I have been in Texas for two full days now. Back home with my family in my old bedroom from high school, nothing has changed here. Before coming back to Texas I did two major things. I celebrated May 17th in Oslo which is Norway’s independence day and after I flew back to America and stayed in New York for a few days for a vacation.
May 17th was amazing. The whole city comes out dressed in traditional norwegian ware. The woman wear these traditional dresses called Bunads and these beautiful jewelry pieces called Solje. Bunads are very special to norwegians as it was once considered rural clothing but is now worn on celebratory days such as independence day. A bunad is unique because the color and designs on it shows where your family lineage began. Norwegian men also wear their version of bunads, traditional slacks in tan with a vest and jacket with the design and color of your family house, or they wear kilts. A bunad can cost anywhere from $2,000-$10,000.
As I said earlier, Mai 17th is kicked of with a large parade in the centre of Oslo city. The royal family makes and appearance and a speech. The parade last hours and while it is an important moment for Norwegians where many kids can be seen running around in their tiny bunads. It is also an excuse to start drinking at 10am. During this day public drinking is completely acceptable and its not strange to see people drinking champagne on the train or beers on the street. unfortunately, I missed the royal family and only saw the tail end of the parade.
After the parade people usually go to the park to drink in the sun or to a barbeque….to drink. I was lucky enough to be invited to a barbeque by a beautiful friend of mine, Michelle. May 17th was truly a beautiful day and I so happy I was able to experience all aspects of it.
About a week and a half later I began packing up my dorm to move back home. I got rid of kilos of items I couldn’t take with me. It took me about three days, multiple tears, and the help of two friends to pack up and clean my little dorm. Leaving Norway was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. In my short time there I have met so many people I consider family and saying goodbye to them was beyond painful. I feel so lucky to have experienced everything I did but very sad I had to walk away from it. The moments I created will last me a lifetime and even though I had to say goodbye to so many people, I know it wasn’t for forever.
When buying my ticket to Norway I decided to spend some time in New York. I have a few friends who live there and anytime I get the chance I try to stop by for a few days and say hi. I spent five days eating my way through NYC and going to see some cool attractions.
My time in Oslo was the time of my life and an amazing jump off period for me to continue on the path I want my life to go. I have finally made it home and while I’m happy to be here I can’t help but to feel a sadness that I’m back in Texas. Now that I’m back I’ve created new goals for myself. I hope to find a job in cities government and use what I learned while abroad to enrich my community.