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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2017, norway, Uncategorized

VIDEO: WINTER FJORD CRUISE IN NORWAY

This week was officially my last week at work, before I leave my beloved colleagues later this week. They are lovely people, and before we left we all took a day and sailed the fjords of Northern Norway. Safe to say the views were incredible, and the company even better.

In a few days I am jetting off to the Netherlands for a few nights, then off to England again. I go to seek a Great Perhaps. No plan, but a whole lot of studying to do. Wish me luck xxx

Uncategorized

LDRs & Positivity Real Talk

Life in the arctic can be lonely, but being busy, working, studying and the occasional weekend away keeps me going. I have been thinking a lot about positivity lately, and how to stay happy when your life situation isn’t what you want it to be. This video is both about my weekend in Newcastle upon Tyne, an arctic sunset and positivity.

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.

 

 

Brazil, South America, Travel, Uncategorized

2 Weeks in Rio De Janeiro Videoblog

I recently spent two wonderful weeks living with my Brazilian friend Laura and her family in Rio De Janeiro. We spent some time sightseeing, a couple of days relaxing on beaches and I got to see what live in Rio is like, living like a  Carioca.