Apologies for the delayed post, our last week at ISS was incredibly busy! As much as I love staying in contact with everyone back home, I’ve learned just how important it is to be really be with the people you are surrounded by.
6,000 words and two 15 minute presentations later, I completed both my film class and Peace Scholars seminar. It will take some time to really sit down and reflect on my education here in Oslo, I’m still moving, as Steinar would say.
It is extremely difficult to reach the end of an incredible experience. I’ve made so many close friends here in Oslo, but I know we will meet again. This is only the beginning! For me, August is the beginning in many ways. I’m beginning a trip through Europe with my best friend and meeting some friends along the way. I’m beginning my senior year at Augustana. And I’m beginning my future, wherever it takes me.
This summer I’ve learned to take chances and to say, “what luck,” as Sandra Looney always says. I never fully grasped the meaning of her saying until this summer as I learned to just let things be and enjoy the happy accidents along the way. I spent the last two days in Oslo with no plans and nowhere to stay except the great outdoors. I ended up camping with some amazing friends (Kayla, Chase, Naby, an Erica) and spent time exploring Oslo and relaxing. It was one of the most enjoyable camping experiences I’ve had, especially waking up to a storm. 🙂
I’m now in Bergen with Kayla and Thad and tomorrow we are heading to Odda to embark on one of the best hikes, Trolltunga. This trip has been full of many happy accidents (except for being stung by a bee, that wasn’t a happy moment). I am continually impressed by the kindness of complete strangers, and we haven’t even left Norway! I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to travel Europe. As Americans we sometimes forget just how lucky we are to have the opportunity to travel in a world where everyone can speak our language and teach us about their culture. My challenge for my adventure in Europe is to dig deeper than the tourist sites, to ask questions, and to immerse myself in the culture.