Since I've lived here over a year now I would say I'm pretty muched 'settled' into my life here. As much as is possible anyway. Of course I miss home, my family, Irish food, all the usual things etc. But sometimes I have to remind myself just how different my life in Norway really is, and all of the good things about this new life.
I feel much healthier in Norway. And I actually am. I cycle about 40 minutes every day to get to and from work, I walk a lot, swim a couple of times a week, drink plenty of pure, clean Norwegian water and because I live in the countryside I'm surrounded by beautiful open spaces and fresh air.
I have more free time. Norwegians really value free time. Almost everybody is off on weekends and most places are closed on Sundays (so if you work in a supermarket or something you have at least Sunday off). Family time is big in Norway and there are many family activities Norwegians fill their time with, such as; camping, barbecuing, going 'på tur' (on a trip), hiking, boating, pic-nic-ing, skiing etc. The list is really endless. And you'll notice that most of these activities are outdoor activities, which leads me to my next point:
I'm outside a lot more. Norwegians love being outside and make the most of every good day (and the bad ones too really, remember: Ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!). One of the ways I know I've become really Norwegian is that I feel guilty if I'm not outside when the weather is good. In work we're outside as much as possible with the children and they even sleep outside in their prams. Even when its snowing and -10! This is a really good thing as it builds up the immune system and the children sleep better in the fresh air etc. In Ireland I was never really outside because quite simply, there wasn't really anywhere to go. Or, maybe there was but nobody else really seemed to be 'out' so it just didn't really occur to me either..
I appreciate different things. I guess I've always been good at appreciating the things that I think are important, but even more so since being in Norway. I've also learned to appreciate new things too.
I appreciate my family and my time with them a lot more than before, which is natural seeing as I live in a different country now and don't get to see them often.
I appreciate sunny days and try to get the most out of them.
I appreciate food. Not that I 'like' food more, I've always loved food, who doesn't?! But since food in Norway is so expensive I try not to waste anything and to make the most out of everything.
I appreciate children, and this is a big and new one for me. I had never really been 'exposed' to children before being in Norway. I have younger siblings but there's not such a big difference in our ages, so I don't really remember when they were babies. My cousins have only recently started having children, so its just been so that I have never spent time with small children really. Also, I was a bit unsure if I ever wanted children myself, that's changed a bit now though! :) Since being in Norway and working in a kindergarden I have to say that I just adore children :) Yes, some days are difficult and are filled with screaming and 'bæsjing' but to be able to go to work on a Monday morning and get smiles and hugs makes me think that I have the best job in the world :)
I'm sure this post could go on forever but right now that's all I can think of! I might do follow-up posts every now and then when I have something new to add to the list or if something changes :)
Good Wednesday everybody! :)