Norwegian culture

Animals of the seasons.

Darkness is falling upon us. I hear the wind sing its agony while ripping the shades of reds from the trees. Death has arrived and it’s taking its time while transforming nature into a higher state of beauty before seizing it away from us.

It’s my favourite time of year. The colours. The freshness of the air. The end of a cycle and the start of a new. It’s Fall.

A true Norwegian at heart, fall is the definition of “koselig”. We are tired. Tired of summer. Tired of spending all time and energy outside. The pressure of being high energy levelled all the time. Of the heat. The long summer evenings. We are ready for the howling of the wind, the rain raging upwards from the pavement, the warmth of candles, blankets and loved ones within the four walls of our homes. For our wool sweaters and grandmas home knitted socks. For crime shows on the telly. It’s time to retreat from the extroverted to the introverted.

Norwegians are like the seasons themselves. We follow the cycles. As much as we don’t like to admit it, or realise even, we long for the constant change.

We are animals of the season.

Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.

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Norwegian culture, Personal, Travel

Norwegian in Los Angeles

Being Norwegian in Los Angeles is nothing but exceptional. I’m sure there are Norwegians who beg to differ, but for me and my fellow travel partner it’s our favorite place to visit. Even though the reasons are complex, I will try to break it down for you.

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First off our love comes from a cultural perspective. We have both spent our youth years in small remote places in Norway where Norwegian culture stand strong. With that I particular mean what we call “Janteloven”. It’s a norm that have grown strong roots into our culture since 1933. The law of Jante comes from a text of Axel Sandmose’s book “En flyktning krysser sitt spor” and goes like this:

  1. You’re not to think you are anything special.
  2. You’re not to think you are as good as we are.
  3. You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.
  4. You’re not to imagine yourself better than we are.
  5. You’re not to think you know more than we do.
  6. You’re not to think you are more important than we are.
  7. You’re not to think you are good at anything.
  8. You’re not to laugh at us.
  9. You’re not to think anyone cares about you.
  10. You’re not to think you can teach us anything.

After more thorough research I realized that this actually is a Scandinavian phenomenon. I’m not sure how well rooted this phenomenon is with our neighbors, but it sure is a reality in Norway. In other words put beautifully by a unknown source in Wikipedia:

The description of a pattern of group behavior towards individuals within Nordic countries that negatively portrays and criticizes individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate.

When in Los Angeles we are free of this. People simply do what they want, they pursue their ideas and desires no matter what and I find it so inspiring. Being around individuals like this also gives me a feeling of freedom I rarely experience at home. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel like a free individual in Norway and i pursue what ever I want, it’s just that it’s usually frowned upon and that can be hard sometimes. Norwegians are in a very spoiled position where we have room to frown upon others: we have a safety net others only can dream about. This also makes entrepreneurship rare here. Why take a risk when everything is handed to you?  On the other hand I always return home with lots of inspiration and creativity! I find it super inspiring and interesting to see how Americans go about their life, because I am so used to the safety net and the clock in/clock out mindset we have in Norway. Here work is just work, not a passion (even if they try to convince you otherwise). It’s lovely to see the passion in people and how excited they are about what they do – and all the hours they put in it – without the judgement of our fellow humans.

The second thing is networking and friendships. Because of the lack of The law of Jante, coming into contact with people is really easy. I hear the Norwegian Troll in the back of my mind at this moment go “ooh – but it’s all superficial. True relations take time” – hah. Yes, they do, but how the heck are you arrive at this point if saying “hi” to someone new puts you in a mental hospital? Say “hi” to someone on the bus here and they will look at you like they think you escaped from a mental institution. I swear,  I’m not trying to paint Norway in a bad way – I love my country, but it really is the reality of things and a reason why I sincerely love Los Angeles. In the short amount of time I have spent there I already have several beautiful relationships blooming and I am so grateful to have these people in my life – both family and friends.

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Then there is the food. I love how simple it is to stay healthy. I mean, I usually don’t because I’m on a holiday, but to be unhealthy in Los Angeles is seriously a conscious choice. No matter what your diet is, there are endless possibilities. And don’t get me started on all the freshness and tastes. I’m drooling right now, thinking about just booking my next ticket. I mean, I would move for Wholefoods as a single reason.

There are some cons though:

  1. My hair gets really, really thirsty. It seriously goes from softness itself to a broomstick. Wtf?
  2. The lack of sleep. There is to much fun everywhere!
  3. The endless sunshine. I mean, I love it, but it can drive me a little bit insane at times. I’m used to seasons and not having that is mentally challenging for some reason.

Coming home this time was like going from a rock concert to a meditation room. I’m dead tired. All I do is eat, sleep and dwell. I dwell a lot because I’ve actually come to the conclusion that I want to move over. I have no idea how I will make that happen practically, but I’m dwelling on it. I’m young, I don’t have children and it’s kind of now or never -ish. I mean, I have things to put in order in my life over here first, but I am seriously thinking about this day and night. It might be the best decision of my life, or the worst.. But how would I know if I don’t try? *Waiting for Norwegians to go all apeshit-Jante*

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I hope that gave you some insight into my/our love for this city. I would like to do a “10 things to do in LA”-post, but I’m always blown out of my mind with all that is happening so I never get around to documenting anything. Maybe next time. Now I’m off to the gym and then I have a eating-date with my travel soulmate at her house – while walking down memory lane from our last trip. Enjoy your weekend – wish you all the best!

x

 

How does it work, Norwegian culture, Norwegian logic

Norwegian weathersickness

Norway is a seasonal country by every means of the word. We have harsh winters, rainy fall and if we’re lucky: warm summers. As a product of this Norwegians have a very schizophrenic relationship with weather and we feel entitled to complain no matter what – almost. The exception arises when the sun is out and temperatures goes up. 2018 has been a rough year with everyday snowfall during winter and hot, hot, hot summer days! We’ve haven’t had this kind of dry and hot summer weather since 1947 and now it’s taking a toll. You see, we just can’t handle it. We feel guilty complaining about something so rare and good, but in the end we’re not made for this. Neither is our country. Air conditioning? Say what? Do you even know how cold it is during winter? Our houses has more heaters than rooms.

Most posted picture on Facebook today:

Reason? It’s 35 Celsius/95 Fahrenheit.

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I am super excited about this weekends thunderstorm. I hope Sweden gets some as well.. they aren’t doing to well with all their fires and now shits about to hit the fan over here as well.

…so from both the Norwegian people and our forests: thank you universe for sending some rain tomorrow!

ps. Reason we don’t complain about heat in other countries is that is expected and we know we’re gonna return home. Yes, we’re weird like that.

I hope you have beautiful summer weather AND air conditioning wherever you are.

x

Norwegian culture, Personal

Making a home.

A home is more than a house. Or apartment for that matter. Yes, we need walls and doors, but a home – to me – is a reflection of the individual. Some like colours, some are creative, some like minimalism, some are classical, some are trendy, some are messy and some are super clean. A home can tell you a million things about a individual. Their character, their priorities, their habits. An American familymember told me that Norwegian homes looks like catalogue material and in all honesty there is a reason for that. I’m not saying all Norwegians are super clean and high levelled interior designers, believe me we are not, but in all fairness we do spend a good amount of time indoors during winter. We like it cozy, we’re pretty much stuck in there. It’s a home, not a house.

As you know I recently bought an apartment and I am super excited to make it my home – once all the mess is over (I’ll get back to that later, when the mess is over). I went a little overboard meeting some obstacles and took comfort shopping to a whole new level. I bought furniture! With nowhere to put it. Buuut.. I’m super happy to share with you some of the stuff I got – to give you an idea about how it will look in the end.

I’ve been drooling over this chandelier and sofa for well over a year. I knew I had to have them long before I even found a place to put them in. I’m very happy to say that these beautiful pieces of art has already arrived and I can’t wait to put them in my (hopefully soon) totally renovated apartment! I bought this piece last summer and it will be lovely with the sofa:

I like my furniture calm and settling, but magnificent. That way I can play with the details with out having the room scream at me. And change things up without having to spend money like a duke. Like these coffe mugs. And candlelight’s. And paintings. And all other stuff to decorate with. Now this isn’t my most colourful picture, but I do like to sneak in some colour here and there.

My focus these days is first of all to get things in order, but I do like to browse the internet for possible additions every now and again. Currently looking for a dining room table with some Scandinavian designed chairs to go with my soon coming black kitchen. Got any good websites I can visit? I’ll gladly take some tips!

I am really excited to create my home and I’m very excited to share my vision with you. I just can’t wait to show you the finished result in the future.

..and to be drinking my coffee, snuggling on my choice of a kitchen counter. But this will be it for now.

Thank you for stopping by. Again, if you have some good tips for websites please share in the comments. It’s much appreciated ❤

x

Travel

Travel soulmate

The last week and a half has been a nonstop party rant. We’ve been having such a good time meeting good people here in LA and now Eline sadly has to return to Norway – which gives me a week left with family and friends. Have you ever met your travel soulmate? I’m seriously so sad to see her go. When we travel together we meet the greatest people, find ourselves in the most random situations and just live it up like there was no tomorrow. I will admit that my body isn’t appreciating my lifestyle right now though, but it’s definitely worth it. So here is what we’ve been up to for the past week:

Pool parties spread across Los Angeles

Tanning in the backyard during the day

Brunching with new friends

Dinners

Dates

Hanging out with loved ones

Clubbing

..and that is really it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot in a short amount of time and my body just can’t deal today. If my head wasn’t attached to my body, it would have been lost now.

I haven’t really taken any pictures either. Time just passes and I’m too caught up in the moments – which is a good thing. So this little collage is all I got. Unless you follow my Instagram and get around to see my stories.

Right now I’m in bed waiting for Eline’s return from whole foods because I’m starving! Just wanted to give you a little update and share my heartache with you. Have a lovely day and see you soon!

x Rebecca

Norwegian culture

First came summer, then came spring.

It’s June. It’s supposed to be warm, summery and nice. Well, it’s not. May was such a wonderful and warm month. I actually went into the ocean in the Oslo Fjord – which I haven’t done for the two past years. And now.. it’s 14 Celsius and a wind that could make a grown man cry.

The weather in Norway is never stable. There is a reason why we Norwegians own wind jackets so high tech you would think their made for a new matrix movie and honestly I’m surprised no one has invented a backpack in the line of Hermine’s purse (you know the one with the tent and all in Harry Potter) – because we need to pack for every season when leaving the house! I mean, I’m grateful that we had a whole actual month of warm and sunny weather, but come on! For the last five years or so summer has been a one day deal or a myth that we’ve been told about, dreamt about and gone to bed with misbelief about. So let’s sum up a Norwegian summer:

Thinking about vacaying here? Bring everything, because you never know what you’re gonna need!

Thank you for sharing my pain with me. I hope your summer is amazing.

x

Personal

Goal digger.

Today is a great milestone for me. Today is the day I get the keys to the apartment I bought some time ago and to be honest it feels effing good. There is one habit I’ve learned and kept, and that is to reschedule and feel my life goals from time to time. I review them and take time to reflect appreciation and gratefulness for the things I have achieved and to picture my dream-life for the time to come.  This is one of the big ones. An apartment own fully by me, and only me – and the bank of course. This one is the impossible made possible. It also reminds me that the work I do with myself every day has such importance in how I achieve my goals. And how fast I get from A to B.

My life wasn’t always on track, even if it might have seemed that way to the outside world. A few years ago my life got turned upside down. Everything I knew was pulled from under my feet and I was forced to rethink my life completely. This made me realize that I had been living my life in regards to what was expected of me: from my social relations, from society, how I myself and how others thought I ought to live it. Not how I wanted to live it. The truth is that loosing everything gave my life meaning and was the greatest gift I ever received. It was a revelation that changed my view on what life has to give and how we go about to get it. I wasn’t happy and I didn’t even know it. Most of us go about every day the same and we forget this precious gift of life that we are given. I often think of this when I view this picture from my trip to San Francisco:

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Get in that little yellow, vulnerable car and learn how to drive in the traffic of life. I had no clue what I was doing, but I sure as hell learned how to drive – and enjoy it!

Today is one of those days where I am super grateful for everything that life threw at me, no matter good or bad. Everything shapes us and it’s your choice if it’s for the better.

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Life is a gift, wake up every day and realize that.