I never was a traveller. I needed things I could count on. Things I could hold on to! So the main purpose in my life, one could say, was somehow managing to live without these things. It took a while.
When I graduated the time was not yet there. So I stayed several years, doing my PhD on familiar terrain. And learned a lot.
And then the time had come to spread my wings. I had the faith! And behold, I found myself a job far far away from home. Ironically I had, just before finding the dream job, found a dream man, but that is how life works. The only time to find dream men is times like these.
I flew, in spite of the man. And of course I lost the man. But I won what I looked for. My world became so much bigger!
I was a "skikkelig byjente" when I arrived - a real city girl. In the Netherlands I was still a chick from a despicable provincial town, yet in Norway te background changed me into somebody thoroughly urban. And the learning could start.
I learned Norwegian. And while doing that, I learned patience. Waiting for a sentence I could understand. I learned to appreciate my mother tongue.
I learned climbing. And skiing. And sea kayakking. I learned how to hike with a pulk, and with hippie food, and with a malfunctioning stove, that I now manage to keep working myself. I learned making blueberry pancakes for breakfast. I learned friluftsliv the Norwegian way! And not the Beunhaas way. Not that the Beunhaas way is wrong, but there are more ways ofgoing about things.
I learned to drive a car, which opened up so many possibilities for doing outdoor things. I learned how many kayaks one can transport on an old Subaru. I learned changing tires! And several other car-related things.
I learned taking initiative, and not waiting for others to do so.
I learned all sorts of things about friendship.
I became a bastard Norwegian. I now hesitate to enter a house with my shoes on. When I meet someone appreciated I hug. I don't even think of kissing! I faint in a liquor store when I notice the prices.
I met truckloads of inspiring people. I hesitate to elaborate. Maybe I should just keep on editing this post. Filling out the stories. Reflecting on such formative years may deserve some time. And the people that, mostly unknowingly perhaps, showed me the way deserve that too. I have not reached my next destination when I write this, and perhaps from there more insights will come. Now I am transient. Restless. Not reflective enough.
Yet Tromsø was formative. It will shine through in everything I write about my soon to start life in England...