I have tagged 2 blog posts with norwegian-landscape:

Embracing Homesickness: A Journey of Gratitude Amidst Norway's Frosty Dawn

A notebook, pen, and a printed news article lay on a wooden table, surrounded by snowfall visible through a window.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, February 19, 2024, 07:54

As the morning chill of -4°C embraces the Norwegian landscape, I find myself on the train once again; my heated seat a pleasant contrast to the frosty window panes. In the soft hum of the train's machinery, an extraordinary dance of creation unfolds. The windows become a canvas, on which the cold air brushes abstract patterns, which faded as fast as they appeared.

Today, like every other morning, I use the peaceful rhythm of the journey to exercise my craft, my passion - journalism, and carve out a space for my thoughts online. Today, I feel the need to talk about something a little more personal, a little more resonating - homesickness.

Home. A simple four-letter word that carries a universe of emotions, memories and warmth within it. For many like me, who are living away from their familiar corners, homesickness can sometimes be a bitter pill to swallow. It can sneak upon us in the most unexpected moments; when we sip coffee that just isn't brewed right or when we hear a familiar tune being hummed by a stranger.

This morning, while scanning through the news, I stumbled upon an article from ABC Nyheter. It was an account of an unfortunate series of events unfolding in Avdiivka, a small town in Eastern Ukraine. The pleasant rhythm of my morning journey was disrupted by the vivid descriptions of turmoil, control, and disaster. Yet, reading about Avdiivka, it wasn't the political intrigues that resonated with me. It was the unspoken sense of longing for normalcy, for the comfort of peace. And a deep, underlying appreciation for home.

Among the bombarded structures and disrupted routines, I began to see homesickness in another light. Not as an ailment to be soothed, but as a testament to the deep connections we form with our environment, our culture, our people, and our homes. In my own struggle with homesickness, I see fragments of a universal longing for a sense of belonging that transcends borders and conflicts, knitting us closer to the human tribe.

So for those of us fighting the familiar ache of missing home, perhaps it is time to shift perspective and embrace it with a hint of gratitude. Let it serve as a reminder of the love you carry for your home, the connections you have forged, and the personal growth you have experienced in your journey away from it. Take a moment and cherish the warmth it brings, against the cold, -4°C morning.

For as much as homesickness is a longing for a place, it is equally a longing for time - a time that once seemed ordinary, until viewed from the rear-view mirror of distance. It reminds us of the incandescent joy of simple, mundane routines, and the beautiful complexity of our connections.

Life will always be a journey on a moving train. Home, the well-loved and sorely missed station we pass now and again. And homesickness, the ache that reminds us of the beautiful sights, scents, and sounds etched deep in our hearts. And for this constant reminder, today, I am grateful.

Tags: homesickness journalism Norwegian landscape

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Chasing Snowflakes & Stars: The Art of Navigating Adult Friendships

Vintage photo of sturdy Norwegian houses in a storm, with two people talking warmly inside.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, November 9, 2023, 14:08

There is something uniquely blissful about observing the vast, crisp, white wonderland outside my train window; snowflakes scattered around like a canvas of immaculate beauty. Yes, it's a crisp 4°C, but the Norwegian landscape seems to emanate warmth and comfort in its own peculiar way. As I immerse in this sight, my mind spirals into reflections on a recent wholesome conversation, the essence of which could be encapsulated in three words; Navigating adult friendships.

As we mature, the term 'friendship' subtly starts to evolve. No longer is it solely about birthday parties, borrowed pencils, or shared secrets at sleepovers. It becomes a layered, intricate tapestry woven together with threads of mutual respect, understanding, care, patience, and most importantly, growth.

As I ponder on, I equate adult friendships to old, sturdy Norwegian houses, beautiful in their antique charm yet replete with hidden complexities. Just like how these houses battle fierce weather, our friendships face trials, conflict, and disagreements. Yet it is this tumultuous weather that strengthens the wooden planks, as it is through these conflicts that friendships deepen and become meaningful.

We navigate these friendships with intuition, with time, and with immense patience. At times, we slip, we fumble, but that should never discourage us from seeking the delightful warmth that these bonds offer. Our bonds are like our other investments; they thrive when nurtured, wither if neglected. This maintenance, my dear readers, is not a chore, instead, it’s an investment that warms our heart and nurtures our soul.

Just like how I read Høyre party's consideration of the pension reform today as a solution to the complex economic issues, we must remember that resolving our personal entanglements too isn't a 'no-brainer'. It requires effort, understanding, and a strong desire to make things simpler. From their perspective, a sustainable solution embraced by all seems to be the key to a settled future.

Similarly, navigating friendships as an adult demands proactive communication, openness, and sustainably managing our expectations. It’s about long-term building which should actively involve every 'political party' encountered in our journey; be it joy, sadness, bitterness, or forgiveness.

And sometimes, all it takes is a quiet train ride, accompanied by the bliss of a serene winter afternoon to realize this. As the snowy landscape fades into a blanket of twilight stars, I store away my thoughts, smiling at the warmth it brought, even at just 4 degrees Celsius. Just like the Norwegian landscape, friendships might seem cold and daunting; but when navigated with care, they are a source of immense warmth, comfort and, most importantly, bliss!

Tags: adult friendships self-reflection Norwegian landscape

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