In exactly one month from now, I’ll be on my way to Oslo! I keep feeling like there’s way too little time left to get everything done, but I know it will all come together in the end. Especially when I think of all that I’ve already done…
Like learn Norwegian. My university offered a Norwegian for beginners course last semester, and although it was a little strange at first learning a new language with German as the base language, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. First off, Norwegian grammar is much easier than German grammar — I was ecstatic to discover that you barely have to conjugate verbs, and that accusative and dative cases are nowhere near as common as in German. Plus, there are so many funny similarities between Norwegian, German and English that it wasn’t terribly hard to remember vocabulary. My listening comprehension and verbal skills still aren’t so great, but I’m hoping it’ll be enough to get me through two months.
And find a place to live. I’ll be sharing an apartment with a woman my age and her small son on the edge of the city with lovely views and access to beautiful running trails.
And scope out fitness possibilities. I’ll be training for the Hamburg Half Marathon while I’m in Norway, so finding places to work out is pretty high on my priority list. In addition to the running trails, I’ve found a big gym and a yoga studio offering practices in English not too far from my workplace. Score!
And read a lot of blogs about Norway. Like From There to Here, The Girl Behind the Red Door, and Finding (You In) Neverland. Although I’m only staying for two months, it’s nice to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be an expat in Norway.
And make a long list of places I want to visit. Like the Munch Museum, the Nobel Peace Center, the Ibsen Museum, the Viking Ship Museum, the Oslo Opera House, and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum — and that’s only in Oslo! I’m still working on the rest of my Norwegian travel wishes…
Although my to-do list is still long — including finding someone to sublet my room in Bremen, and lots of organizing and preparation for my PhD project that I’ll be working on while I’m there — I’m really looking forward to a change of scenery. I hope it will get my intellectual juices flowing, inspire my photography, and feed my craving for new cultures. I can’t wait!
Do you have a change of scenery planned for this winter? How do you stay inspired?