My mother has a simple rule when we travel- if you can help it, don’t eat somewhere you could eat at home. While that message left a happy meal-crazed child heartbroken at times, as an adult I take her wisdom to heart. In Norway, I eat almost all my meals in our student dining hall, so I heed my mother’s advice elsewhere. With her words guiding me, I decided that each new day in Oslo should bring me somewhere I haven’t been- show me something I haven’t seen yet. Armed with an unlimited metro pass and an admittedly terrible sense of direction, this Oslo scavenger hunt has brought me to almost every corner of the city. The list of things I have seen in my first few weeks here includes the beautiful Botanical Gardens, the Edvard Munch museum, the Royal Residence, a comic book shop, and dozens of side streets with names I can’t pronounce. My effort to push myself out of my comfort zone brought me to Norwegian folk dance lessons, axe throwing (which I have a surprising gift for), and lakeside conversations with people that have already made an incredible impact on my life.
My new experience for today was simply getting on the number 17 Grefsen stasjon tram line at the University stop and getting off when something catches my eye. As I write this, I am sitting at a picnic table in a triangle of grass near a statue that I have passed on the metro a dozen times, and tonight it was my stop. On a cool night reminding me of Minnesota, I am thankful for my mother’s words as I mark my experience in Norway one day at a time.
The photos below show a snapshot of some of the locations discussed above, including the Botanic Gardens, Sognsvann lake, paintings by Munch, a metro map and a picture of my blog writing location.