Summerfjord

A lovely week spent at home after my trip to Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna. “Home” has been many different places over the years, but no where is more at home for me than in Sandefjord where my parents are and my dog is! This weekend we had a full house celebrating my nephew’s birthdays, gaining kgs from all the food and BBQs and enjoying time out at sea on the boat.

Sandefjord is a really beautiful and idyllic city, especially during the summers - something I definitely took for granted growing up here. To be back after “travelling the world” has given me so much appreciation of my own hometown and Norway in general. Can’t wait to explore more of it one day.

Work + travel

summer internship

Summer is slowly coming towards the end and so is my internship with Equinor, so I can finally share some more details on what I have been doing this past two and a half months. I've been very fortunate to intern twice at the biggest company in Norway, last year working in Stavanger and this year closer to home, in Oslo. Both times working in HR and business/ brand communications.

My tasks were really varied and I have collaborated with a range of different people and disciplines, but my main priority however, has been in employer branding activities, specifically content marketing. It's been an amazing job because it has given me the opportunity to travel and meet new people all the time. The best part is that I get to combine my hobbies, creativity and business education into my career, while at the same time learn so much more about the company, the industry, and develop my professional network along the way. 

Bergen

This week I was on a business trip to Bergen to wrap up my final series of location videos that I have been producing throughout this summer. As a multinational company, Equinor aims to showcase more of its culture and different office locations around the world, and I'm excited that I've managed to kick-off this project not only in Norway and the UK, but also in Houston, Texas, and more pending locations such as Brazil, Singapore, Russia etc. It's been a lot of fun working with a project that has fed my wanderlust. 

With the camera with me at all times, I took the opportunity to film some short clips of Bergen during my visit this week. The video below is completely unrelated to work, but shows a little bit of my days exploring the city after work hours. Last year when I was there I stayed the weekend as well, but I didn't have time this time so here are some super brief snippets:

Despite being the second largest city in Norway, Bergen is famous for its small-town charm. It's picturesque mountain and fjords landscape, cobblestone alleyways and wooden houses, and of course, the delicious fresh seafood at the buzzing fish markets are reasons alone to visit. Last year I stayed at Hotel Scandic Strand with epic views of Brygga, while this year I stayed in the historic Villa Terminus in the city center. It was such a lovely experience, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone visiting Bergen. The food there was amazing too. I'd go to sleep early only to fast forward to breakfast.

And although the weather wasn't great this week, I still managed to hike up and down Mount Fløyen without getting soaked in the rain. The Fløibanen was definitly an option, but you don't get twice as good the view from there than if you were to do the hike. I'd rather save the cable car experience for Ulriken643, which is another great attraction in Bergen. You can read more about my previous trip to Bergen and Ulriken-experience here.

I hope you enjoyed my little update from Bergen. I still have one more week of work left and then I'm off to Croatia. So excited to explore a new country, reunite with the mister and get a proper beach vacation after working this whole summer. Until next time!

Jet set lifestyle

Home to Norway

Time flies so fast now a days that I didn't even realise that it's been over a month since I last updated this blog. Here's a little update on what I've been up to lately: After the weekend in Istanbul I flew home to Norway during reading week to spend time with my family, which was much needed. Despite living closer to home now I feel more homesick than ever. I love living in Copenhagen, I enjoy being a "jetsetter" - but at the end of the day, there is no place like home with my family and my dog. 

 settling in Copenhagen

Just to give a quick glimpse of my life in Copenhagen so far: It's much more quiet compared to when I used to live in Edinburgh for sure. In Edinburgh everything was walking distance, I had people around me 24/7 and campus was just a five minutes walk away.  Unlike Copenhagen where it takes a bit more effort to get around and to meet up with friends who live on the other side of the city. Basically, Copenhagen feels like Norway in a nutshell sometimes; the weather, the food prices, the people and culture. In general, Scandinavians are just much more reserved than British people, which I'm starting to get used to again. Having grown up in Norway there hasn't been much of a culture shock.

Otherwise I'm just living the normal student life. I don't talk about it a lot because it's not that interesting to know, but I do spend the rest of my time off-travelling studying towards a master's degree after all. 

spontaneous trip to London

Anyway, it so happened one evening a couple of weeks ago that I received an e-mail where I had won tickets to see Sam Smith the following day at Tate Modern in London. Being the biggest fan that I am I impulsively booked a 9PM flight to London the same night (for £40 with Norwegian Airlines) and ended up spending a long weekend there; catching up with my girlfriends from uni, eat amazing food, celebrate Guy Fawkes Night for the first time and of course, see my favourite artist. And as someone who's in a long distance relationship, it was an extra bonus to get to see my boyfriend in London again. 

long weekend in Brussels & Antwerp + London

Last Friday I flew to Belgium, which I'd been looking forward to a lot. The flight ticket was only 110 DKK (approx.  £10) with Ryanair when I booked it last month so I thought why not - just breathing in Copenhagen would be more expensive. We (Rickie, his family and I) spent two days in Brussels and one day exploring Antwerp, before taking the EuroStar train back to London for his graduation ceremony on Monday (I booked my tickets quite late so I paid almost €60). I flew back to Copenhagen the next day, and again, my flight ticket was only £10 with Ryanair. And that, my friends, is what I call budget traveling.

It was an overall wonderful trip with good family quality time, amazing food and exploring new places together. More about my Belgium trip in the next post. 

Exploring Bergen

My internship this summer sent me on a business trip to Bergen, so I took full advantage and set out to explore the city during the weekend off work. I stayed at Hotel Scandic Strand, situated only 200 meters away from the picturesque Bryggen and overlooking Mount Fløyen. I couldn't have asked for a more central location to maximise my four days of solo-exploration.

Bergen is known as the rainiest city in Norway. While I was there, it had been raining 138 out of 175 days. It rained every single day in the whole month of June! Surprisingly not my visit was no exception, but for some miraculous reason I managed to stay dry during my entire hike up to Mount Fløyen. I even got some sun as I reached the peak. On the way down I took the famous Fløibanen funicular for the sake of experiencing it, but I enjoyed the hike better - less crowded, and free.

Mount Ulriken was next on the itinerary. Ulriken643 Panorama Tour took me to the top of the mountain by cable car in 7 minutes, and the full view of Bergen from the top was just beautiful. Sea, fjords and hills in one scenery easily make Bergen one of the prettiest countries in Norway. 

I hiked all the way down instead of taking the cable car, which I realised half way wasn't the best decision this time. It was a long, tough route covered in slippery mud and it was pouring rain too - definitely not ideal when traveling alone after 6pm. In other words, these were the moments my mom always warned me about. Nevertheless I'm glad I was accompanied by two other hikers who made the experience feel a little bit safer.

The Pulpit Rock

- When you live life on the edge you see things you wouldn't with a view from the centre -

One of my goals this year before moving to China was to explore more of Norway. Norway hosts some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the world, so no wonder it is such a popular destination for foreigners. So often we crave overseas travels that we overlook the beauty of our home countries. This weekend reminded me that the best travels might just be a short ride away. 

Preikestolen, commonly known as the Pulpit Rock has been on my bucket list for so long. The cliff rising more than 600 meters above Lysefjorden is one of Norway’s most visited tourist attractions. The journey there from Oslo is not too far nor complicated as I originally thought. We travelled to Stavanger by flight, because it was the quickest and believe it or not - the cheapest option. From Stavanger port we took the ferry to Tau, and from there there was a bus that took us to the bottom of the mountain where the hike began. The hike itself was much quicker than two hours which we were told. We reached the peak in a little bit over an hour, including all the pitstops to take photos. 

Despite it being extremely windy that day, the sun was shining and I had a great time! 

Besseggen of Norway

Besseggen is one of the most popular mountain hikes in Norway, reaching 1743m above the ground at its highest peak. I hiked Besseggen with my friends in association with a classtrip back in 2010. The whole route usually takes about six hours to complete, but if I remember correctly we spent nearly seven hours including all the stops to take photos, and to have a scenic lunch break at the mountain peaks.

This place is breathtaking. The different colors of the waters, the mountains, everything.. It really portrays the natural beauty of our Norwegian fjords. I'm very inspired to experience more of this kind of landscape in the future!