Things I’m looking forward to about moving to Norway

I recently wrote a post talking about how nervous I was about our upcoming move. A lot of people reached out with really encouraging, comforting messages, which helped ease some of my anxiety. The post made Bendik a little sad, because he was understandably a little shaken by me crying about how much I’m gonna miss my family and good Mexican food. This move is not just about me! It’s about us starting a new adventure together, putting down roots, and making decisions about what we want out of life. I can get carried away with anxious lines of thought, and sometimes can’t see the big picture/get bogged down by details. But Bendik and I had a really good talk, and Kyra had some wise words to say (she always does!!!), which helped put things in perspective and made me not as nervous anymore.

I thought it might be nice to talk about the things I’m excited about re: the move! It would be good for me to put out some positive energy on the internet for once. So here are a few (okay quite a few) reasons why I’m looking forward to our move to Norway!

We’ll have a house! I personally cannot WAIT for the day we no longer share walls with neighbors. We currently live under some very kind, nice people who own a Great Dane puppy that’s approximately the size of a horse, who is so, so sweet but likes to run back and forth while we’re trying to enjoy Beat Bobby Flay reruns at night. And our living room is right next to the trash chute, which people like to VIOLENTLY throw things into. We have no washer or dryer, our kitchen is the size of a postage stamp, and the amount of rent we pay is truly ridiculous and could buy us a McMansion anywhere else in the country. I’m so excited to live in our own house, that we designed, where we can’t hear our neighbors vacuuming at 10pm. It’s gonna take a ton of work and time and money to renovate, but at the end of the process, we’ll live somewhere we can call our own! So excited to choose tiles and accent wall colors!!!

We’ll live close to family. I was raised in a very tight-knit, large family that spent a lot of time together. I love being with them, and I’m so grateful that my Norwegian family (parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins) are all amazing people that support me and Bendik so much! It’ll be so nice to be near them and have them be a meaningful part of our lives. My grandparents were really involved when I was growing up, and I always had so much fun visiting them, so I’m happy our future kids will get to spend so much time with their grandparents since they all live so closeby! I’ll miss my mom and sisters a lot, but I think my mom is happy knowing we’ll be in good hands in Norway.

We’ll have the opportunity to travel to lots of different countries! I think I’m the only person my age that hasn’t been to Prague or Berlin! So sad. Although traveling from SF to Europe has gotten MUCH cheaper in recent years, it still means flying 10+ hours to get there, and there’s so many places to go it’s hard to cram it all into one or two weeks. I’m super looking forward to traveling more around that side of the world! While it is depressing that Hawaii is on like, the exact opposite side of the planet, I’ll get to go to so many more different countries, even if it’s just for a weekend. Now when we travel long-distance, it’s mostly to Norway (literally more than half of my passport stamps are from landing at Arlanda or Gardermoen). I love traveling to new places so it’ll be really fun to explore more of Europe and wherever else Norwegian and SAS fly.

I’ll finally have more time to spend with my Norwegian friends, who we only get to see once or twice a year now. Norwegians get a bad rap for being closed off and unwelcoming, but I haven’t found this to be true at all! All of my Norwegian friends (that I inherited through Bendik) are outgoing, hilarious, friendly and open-minded. But we only get to see them once or twice a year now! I have definitely cried many times while saying goodbye to them (I’m emo) not knowing when we’d hang out next. But now I’m really excited to live nearby so we can finally just chillax!!! Sorry if this is corny, but I’m really looking forward to being able to hang out casually without being sad in the back of my mind because I know this is likely the only time I’ll see them for an entire year (although this may be how I’ll feel about my US-based friends after we move). I’m looking forward to all the cozy dinners, meeting up for cocktails, and drinking wine on our mega-deck in the summer!

SEASONS! Just… the concept of seasons! SF has the same forecast of a high of 62 and low of 45 EVERY. DAY. And then sometimes it’s 85 in February, or 50 in July. I’m excited to see the seasons change, even if it means it’s too hot outside in the summer, or freezing cold and depressing in the winter. I’ll experience the passing of time in a much realer way! And I’ll get to have multiple wardrobes! All of the people on the Americans in Norway FB group love to complain about how depressing winter is there, but never talk about how AMAZING it feels when summer finally comes. I hope all the Norwegians in my life are ready for my constant commentary on the weather! Talking about the weather is actually one of the first things we learned in Norwegian class, so I hope that’s indicative of how much people enjoy discussing it.

Hopefully less city-induced stress. San Francisco is amazing, fun, beautiful and friendly. I’ve met all my best friends here and have made so many wonderful memories. But I also think living in the city is beginning to wear me down a little bit. Our bedroom is 50 feet away from a busy main road that has motorcycles ripping by at all hours, and there’s always people screaming outside our window. It constantly smells like a mixture of weed and pee. I’m always nervous to be on my phone while riding Muni lest I get robbed, and constantly have to dodge piles of poop all over the sidewalk. It’s a bit much! I know some people thrive in big cities, but I’m really excited to live somewhere quiet and peaceful with fresh air and where I don’t have to look over my shoulder when I’m walking home from the bus stop at night. And we’ll live close enough to Oslo that we’ll have access to all the big-city stuff when we need it. Best of both worlds!!!

I’ll get to learn a ton of new skills! In addition to casually learning an entirely new language, I’ll also acquire skills in driving in roundabouts, cross-country skiing, fishing (maybe even ICE fishing!), operating a boat, running for the bus on snowy sidewalks, how to build a fire, and even knitting so I can join the ladies’ strikkeklubb in the neighborhood! It’s been a long time since I learned how to do something new, so it’ll be nice to actually use my brain and grow as a person (rather than spending all my time and energy watching Food Network).

Last, but not least: less stressful politics. I don’t even need to elaborate on this one. I’ll be so happy to put some physical distance between my emotional health and Donald Trump. I’m sorry all my friends and family in America have to deal with him, but if it gets to be too much, come visit us in Norway where the Prime Minister is uncontroversial, and, relatively, a little boring. It’ll be a breath of fresh air!


I had even more things that I listed out (like how it’s a good place to start a family! all the good bread! how much more coffee I’m going to drink! finally owning a car that I get to put my Mystery Spot bumper sticker on!!!) but I figured this post was getting pretty long. It was really fun to write about all the things I have waiting for me in Norway. It makes the natural stress involved in moving a little more palatable when you think about why you’re moving in the first place. :)


6 thoughts on “Things I’m looking forward to about moving to Norway

  1. I have such empathy for this list tabby. Ohio isn’t Norway but when I moved having a house, weather, and getting out of the city we’re all powerfully attractive things to me and three odd years later they are all still things I appreciate a lot about my move (despite it being 30 goddamn degrees below zero today). I love the seasons, for all the reasons you listen and my Ohio friends are as exactly as bemused as you suspect your Norwegian friends will be by it. I guess it’s a Californian thing but it hasn’t gotten old for me yet. Not has owning a house and not sharing walls. I love my little town and the quiet that comes with having a your own home. It’s honestly the best. Home ownership is a real thing man. It’s intense but it’s also really great most of the time especially the quiet.

    1. I’m sooooo happy to hear you’re happy in Ohio!!! And that home ownership is everything you hoped it would be. I know it’s also very stressful at times, but I can’t wait to have something that’s ours! I honestly never thought I’d own a home in my life – it just never felt attainable. But as soon as you move out of SF, anything is possible! Can not wait to fall asleep in silence (except maybe for some chirping crickets). This comment put a huge smile on my face! :) hope you and the fam are well!!!

  2. This list is so on point Tabby, I’m excited for every item on the list for you! I have to say the bay area is good for many reasons, but I really miss the reasons in other places!! When I was applying schools in the US, I avoided all schools in CA because I knew the season doesn’t change, little did I know I will move here someday in the future lol. So happy for you could experience more seasons in Norway, especially you can get koselig during fall and winter! (do they use autumn or fall when they speak English?) And yes, cross-country skiing, yes, ice fishing, yes operating a boat, and yes yes yes for a better politics!!

    1. We’re so lucky to have such “good” weather in California all the time, but it does get a little bit boring! The seasons will be so wonderful to experience, so I’m especially grateful for a nice summertime :) And can’t wait for you and Yue to come visit sometime!! If it’s summer, we can go swimming in the lake, and if it’s winter, we’ll definitely do a little cross-country skiing, which I’m hopefully good at by the time you arrive!! :)

  3. lol @ mystery spot bumper sticker. Kyra is so wise, truly. Summer sounds awesome. This is going to be such an exciting move for you guys!

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