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The Backstory

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!

58 Comments

  1. Jackie Jackie

    Thanks for your vulnerability. I have a daughter that I can call third culture kid and it help me to understand her future. looking forward to your new adventure in norway.

    • So happy to hear that Jackie, thanks for reading and for your lovely comment <3

  2. Your journey is Very intriguing and you have traveled all over that amazing

  3. It’s absolutely fantastic that you’re able to do this! Enjoy every minute of it, and of your time with Cody!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. The fact that even after facing so many unpleasant situations, you are determined, is commendable! I look forward to your journey.

  5. It is really admirable that you are able to do this. And I must say your journey sounds fascinating! 🙂

  6. Please accept my condolences. While you life did not take the path that you expected, it seems like the path on which you are traveling now with Cody is an incredible one. Thank you for sharing, and here is to happy adventures.

  7. I think that you are so courageous and your life is simply amazing 🙂 I would love to live like that in the future 🙂

    • Thank you Maria ☺️ How you live is up to you, make it happen xo

  8. Valentina Valentina

    What an incredible journey. I’m really sad you had to go through all of that but looks like you turned this bad situation into a positive one! Can’t wait to read about your next steps in Norway!

  9. Touching story, love that you’ve brought your dog with you to help you through this tough time!

  10. Tiara Wilson Tiara Wilson

    I am right there with you, I grew up overseas moving from the Pacific to Europe, back and forth for many years, actually 20 to be exact. I love being able to tell my family that I’m practically a citizen of everywhere and home is ALL over. Thank you, for sharing such a sweet and sincere backstory about yourself. I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but you were brave to put yourself out there. <3

    • Thank you Tiara! I agree, I’m grateful to have the cultural experience and world knowledge that I do, but I am sometimes envious of friends who have a permanent ‘home’. Hope you are doing well 🙂

  11. sian ryan sian ryan

    what a beautiful and touching story, thank you so much for sharing this! I am so glad you get to experience it with your puppa! <3

  12. Aww I love this so much! I think it’s a great experience for kids to travel often. My parents always took us on trips and it definitely contributed to my adventurous spirit. How fun that you’ll be exploring with your doggie (: I am from Michigan and went to GVSU… but I have a lot of friends who went to U of M! Fun!

    • Oh wow, small world! I completely agree Allie, thanks for reading 😀

  13. I love hearing about people’s backstories. I think I would call myself a third culture kid, too. Internationally diverse parents and a penchant for travelling. It’s making the world a beautiful place to see such acceptance to diversity.

    • Happy to hear I’m not alone 😉 I’m with you, travel is an incredible thing!

  14. Marie Marie

    Wow, it sounds like quite the adventure. I can’t wait to read more about your travels!

  15. I love this picture with your arm around Cody. You and your BFF embarking on an adventure of a lifetime. Get it girl You have one life to live. Go find what is out there for you. Seriously. I love that you are doing this!

    • Hehe thanks so much Ching! Looks like you’re having some fun adventures of your own xo

  16. Shannon Shannon

    Thank you for sharing, and I am sorry for your loss. This sounds like a beautiful start to what sounds like many adventurous tales of self discovery.

    • Thank you Shannon! Yes exactly, definitely part of my process of self discovery 🙂

  17. I really sympathise with you when you say it didn’t feel like home. Being a first generation Australian I have the same notion. I’m forever stuck between two places belonging nowhere.

    Regardless, what an incredible journey that awaits you! Norway is on my bucket list, I can’t even tell you how lucky you are to explore the wilderness!

    • Thanks so much Kylie, it’s always comforting to know that others understand! I hope you have found your home, whether permanent or temporary <3 Haha yes I'm very lucky that my family lives in such a beautiful country, I can't wait to see more of it 😀 Let me know if you plan to visit one day!

  18. You had such an interesting upbringing, so much more interesting then me haha. Thank you for sharing, you are so intriguing!

    • I’m sure you have some interesting stories of your own 😉 And it’s never too late to create some! Thanks for your comment <3

  19. Traveling really does the soul wonders. It’s a way to get to know yourself better, too. It’s amazing how much you’ve traveled and how diverse the cultures you’ve come to know. It’s no wonder so many possibilities are running in your head but I think you should embrace it and allow yourself to just flow ~

  20. Julie Syl Julie Syl

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Such a beautiful and touching story, I must say your journey sounds fascinating!

    • Thank you Julie, I’m glad you think so and I hope you will enjoy my posts to come 😛

  21. I like that what you needed out of life was kind of there all along. I can’t wait to read more about your adventures.

    • You are so right Dawn, I never thought about it like that. Thank you <3

  22. Such a beautiful and sweet story! Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures!

  23. Eva Eva

    Wow, this is really an amazing story! It’s incredible that you could take such a difficult situation and turn it into something so wonderful!

  24. Via Bella Via Bella

    I am so sorry to hear about your father– that sucks!
    Good for you for telling your story!

  25. Elizabeth O Elizabeth O

    Thank you so much for sharing your intriguing story with us. Even you are facing so many unpleasant situations, You are determined, I look forward to your journey.

  26. The universe has other adventures in mind for you than Los Angeles. Best of luck to you and Cody on this one. <3

    • Thanks so much Diana ❤️ I know, we have the whole world in front of us 🌍

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