Cozy Cabin

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Cabins are a way of life in Norway. Most families have some type of humble abode that they escape to either in the winter or summer months or sometimes both. Norwegians take every opportunity they can to enjoy the outdoors and experience the nature around them. We have been waiting years to be able to enjoy the family cabin. My father-in-law has been building their cabin since before Robin and I started dating which was 13 years ago. He wanted to do it himself. Robin is so excited that it is finished that I wasn’t in the country but two days before he had planned for us to go up the mountain to the cabin. It might had something to do with the fact that the snowmobile season is coming to an end as well. With pretty much 24 hours of daylight now you can go up at any hour. Although when your not used to the sun it can mess with your head some.

 

We borrowed Robin’s Uncle’s snowmobile, which was really nice, it had hand warmers which I loved. The ride up the mountain was nice and easy. We took our time getting to the cabin since it was just the two of us. I actually drove for a while too!

Up at the cabin I got everything unloaded while Robin got the fire started. The cabin is not a luxurious place but it is very cozy. There is no electricity, no water, and no cell service. It’s a place to relax, play board games, and talk.

I loved the quiet and being away from everything. The view is beautiful!

mountain

When the fog rolled in it was breathtaking however visibility sucked.

The trip down the mountain wasn’t as easy because it was raining which wasn’t fun. It was a great first trip up to the cabin. I’m excited about all the future family trips up to the cabin both this summer and next winter!

Would you like to spend a weekend away with no technology? Why or Why not?

5 Tips for Being an Expat

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Have you ever thought about moving overseas or has your employer offered to transfer you overseas? Lots of people each year become expats and move to a new country. The benefits of being an expat are incredible. You open your families eyes to new places, new people and new cultures.

I love to travel and my husband was born into a family who loved to travel as well so when God presented us the perfect opportunity to return to my husband’s homeland of Norway we jumped on it.

Moving overseas is an adventure that will help you grow as an individual (no matter your age). However it is also challenging and will test you in many ways. Here are some tips on being an expat.

1. Research.

Start doing your prep work even before you go. Study the area, the culture and the history where you are going. Learn absolutely everything you can. Buy a guidebook. Do your homework prior to travel. If you have the time and money go visit before you move.

2. Network.

This kind of goes with number 1. Network with other expats on Twitter, Facebook, and expat forums. Other expats can give you the first hand knowledge of what to expect. They can also give you support once you get to your new city.

3. Learn the Language.

Sign up for lessons as soon as you can. If you can take lessons even before you leave thats even better. My favorite site to find a language tutor is Verbal Planet. Communication is key to make the most out of any situation and this is no different. With a basic understanding of the language will not only be beneficial for you but it will show the locals that you care. The more you use it the easier it will become.

4. Check local rules and laws.

This also goes with doing your research. Look up local rules and laws you and your family should be aware of. Even the little things can make a big impact on you and your situation. For example in Norway if you get pull over for a DUI the fine is 2.5 times your monthly salary. That can be a hefty price to pay.

5. Be Patient.

Often times the priorities we are accustomed to are not valued in other countries. Paperwork can be difficult and take a very long time to process. You may have to take your child to the doctor because they have gotten sick and you barely understand each other. Be patient. With time things will get easier.

Moving abroad is a challenge but can be so rewarding as well. Use these 5 tips to make the most of your expat experience.

5 Tips for Moving Abroad

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You may have seen in this previous post that we have decided to take a leap of faith and move to Norway. This isn’t the first time Robin and I have lived in Norway. We moved there about a month after we got married almost 6 years ago. We always knew that the move then was temporary however this move is a more permanent one. We have no intentions of currently returning. We seem to move a lot but I think we finally are aiming to settle down and call one place home. Maybe we will be able to find that in Norway finally.

Moving abroad and living overseas (no matter the duration of the stay) is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have, especially in young children. Living and working overseas gives you a very unique experience to explore and understand a new culture, new people and a new language. It can be a very positive and eye opening experience. There is a lot of planning and effort that goes into a move across the country let alone to another country. Find my top tips below to help with your move.

1. Save Money-

So our move wasn’t really planned so we didn’t really accomplish this but if I could go back (there’s is always one thing we wish we could change, isn’t there?) I would make sure I would have at least 3 months worth of savings. It would just make life a tiny bit easier. If you are paying for your move completely out of your pocket this will help buffer some of the many expenses that you might encounter.

2. Purge before Packing-

We will be moving from a 3800 square feet house to my in-laws temporarily then to a much smaller house than we are accustomed too. In addition we have inherited two households worth of stuff so it was time to Purge! We did a quick decluttering of each room. Then while packing asked ourselves do we love it, do we use it, and does it work? We purged so much stuff we hired a company to come in and do an estate sale. Moving overseas is a new beginning so make that new beginning more simple and a lot more intentional. I know we are!

Moving to Norway

3. Label and Organize-

When you start packing go slowly moving from room to room. I typically start in the attic, garage and closets. I kept a notebook and listed everything that was put in the box. I know this is a little more time consuming but you will thank yourself later. Label each box with a number. Once you get to your final destination you will know what boxes to open right away and which can wait. You will also have a detailed list of everything in case anything happens while your goods are in transient.

4. Pack the stuff you need in your suitcases-

The moving company picked up our belongings that will be going to Norway with us about 3 weeks ago and we won’t have our belongings for another 10-12 weeks. Pack all the items you might need for the next few months in your suitcases such as clothes, medicine, etc. Also pay attention to the climate of where you are going to make sure you pack appropriate clothes. This has been one of the hardest things for us because we are moving to a climate that couldn’t be more different then where we are currently are. Currently there is more than 40 degree difference.

5. Make a list. I am a big list maker. I make lists for everything. When your moving abroad there are a lot of things you have to do and it is much easier to keep up with what you have to do before you get on the plane. I keep my list in the same notebook that I used when I packed our boxes up and all the other necessary information we need for the move.

Moving anywhere is stressful moving overseas adds even more stress. Using the above 5 tips will help you keep the stress to a bearable minimum and help you have a successful.

If you have moved overseas what are your top tips?

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

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Adventure Time

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Life is always changing and sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. I guess its all about how you look at it. Most of the time I am a half full cup gal however sometimes I’m a half empty cup. We are starting a new adventure in the next few months and I truly believe that this will be a half full cup of adventure. I am looking forward to it and excited!

Our newest adventure is we are heading back to my husband’s home country, Norway. Norway is a beautiful country and I know that the grandparents are ecstatic that Monkeybutt and Squeaky will be closer to them. Norway is known for their amazing fjords, Northern lights, and the Midnight Sun.

We will be able to travel more, the kids will have many more opportunities than they would have if we stayed in the US. I am really excited about the trips we will be able to take, the family that will be close and the experiences we will have as a family.

I am slightly nervous about learning Norwegian though! Hopefully I will be able to pick it up quickly! I know the kids will!!

We will be moving in a few months as soon as we get several things finished up!! So much to do and so little time!!

Follow us as we journey through life in a foreign country.