If you read my About page, you know that I am embarking on an adventure through Norway with my dog Cody. What you don’t know is how this journey came to be and why I decided to explore the Norwegian wilderness. I figured a bit of a backstory was necessary before we get started, so here it goes.
I had a very international upbringing. By the time I was three months old, I had traveled both domestically and internationally. By the age of eight years, I had lived in three countries on three different continents – Norway, Kenya, and the United States. With a Norwegian mother and a Canadian father, I’m what you would call a “third culture kid”, a child raised in a culture other than that of their parents. This meant that when my family moved back to Norway after more than ten years abroad, it didn’t exactly feel like home. After completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at a Norwegian high school in May 2013, I returned to the US for college.
In April 2017, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and moved to Los Angeles with plans to start working. Between graduating and moving, I learned that my father had been diagnosed with cancer. I questioned my decision to move further from home, but my parents encouraged me to pursue my California dream. With the doctors hopeful that the treatment would work and my father in high spirits, we believed he would beat this and have several good years to come. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. When my father’s condition suddenly took a turn for the worse, talk of years very quickly became a number of days. I flew home to Norway and spent three days with my father before he passed away on July 27.
In the days and weeks that followed, I felt completely lost. Not knowing what else to do, I took my dog Cody to our cabin in the mountains to clear my mind. Equipped with a pair of hiking boots and my favorite adventure buddy, I felt like everything was going to be okay. As my mother and brothers returned to work and school, I began to realize that I had nothing to go back to. Leaving the US at the time that I did resulted in the loss of my F1 visa status and withdrawal of my OPT application. The country where I had spent most of my life and the closest place I had to home would no longer have me. That’s the reality of being a third culture kid I guess.
Left with no other option, I began tirelessly researching what to do next. I identified volunteer organizations in Africa, read up on backpacking through Asia, looked at universities in Australia, and reviewed the job market in Vancouver for hours on end. I went back and forth between wanting to do everything and wanting to do nothing. On days I wanted the latter, I kept busy baking, watching movies, and reading blogs. One day I asked myself why I was looking for every possibility to leave Norway when what I really needed was to be close to family and close to home. That’s when I had the idea to explore the Norwegian wilderness and rediscover my roots.
Now that you’re all caught up, let the adventure begin!