wow! Today’s my 200th day in Norway! feels like just last week I was trying to think up 10 things worth mentioning about the first 100 days, and now it’s time to do the same about the second hundred! I love Norway so much, and though there’s been a lot of times that I wouldn’t repeat, I’m beyond grateful for how this year has gone so far and impacted me so positively! At the end of march my mom is coming to visit me, and I think she’s gonna be a bit surprised- i’m not the same girl on route to Norway (without actually knowing anything about Norway) that left her seven months ago. Little does she know, after seven months here I’m a cross country skiing, brown cheese eating, PALE, local celeb (want proof? last week’s oppegard avis and ostlandets blad).
Anyways, here’s ten more moments from the past 100 days that have made me survive 200 days without Dairy Queen. Attached a link to the DQ website for all my norwegians reading this who haven’t gotten to experience the american icecream dream.
11. london at christmas time
During the first weekend of December, my first host mom and host sister and I took a little weekend trip to London! The weather was pretty good while we were there, and it was really nice to be out touring around (and especially to be in an English speaking country, I found the people there were really friendly also). There were so many Christmas lights and different things going on for Christmas in London, and it was really cute. There was so much Christmas spirit there that weekend and it was cozy- it wasn’t hard at all to be in a good mood being in such a positive atmosphere with so many cheerful people around.
12. the delay home from London aka the most fun delay of my life
I have never experienced chaos in my life like I did at the airport on December 10th 2017. It felt like I was in a dream, trapped in a typical Christmas movie where there’s a big snow storm and all the flights were delayed. Only, it was worse than a dream because I was actually a victim. To give you an idea, it was worse than the mall on Black Friday- in Canada. Nothing is worse than Black Friday in America. Anyways, it was super crazy. It took us a long time to get help and a plan to get home, and even longer to get out of the airport for the time being. Eventually, we got back to the city and reached the hotel (that my host dad had to book from Norway) for the night.
13. the nutcracker
There’s no bad situation turned good behind this story, all it simply is is that at Christmas time I was lucky enough to get tickets to go and see the nutcracker with my friend Kali, from Canada. It was such a perfect winter day and the Nutcracker was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Seeing the ballet was such a special experience and it was for sure one of the highlights of this year.
14. christmas with family #2
Christmas in Norway was a special and different experience. It didn’t feel quite like Christmas at home, but it was really nice and it was a neat cultural experience. I’ll never forget dancing around the Christmas tree, pinnekjott and riskrem, staying up til 2am opening presents on Christmas eve, experiencing norwegian church on Christmas eve, and most importantly, julebrus.
15. my snowman & me (& my pals in Hamar)
During my Christmas vacation, I went to visit a friend who stays in a town called Hamar (home of the julebrus), which isn’t far from Lillehammer where the winter olympics were held in 1994. It was super snowy during the time I visited, and one of the days we walked in the forest and came across a huge seasonal airstrip covered with fresh snow. We let the dog off the leash and made a huge snowman- my australian friend’s first. It was really a perfect winter day.
16. jentatur til Telemark
Girls trip! One weekend in January I went with my Canadian friend (Kali)(♡) to visit our friends on the other side of the fjord, in Heistad. We had a cozy weekend just hanging out, making amerikansk pannekaker and eating wayyy too much chocolate. One of the nights we geared up and went out and made a campfire on a cliff in the snow. It was so nice, and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that many oreos in one go in my life.
17. jeg kysset en elg
Kissed a moose! In Nesbyen on my ski trip at the start of february, we visited an animal farm and I kissed a moose. I had to bribe him with a carrot, but that’s besides the point. ♡
18. the 129483 ski trips
You’ve all seen the insta posts and the snap stories by now. It’s no secret that if you can’t find me on snapmaps it’s probably because I’m some random place I can’t pronounce going skiing again. I’ve been out in the snow so much this year and I’m really thankful for that- if I wasn’t in Norway on exchange living under the motto “say yes to everything”, I would have been very content spending this winter cozy inside probably just writing blog posts for my grandmas to read down in florida. Crazy to thing that the first time I went cross country skiing in Norway I literally looked at the snow and fell on the ground, and last week I skied 25 kilometers and didn’t cry at all until we were halfway. #glowup
19. lauren speaks norwegian?!
Surprise! Me suddenly starting to speak Norwegian was a surprise even to myself. It’s been a bit challenging getting to this point, and 100 days ago, having dinner with my friends to celebrate, I probably wouldn’t have even understood if the waiter asked me if I wanted water. I obviously still have some work to do- I don’t have a big norsk vocab and I get nervous to speak it to my friends at school, but time and confidence will make it better. ♡
20. the 200th day festivities!
Spent my 200th day in Norway without even realizing it until it was almost over! I spent the day at the hytte in the mountains with Kali. We stayed in while my host family was skiing because we were both still recovering from a longer than expected ski trip from the day before. We made some hot cocoa and sat outside on the railing in the -15 degree weather- there was sunshine and no wind or snow coming down, it was the nicest -15 has ever felt. It was such a crazy moment to be sitting there and to realize that I’ve passed 200 days in this country, and that Norway has become my home without me even noticing. I’m so happy and so thankful for everything and everybody that has came into my life over the course of my exchange, and it’s weird for me to think that before 7 months ago I had never met the people that mean the most to me. ♡
Tusen takk til alle at jeg har møtet de siste sju månedene! Jeg elsker norge så mye og jeg er så takknemlig for alle de nye mulighetene at jeg har fatt her i Norge. ♡ Jeg gleder meg for de neste fem månedene!
Until next time,