Tour de Norway

Finally!  This vlog about Norway is finally shot in Norway!

When we got off the ferry in Oslo, Ole’s mom picked us up and drove me to a hotel to wait for my family.  Meanwhile, Ole drove the 7 hours back to Balestrand with all our luggage, then drove the 7 hours back the SAME NIGHT to pick us up.

Shout out to my mom and Mike for bringing over our cats on the plane!  They aren’t in the video, but they travelled well, and stayed with Ole’s mom while we took the fam on a tour of Norway.

We had 2 weeks, but I didn’t film as much because I was still recovering from all the travel and bouncing around.  Now after a month and a half of travel, we are settled in with Ole’s mom while we really start the job search.  Although something tells me I need to master the language first.

Ha det!

If you can spot the place in the video where the picture on my home page was taken, let me know in the comments!


Goodbye USA, Hello Norway!

After a very round-about way of traveling, we finally made it to Norway!  We carried two large and very full suitcases each, a backpack and gym bag each, and jackets/purse what seemed like all over Europe!  The only thing stopping me from dumping it was the fact that these suitcases are literally all we have as we make our fresh start in another country.

From my Mom’s place in New Hampshire, to the train station in Boston, to New York City, in and out of cabs and a hotel, to the New York harbor onboard the Queen Mary 2, across the Atlantic ocean to Southampton, England, to another cab to London, to the train to France, to the rental car from France to Germany, onto the ferry that finally brought us safe and exhausted into Oslo, Norway.  I get tired just remembering it.

Why this odd and indirect way, you ask?  Well, we had thought to give ourselves a nice vacation together as we at the same time moved overseas.  I think now the words vacation and move overseas do not belong in the same sentence.  We spent more time ensuring we were on top of everything we needed and feeling sore from lugging our suitcases than really relaxing.  And because we were trying to save money now that we have no income, there’s really only so much darts and Yatzee a couple can play without getting bored.

Still, it was a pretty amazing experience I’m glad we had.  I mean, five countries in a day is pretty cool regardless.  If you think these 10 days ended our trip, think again.  My family met up with us the day after we arrived in Oslo to tour Norway with us before we get settled in.  Also, my mom was good enough to take our cats over for us on the plane, since we couldn’t afford buying them their very own cruise ticket for the Queen Mary 2.

Ha det! (Goodbye in Norwegian)

Florida to New Hampshire

Address officially changed and forwarded, house under property management, most of our things sold and donated (even though I wouldn’t call most of our things “fine things,” someone should tell Rose’s mother it’s not so bad, and I don’t think I’ll have to work as a seamstress).

If I could re-do this move, I would have at least taken a few days off work to give us more time for packing and selling our things, but in the end we got everything done.  Writing this from my mom’s house in New Hampshire, it still doesn’t feel quite real.  Not like we aren’t going to be going back to our house in Delray, it feels more like a vacation.  Since we did keep our house to rent, we will be back at some point, but who knows when that will be.

Time to hang out in Limbo for a while and let all this sink in.

Oh, and if you get the Titanic reference above, let me know in the comments!

Florida Days: Western Caribbean Cruise

Only a 4 night cruise and 3 days later I still feel like I’m rocking.  Which is odd because it was barely perceptible on board.  Maybe it’s the wobbly feeling of getting ready to up and leave, and still so much to do!  I’ll do an update soon on our moving progress.

It hit me as we were sailing in open water, that the next time I will be on a cruise it will be taking me away from the U.S. for a long time!  Yes, we will actually be leaving America on a boat!  I will be leaving my residency called U.S.A. for the first time ever, and that freaked me out a little.  Even though it was nice to relax on this cruise, I started thinking of the future, not only all that we have to get done before we leave, but also that looming of the unknown hanging in the distance.

But, I keep in mind that physiologically, anxiety and excitement are exactly the same.  The only difference between them is what we are thinking about it.  So I’m working on actively transforming any anxiety into excitement.  After all, it is a once in a lifetime kind of journey!

Have any of you had an uncertain life experience that made you both nervous and excited?  I’m curious to see how you thought of it then and how you think of it now.  Post in the comments!

Delray Beach House Tour

As you can see from the video, we have accumulated a lot of stuff in our first 2 years of marriage, even in a small house.  And we already donated all our textbooks, DVDs, and a lot of clothes!

When we first decided to move to Norway, we planned on keeping most of our stuff and furniture.  We wanted to keep it in storage until we had a place overseas, then have it shipped over when we were settled.  But, we decided against that for a few reasons.

First, it’s pretty expensive to keep things in storage and very expensive to ship it all over.  We’re talking $3,000-$4,000 depending on the size of the shipment.  Honestly I don’t think our stuff is worth that much.  The only thing that made me consider it was our things of sentimental value.

But the more I went through our stuff and started clearing it out, the better it felt. Purging clutter and unused things is like lifting a shadow or weight off you.  Just letting go was kind of therapeutic.

So we decided to sell or donate most of our things, and pack up the few precious items that we wouldn’t be able to replace.  We will store these things with family for now, so we can get them back to us at some point.  The rest we are selling on LetGo and OfferUp, and some on Craigslist.  It’s nice getting some cash to let go and free up clutter as a bonus.

Ole and I have realized through this process just how much unnecessary stuff we accumulate without noticing.  Things we’ve only used once or never used, an impulse buy that seemed cool at the time.  We decided that from now on, we will sleep on any buying decisions that are just nice-to-have, instead of need-to-have.  We now have a chance to start over, and re-fill our lives with only things that truly add value.

Florida Days: Orlando

Orlando grew on us.  Just like you, I only pictured theme parks, tourists, and way too many kids jumping around when I thought Orlando.  But when Ole got a job offer there, we moved from South Florida to a little town outside Orlando called Winter Park.  Granted, it was not the super-nice part of Winter Park that’s home to Ivy League students and rich people, but technically Winter Park.

From there we realized that downtown Orlando is no where near the theme parks.  It’s about 40 minutes North (yes, Orlando is HUGE) and very quaint and uncrowded.  In fact it almost feels like a dead city during the day, there’s like, no one around.  In spite of ourselves, downtown Orlando and Winter Park stole our hearts as we found gem after gem we simply didn’t expect.

Then, as often seems to happen, just as we felt settled and found a groove, we moved back to South Florida!  The job Ole had moved out of the area, so now we have two Florida homes.

Florida Days: Key West

We had to drive Ole’s car down to Key West one last time.  Actually it was also the first time with his car.  He has a Fiat Abarth convertible and wanted to attach his GoPro camera to it.

Fiat Abarth

Anyway, we stayed outside Key West in Ram Rod Key to save money.  But it was a 40 minute drive each time we wanted to go in and out of Key West.  Kind of a pain, but helped save a couple hundred dollars.

In the last few weeks leading up to our move, we are taking advantage of local travel and visiting our favorite places while we can.  I consider it the start of our adventure!