Thinking about heading to Norway (or possibly even moving there)? Megan Starr, an American living in Norway, fills us in on what to eat, how to relocate and and how to go beyond the guidebook.
1. What has been your favorite misadventure living in Norway?
My favorite misadventure(s) must always be with regards to visa issues. While I used to scream and complain about it, I also would book trips just to get away from things. Some of my best stories and travels came as a result of being irritated with visa issues within Norway!
2. What’s one tip you would give someone wanting to move abroad but who is nervous?
I would just tell them that they’ll never regret moving abroad, but they will most likely always regret not doing it. I’ve never met anyone who resents the fact that they lived in a different country, regardless of the situation that brought them there.
3. What has been the biggest challenge moving from the U.S. to Norway?
The biggest challenge was knowing I was going from having a good job to nothing in my late 20s. I hadn’t saved as I should have and I was also bringing my dog with me to Norway. It was a lot of paperwork and hassle. And trying to explain this to your parents who are very career and education driven people can easily be the most daunting part!
4. What has been the biggest reward of moving from the U.S. to Norway?
I actually moved here for a guy. I guess the most rewarding thing has been that we are still together and going strong three years after my move here. Which confirms and justifies my decision to do it in the first place.
5. For travelers going to Norway what’s one thing you recommend that they probably won’t see in their guidebook?
This comes as a MAJOR price, but it’s so worth it – the beer. The mainstream beer here is just okay and nothing to write home about, but the craft beers are really good. Being from the United States where we have an incredible craft beer scene, I never imagined I would be so satisfied with the offerings here. It’s definitely up-and-coming in Norway, but is getting better by the day. If only I could find a way to make the beer cheaper…
6. What’s your favorite local Norwegian dish and why?
I have to admit- I’m not a huge fan of the food here. It is too bland and heavy for my likings, but the actual Nordic ingredients themselves are pretty remarkable. I love being able to get local sea buckthorn, raspberries, sea vegetables, cloudberries, prawns, wild blueberries, and many other things. When those ingredients are available or in season, it makes me a very, very happy eater.
7. What’s one underrated destination in Norway and why?
Hardangervidda. This is massive plateau that runs across the center of Norway and while most people think of fjords and mountains and the sea in Norway, Hardangervidda looks like the terrain on Mars. Hardangervidda is actually the largest mountain plateau in all of Europe, and it is so high in altitude that trees are unable to grow there. It’s just a really cool and peculiar landscape.
8. If a traveler had to choose one single thing to do in Norway, what would you recommend?
Make sure the Northern Lights are out and dancing. Not really…because of course that is unpredictable. 🙂 I would probably say to see the fjords and waterfalls. It’s no secret that Norway is breathtaking, but until you see the fjords in person, you really don’t grasp just how breathtaking it is. Bergen is a good starting point for this…not Oslo. Just make sure you bring your raincoat!
Megan Starr is a travel and content editor by day and dog mom by night. Her hobbies include traveling- particularly to offbeat locations, holistic nutrition, music, craft beers, and enjoying the outdoors. She writes about her travels at Meganstarr.com and can also be found on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.