It is a bitter-sweet thing, knowing two cultures.
Once you leave your birthplace nothing is ever the same.
– Sarah Turnbull
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.
– St. Augustine
The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility
and the wings of independence.
– Denis Waitly
The desire to write grows with writing.
– Desiderius Erasmus
Everything we interact with has something to contribute to our journey.
– Deepak Chopra
My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.
– Author Unknown
Hi, I’m Cindi: Empty nester, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt … student, teacher … friend … freelance musician, web designer, and virtual assistant … pet devotee … traveler, expat … volunteer … hooked on historical fiction and advice columns … never too far away from my Spotify and iPod playlists … I enjoy sharing my experiences, and exploring how they’ve shaped the person I am today.
I have two adult daughters of whom I am so very proud. One controls satellites in the U.S. Army, one is a Massage Therapist, and both are truly delightful, compassionate, and caring young women. Of all the “hats” I wore/wear/mention above, raising them has been my most satisfying one. Our relationship has evolved from parent to friend, and my decision to move to Norway means I don’t see them as often as I’d like. I find that reality and those emotions have affected my writing; you’ll see that evolution of my blogging voice in this blog that originated simply as a way to share my journey of moving to a new country.
I created a LiveJournal blog during my first visit to Norway in 2006, when I was getting ready to move here. And for two years after I moved to Norway I continued to publish longer written thoughts about my experiences in adjusting to life in this beautiful country. These past few years I’ve found that photos and shorter worded thoughts suit my desire to share those particular emotions and observations.
But I’m not just an American living in Norway. I’m also a traveler, and as this blog has grown I’ve decided to include favorite photos and memories of my trips.
WHO WAS I?
I was a middle-class suburban girl from the U.S. with parents who loved and sacrificed for my brothers and me, a close extended family, great friends and education opportunities and experiences.
WHO AM I?
But as I moved out into the world as an adult I realized I was naive, with no curiosity about what life was like outside of my own little world and experiences.
My living abroad in Berlin behind the Wall in 1982-1984 and now in Norway since 2007, plus all my travel experiences and opportunities, are an important part of my overall understanding of me as a human immersed in another country, another culture, another life. Re-reading my first impressions takes me back to the magical new times of awe and exploration, and looking at my thousands of photos has helped me re-live cherished moments of discovery.
And as a middle-age woman with mobility issues, I appreciate those words and photos even more both for the memories, and as encouragement to keep moving and exploring through life … even if it can’t be quite as easy as it was before.
Through my little piece of Internet real estate, I’m meeting other expats and travelers, new parents and empty nesters, writers and photographers, visitors that are native English speakers and those that use a translator to read my words … and I’m discovering we all are connected, all similar, and all searching for something both inside and outside of us. It’s validating, entertaining, creative, and wonderful – and I’m glad you’re along for the journey.
Although real life often gets in the way, I do try to keep this part of the Internet updated regularly. Weekends will usually find a new post about Norway. Tuesdays may find an aspect of travel. Wednesdays I publish a favorite image as part of Wordless Wednesdays. Thursdays are somewhat “artistic” — I share either funny/poignant Norwegian commercials, or information about a Norwegian painter and their artwork. And occasional Fridays find me reblogging posts from my archives in a “Flashback Friday” type of format. And, if one of the WordPress Daily Prompts or Weekly Photo Challenges grabs my imagination and interest, you’ll find that added to the mix too.
EDIT 2015: Real life — family and work — is alive and kicking so time here has become limited … but I’ll be posting and visiting your blogs when I can!
EDIT 2016: A move to Colorado and increased commitment to family and work have brought my blogging to an end. Temporarily? Permanently? The future will let me know!
So tell me: what would *you* like to know about Norway? Bergen? Expatriate life? Learning another language? Living too far away from family? Music? WordPress? (And, MacKenzie chimes in with “Labradors!”) Let me know what you’re interested in; I’d enjoy sharing my thoughts in a future post.
I hope both my words and the photographs I post can take you outside of yourself and your surroundings for a few moments. Your words and photos have given that gift to me. Let’s connect!