Whether you move here to work or study, life in Norway is super expensive and it’s difficult to live on a budget. Difficult, however, doesn’t mean impossible! I’ve been making the budget life in Norway work for me ever since moving here as a student and although there’s no way of getting around the fact that the cost of living is just really high in Norway, I’ve had plenty of time to learn how best to save money during the last 4,5 years.
To be honest, though, I still get reactions of people who can’t understand why I would choose Stavanger over Tromsø, and I think there’s also some people who think that my boyfriend Simon and I will eventually move back north for good (nope!). So, I thought this would be the perfect time to compare life in Tromsø with life in Stavanger and give you the detailed rundown of why I love living in Stavanger so much!
You want to live in Norway and experience all the gorgeous sights that tourists get to see for free - or even better - while getting paid for it? It’s the end of the guiding season for me now and to say that I’m exhausted is an understatement - BUT I’m already looking forward to summer next year as I’m going to work as a tour guide in Stavanger again! And maybe you’ll be my new colleague? Here’s everything you need to know if you want to work as a tour guide in Norway!
Whenever I tell my cruise guests that I’ve moved to Norway 4 years ago and that yes, I am permanently living in the country without any plans to ever move back to Germany, they almost always assume I did so because of love. It makes sense, right? Most people either move abroad to be with a loved one and/or because work requires them to do so. Neither of these two reasons applied to me. I first and foremost moved abroad because I wanted to. I didn’t know a single soul in Tromsø before moving there in 2014 - yet, I arrived on a very rare, sunny and warm, August evening with two overweight suitcases that held the secret to how I managed to build a life in Norway from scratch: my admission to pursue a Master’s degree at the local university.
Of course, how locals deal with winter depends a lot on each individual person and where they live exactly. Having lived for 3 years in the Norwegian Arctic and (at this point) 1 year in Southern Norway, I know that perceptions about winter differ greatly throughout the north and south of Norway alone, so surely they differ a lot more across cultures. The general attitude about winter seems to differ between areas north and south of the Arctic Circle, though. While most people I know in Tromsø or Bodø in Northern Norway are either quite fond of winter or simply don’t really care about the lack of daylight much, people here in the south of the country seem to be affected a lot more. What seems to be the key in this issue isn’t the lack of daylight, though - it seems as though it’s the lack of snow!
I've lived in Tromsø for 3 years now and for me, it's definitely time for a change of scenery. Even though life in the Arctic has been great and full of adventures, Tromsø, like any other place, has its flaws and I thought I'd make a video explaining the most important ones. Obviously everyone perceives life in Tromsø differently though, so this is just my personal story!
If you've seen my latest vlog, you might know that Norway's National Day on May 17 this year was a rather wet one in Tromso. That didn't stop us from having fun though and I brought my point and shoot camera along to take a few snaps from the parade and also shot our traditional champagne breakfast earlier that day. As a result, I was left with a few pictures that I think, summarize what 17th May in Norway is all about pretty well.
May 17th was Norway's National Day and as you might have seen on Snapchat and Instagram, we celebrated with lots of good food!I wasn't able to celebrate the day last year due to my Master's thesis so this time around, I was even more eager to join in on the fun and so we started the day with a traditional Norwegian champagne breakfast!
I guess I've become really Norwegian in the way that I have to go outside when the weather is good to soak up as much sunshine as possible - even if it's -10 degrees. With long and dark winters, you really learn to appreciate the short summers and sunny days much more and use them much better!And now that the snow starts to melt, I really can't wait to get back into hiking!
Well, we're not quite rid of the snow here in Tromso yet but I just wanted to use this day to say thanks to everyone tagging me on Instagram and using #snowintromso. I got to admire some stunning pictures of Tromso in the snow this winter! So I thought it might be nice to share my favourite pictures of yours and your favourite pictures of mine this winter!
Where has December gone? Seriously! I'm off to travel around Ireland in a couple of days but I wanted to show you around Tromso during the festive season before I go on a blog hiatus. And even though we don't currently have snow in the city (this winter has been so warm so far), all the festive decorations make the city look so magical anyway! So, are you up for a little stroll around town?
Simon was so kind to explain all and everything about polar night not long ago and while he described a few of the many things you can do here during the dark months as a tourist, I'd like to write about how we who actually live here cope with polar night. Now first things first, those who have grown up with polar night, like Simon, don't really have any issues with this time.
If you're following me on Instagram or Facebook, you might already know that I totally fell in love with autumn this season. It's always been my least favourite time of year. As someone who has suffered from seasonal affective disorder way too often, those grey and rainy autumn days where it never really gets bright outside really influence my mood.
Sunny days during autumn are rare here in Tromso. No wait, sunny days are rare here in Tromso - period. However sometimes you're lucky and the sun comes out and really brightens up everything. Especially pretty on an autumn day if you live on the mainland of Tromso! Care to go on a little stroll with me?
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I'm not exactly a fan of Norwegian cuisine. If there's one time of the year I'd happily spent tons of money on Norwegian food, it's during SMAK - Tromso Food Festival! It's a wonderful opportunity to get to know Northern Norwegian cuisine on a budget!
Whenever I see the big cruise ships arriving to Tromsø during summer, I ask myself how on earth the tourists can have a good time here. Why? Because all they do during their 8-12 hours they have in the city, is going sightseeing by bus, shooting the Arctic Cathedral and Tromsø Cathedral, and going shopping for souvenirs.