Bye Bye Tromsø, Bye Bye Norway …
Originally published on The North Way, my previous blog …
As we often say, all good things come to an end. A couple of weeks ago, the news came as a bombshell : our Tromsø studio will be definitely closed down. Overnight, all the office employees went from ‘employed in a pretty nice job, with a fantastic team made of people from all around the world‘, to ‘no job anymore‘. That’s it. Capitalism also makes its way in Tromsø …
Quite a short Norwegian experience for me. Far shorter than expected : 6 months. Not more. This has been quite a shock for everybody. The following days were a mix of anger, incomprehension and doubt. But the good spirit of the team remained intact and as strange as it may sound, we quickly started again making jokes. And as I often say, every sad news is followed by a ray of hope. The “ray of hope” is that this redundancy has been made properly, which implies certain things that I will run through later in this post.
So I would like to present this post as some kind of conclusion to this Norwegian experience and also as a conclusion to this blog I took so much pleasure to write. And as in every conclusion, I would like to go through the positive and negative things I experienced during those 6 months in Tromsø, Norway.
Life in Tromsø is kind of harsh in the beginning. First because it is really difficult to find an apartment if you arrive after the summer. Tromsø is a really fast-growing-student-city, which means that if you come here after summer holidays, most of the apartments will already be rented. And you might, as we did, just arrive for the crappy ones (which are far from being cheap!). The other ordeal for us has been to arrive in November. November and december are the worst months ever in Tromsø: the days become shorter and shorter, it’s gray, rainy … And as we just arrived in this new country with a new language, in a new shitty apartment for which we had to buy all the furnitures, our first feelings could easily be described in one word : ARGH! And to top it all off, the food is expensive and … well … not great: in Norway, you will definitely learn how to cook if you don’t already know ;)
After the first difficult weeks, positivity starts to show up. Most people tend to be kind and smiling here. This is something pretty good for the mind. But beware! that does not mean that it is easy to become friend with Norwegians! :)
But let’s come directly to what is for me the most positive point ever in Norway, and you already probably guess what I mean here : Nature! Of course, nature. Walking, biking, driving, … every path leads you to the magnificent and powerful nature in Norway. In Tromsø for example, we are surrounded by the mountains AND the sea. From the city center, we just have to walk around one hour to be able to contemplate the sea on a nice sandy beach. Or to go to the cabin car that leads us to the top of Mount Storsteinen, from which you get a great panoramic view of the island of Tromsøya and its surroundings. Add the magical arctic winter lights and occasionally some of the surreal northern lights and you have a certain vision of what paradise means to me. Moreover, if you are not afraid to drive a couple of hours, Lofoten, the Norwegian paradise archipelago, is not that far! So yes, for me, nature is definitely the best argument of Norway!
This year, I have been able to fulfill two of my dreams: living in Norway and experiencing the northern lights. And I am conscious how lucky I am for that! Even if I would have loved this experience to last longer, I am still happy that I had the chance to experience so much wonderful things during these 6 months. But now, a third dream of mine is about to become reality…
I wrote a few minutes ago that the redundancy has been made quite properly, remember? I don’t want to go too much into details (and I am not even sure that I can write that publicly though …), but the result is that Celine and I will be road tripping through Iceland this summer. And then, we will continue to road trip through Fenno-Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, probably not Denmark …). Now I think you can understand why I wrote that after every bad news, there is always a ray of hope.
Wow! Seems like I once again wrote a complete novel in a post … Anyway, I would like to finish this one by saying a big THANK YOU to our family and friends for all the support in the difficult moments and for all the french sausage and illegally imported wine, cheese and pastis: that was awesome! I would also thank all my friends in the office who made this experience far easier than it could have been. Really. This wonderful ambiance at the office (and in the bars) will be something I will definitely miss. And to finish I would also like to thank YOU for reading (all?) my crappy posts written with a school level English. You sure are courageous! :P
So if you are interested to have some news about this crazy Icelandic-Fenno-Scandinavian trip, stay tuned! More news to come very soon ;)
Bye bye Tromsø, Bye Bye Norway!
PS: And by the way, the sun does not set anymore. The arctic summer has begun (theoretically : It’s only 3°C right now!). This is probably a sign of the norse gods … Ásgarðr, here we come! :)