving web of family who will support me wherever I go. Home is not a place to me, but a concept and a feeling, and to find the peace I seek while spending some months at home this is what I need to focus on. Wanderlust and a travellers “home” are often juxtaposed as people forget that where you came from is why you belong in more places than one.

 

 

Life, Uncategorized

Welcome to vikinggoesglobal.com!

Hello, again!

I’m sitting at Newcastle Airport about to board a flight to Copenhagen and then onwards to Stockholm where I will spend time with SwedishCar in a Christmasified city, but because I had a little time before my flight (as you do)  I thought I would explain the sudden change of name and the domain.

The Blog
I’ve been writing blogs on and off since I was about 13, ranging from book blogs, to geek lifestyle blogs to journal blogs to now this. A travel blog. I never imagined I would write a travel blog, but here I am. The Northern Norwegian, small town girl viking is going global.  I went abroad on my own (sort of) for the first time when I was 16 and a small group of students from my school got to go on a cultural exchange week. I stayed with a Hungarian family for a week all by myself and it was the scariest, but also most thrilling thing I had ever done.

When I was 18 I decided to leave my small town in Northern Norway and move to England to go to university and since then  a whole world has opened up. Cheap flights and trains led me to explore England & Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Sweden,  Paris, The Netherlands and Tunisia. In my two and a half years of living abroad I have travelled as much as money (I’m only a poor student after all) and time would allow and in the coming year I am going to travel further than I ever have when I go to Rio De Janeiro. 13 countries visited and counting more every year. It’s not an awful lot, but I am only 21 and it’s me doing what  I know to be one of the things that let me live a full life. Travel is becoming an integral part of who I am and what I value. I would rather have a passport full of stamps than a house full of things, as they say.  This viking girl is slowly, but surely,  going global and this blog is going to come along with me through all of it.

The Domain
I’ve never had a domain before. I’ve always wanted one and sometimes even been about to press the “buy” button to get one, but never committed to it. I’ve never known what my voice was. I’m not even sure I know now, but instead of giving up like I have done previously this time I am determined to keep practicing my writing and my thinking until I find it. I have a voice. I have a voice and it is a fierce one, but I haven’t really figured out how to express it. Practice makes perfect I guess and this time I am determined to find my creative voice and use it. We all have a voice, we just need to figure out how to channel it and hopefully this blog and making youtube videos is going to be the way for I channel mine.

In the coming week or so I will be trying out some new website designs. I will be testing out what works and doesn’t work, trying to decide what format I prefer. I hope you can excuse the chaotic situation on the blog until then and come along on this ride with me. It might be a bumpy one to begin with, but it is going to be so very very fun too.

Much love, Cathrine xxx

Life, Studying Abroad, Youtube

VIDEO: How To Make Friends When Studying Abroad

I’m hard at work reading for my Literature Reivew (the first part of my Dissertation to be handed in – you can tell I’m scared by the capital letters) but I squeezed in the time to film this quick video about making friends while studying abroad!

Hope you’re having a grand week! Xxx

LDR, Life

How To Deal With Sadness & Loneliness in Long Distance Relationships

It’s been a while since the last time I talked about my thoughts and feelings around being in a long distance relationship. I shared my initial thoughts on being in an LDR and since then there have been some ups and some downs, but essentially my thoughts are the same. Long distance relationships are not easy. But they are worth it.

There have been days where the sadness is so overwhelming that it cripples me. Days where nothing can soothe the ache in my chest that cries out for the man I love. Days where I want to give up and escape from the entire situation, because honestly, it’s one of the most difficult situations I have ever been in. But, here’s the thing. As long as we both talk to each other we can get through every bout of sadness. We talk and we realize that we are not as alone as we think. The learning curve is steep and to maybe help some of you guys to deal with it too I thought I would share some of the things that help me deal with it.

  • Communication is Key
    This has been repeated to us all more times than we can count, but it’s easy to forget. You have to talk. You have to be more honest than you have ever been, even if it hurts. The person on the other end of the phone won’t be able to tell that you’re having a bad day so you will have to spell it out to them to get the support people in LDR so often miss.  There is no getting around the fact that when you can’t hug it out you have to talk it out. To keep the connection alive you have to learn how to communicate on a whole new level and it won’t be the easiest lesson to learn, but it will be a valuable one.
  • Don’t Forget Your Hobbies (Or Get New Ones)
    It will be easy to either replace the time you spent with your significant other with other things or to give up on any and all hobbies to spend more time together. The latter will be a subconscious reaction to the change of not seeing them, and a way to cling to the other out of desperation. The former is escapism at its best, but will ultimately lead to you both feeling worse. Neither is a solution. You will need to have hobbies, to have activities that give you energy, to keep busy. You have to live your life separate from the other and there is no getting around it, but you can choose to do positive things. You also have to choose to  schedule time for each other in between all the things that make up your everyday life. Snapchat each other funny things throughout the day and keep each other updated between that 2pm lecture and the evening Bar Crawl. Find a balance between fun activities with your friends and Skype time with your significant other.
  • Hang Out Together
    If you used to hang out two or three days a week and now only Skype for an hour or two once a week you’re obviously going to feel the lack of contact. In periods you will both be busy (see previous point), but you will both have a lot of downtime at home and you may feel like you don’t want to bother the other if they’re busy. Ignore that feeling. If you study, Skype each other while you’re both sat at home studying or if you work, keep each other company while making dinner. If the time difference makes this impossible, try improvising. He can have breakfast while you have lunch. Or you can have an evening drink while he has his morning coffee. Watch TV-Shows together online and hang out. You don’t have to talk constantly while you have Skype on just like you wouldn’t talk constantly if they were right next to you. Let them be your friend and companion in the same way they would be if they were physically closer.
  • Don’t Fear Growing
    One of the things that I fear the most is that the growing we both will do this year will make us grow apart. Growing, learning and changing is inevitable, especially when one part moves abroad for the first time and the other is on the cusp of a new stage in life. The key here is to not fear growing. Don’t try to stifle the change that will happen in your LDR partner and the change that will happen between the two of you because that just breeds bitterness. Try instead to grow in positive ways and to grow together, while apart. Encourage the other to challenge themselves and challenge yourself a little bit more ever day.  Try to become a better version of yourself and channel that into your relationship. 

Just over three months into my LDR and there’s been hard days and there’s been amazingly loved up days. Writing this down really helped me focus my thoughts and  having something to look back on to keep thinking productively even on bad days is good. To come out on the other side of an LDR stronger and in a better relationship than when it started it’s important to fight for the good moments and learn from the bad ones I think. It’s a continuous process.  What’s your best advice for people in Long Distance Relationships? Xxx

Life, Studying Abroad, Youtube

I’m back, England! And it’s a mixed feeling sort of situation…

My return to England has been a success! I’m BACCCCKHHH.

I have to admit that it’s odd being back. And not because I moved back into my flat and immediately got reunited with my dust mite/mold allergy (why carpets Britain? WHYYY). It’s odd being back because it’s like a different life. Different food, different people, different routines, different activities. I’ve left one home for another, once again having to readjust my thinking to a different way of life  – its liberating and stressful  and exhilarating all rolled into one.

The first couple of days back I did errands and slept and being back at university didn’t really register. Then friday happened and 3 hours into the Newcastle University International Welcome Day I looked around me at all the other Society stands, and it hit me. My third year has arrived. My third and LAST year. How weird is that? I never planned for anything after university because university was always the goal. And now university is almost over. I’m slightly terrified by the prospect of writing a dissertation and finishing uni, but being back in the student bubble is amazing. What do I do when uni ends? Then what? *entering black mental hole of future doom*

Luckily I don’t really have time to think about that now that I’m back being busy again – thank God. Yesterday and today was spent in Photoshop making event headers for Facebook events, on stand at the Fresher’s Fair and in meetings. Being the  PR Officer of the Erasmus Society is a varied, but fun role! Tomorrow is when the real bizz starts however, with a 9.30am induction followed by a meeting with the (so far unknown) person who will be my dissertation supervisor.  Wish me luck! Xxx

Ps: BlubImNotAFish tagged me in the Harry Potter Tag so that video is now up on my Youtube channel!

Life

Family Time Is Quality Time ♡

Hey, guys! I’m currently in Nittedal visiting my family here. Nittedal is a lovely valley municipality about 45 minutes outside of Oslo, big on farming, snowboarding and big ass houses. The weather here is gorgeous at the moment and the last few days of summer are being used to the fullest. I’ve taken these few days to focus on relaxing and recuperating and spending time with my cousins as well as working out some and doing things that gives me energy. And with a view like this when out jogging, I can’t really complain, can I? 😀

Can’t wait to see Kjære in just a few days when I head to Stockholm! Xx