Life Lately // Winter Wonderlands, Gorgeous Views & Lots of Changes

I originally intended to call this post "New Job, Walks in the Winter Wonderland, Tromso International Film Festival, Ski Championship and Sami Week" but figured that might have been too long, haha! But as you can probably tell by now, I've been incredibly busy lately!

I returned to Tromso from my winter holiday in Germany in mid-January and have been busy on every single weekend since then. Now you might think that's normal but since I'm working 45+ hours a week, I definitely long for one whole weekend spent on the couch!

I've scheduled one in very soon though - this girl needs a break! But let's start at the very beginning and let me tell you what I've been up to in detail. First things first:

New Job

I finally got a new job! As you might have read, I was jobless upon returning to Tromso after the summer as my contract ended and it took me some 4 months to get a new one. It was some incredibly frustrating 4 months where I had to learn how to write a CV and application in Norwegian for the first time and where I applied to 5 different jobs without ever hearing back or only being rejected before I was finally invited to interview for my now new job.

Frustrating to say the least but ultimately worth it. Fortunately, the university offers a free career service for its students which helped me so much in figuring out how to write a killer CV and how to survive a job interview. You can imagine how nervous I was cause I did all of that in Norwegian but ultimately I managed and got the job.

I'm now working part-time as a social media consultant and feel like I have to thank you guys cause I never would have gotten that job without this blog. I'm not going to lie - it's incredible hard to keep up with this space between working and writing my Masters thesis but I definitely don't want to miss it.

Speaking of my thesis, it's going well but at the same time, the thought of graduating uni in less than 5 months is incredibly frightening! As soon as I graduate I have to be all adult and deal with earning money, paying back my student loan and finding a new flat. Not that I haven't done the latter 100 times before, haha. Now I do like my current place and was really lucky with my flatmates but I really want to have my own place again....

Anyway, wish me good luck for transforming into an adult, haha!

Winter Wonderland Walks

We're right in the middle of winter and the city is full of snow, yay! Well at least, every now and then inbetween those days were it's raining and everything turns to ice... Anyway, the boyfriend and I went on a tour to the ski jumping tower recently and the views over a wintery Tromso were just so amazing!

Like, seriously? I love this winter wonderland!

Tromso International Film Festival

A couple of weeks ago, Simon and I also attended Tromso International Film Festival for the first time. I didn't go last year because I found it so expensive. I didn't have that feeling when we bought tickets this year but that was for a reason. Turns out you need a festival pass for an additional $10 in addition to the tickets for each film but we didn't know about it until we wanted to see the third and last film on our list.

You can probably understand our frustration in having to buy a pass just to see one movie. I mean, they could have included a notice saying something like "Please remember to buy a festival pass" in our ticket confirmation email or briefed their volunteers correctly so that they would have checked whether or not we had a pass already for our first movie but none of that happened.

So stupid, right? Anyway, let's just say I ended up yelling at the people working at the info desk in Norwegian and I've never yelled in Norwegian before. But I guess if you can yell at people in a foreign language, you really speak it fluently... We ended up buying reduced festival passes from a couple who had bought too many and who supposedly heard me yelling - at least something good came out of it, haha.

But let's talk about the movies we saw. We decided to see 3 documentaries focussing on the North: "A Song for Mursal", "Me and My Little Sister" and "Arctic Superstar". "A Song for Mursal" was featuring the struggle of a girl from Afghanistan who came to Northern Norway as a refugee with her family and the years of waiting and fighting to get a permanent residence permit. It was a really nice documentary and it just still is beyond me why refugees have to wait for YEARS to get an answer....

"Me and My Little Sister" was about being Sami and homosexual. The director made a documentary about her little sister who is lesbian and wanted to get married and have children even though homosexuality still isn't really accepted in Sami culture. The two travelled to Northern Finland and Norway and later on even to Canada to find out more about what Sami people and other indigenous people think about the topic. It was a really emotional movie and definitely my favourite of the day!

Lastly, "Arctic Superstar" featured the life of a Sami rapper from a little town in Northern Norway and his struggle to become famous and stay true to his Sami heritage. It was a really promising movie but the director kinda ruined it by showing way too many shots of drunken Sami people, which only reinforced the stereotypes so many people in Norway and Tromso already have of them. The reaction of the audience in the theater whenever someone said something "less intellectual" - mostly people over 50 I have to add - kinda made me cringe. I don't know how else to describe it but the message the rapper had about what it's like to be a Sami artist from the middle of nowhere totally went down inbetween all those stereotypes.

Maybe I'm just seeing it that way cause I'm studying Indigenous Studies and write my thesis about representation though... All in all, Tromso International Film Festival could have been an awesome event but the organisation chaos and the pricing kinda ruined the experience for us.

National Ski Championship

The National Ski Championship however was a blast! Neither Simon nor I had been to a ski event before so this was pretty exciting. Of course, we arrived there way too early cause they said in the newspapers that they expected 4000-5000 people and I hate crowds and didn't want to stand on the bus for a 15 kilometre ride... Well, we kinda were the first guests that day, haha!

It did have an advantage though as we were able to see the most gorgeous sunrise in the stadium and walked around the loipe before settling for a place with a pretty good view on the start and end of the race, as well as a view on the king. Yes, the king! I saw the Norwegian king for the first time so after seeing Victoria of Sweden and Margrethe of Denmark in 2014 and 2015, I've now seen at least one member of each of the Scandinavian royal families, yay!

Anyway, I think this event deserves a post on its own so stay tuned for more pictures in late winter (aka March-April in the Arctic, did I mention I was busy?!).

Sami Week

6th of February is Sami National Day and that's celebrated in Tromso with a so called Sami Week. If you've been following along on Snapchat, you know that the highlights of that week were the winter market on the main square, as well as the championship in lasso throwing last Saturday and the championship in reindeer racing on Sunday.

Simon and I attended both events though I have to say, we enjoyed the lasso throwing way more than the reindeer race. There were not so many people around on Saturday and I even got to try throwing the lasso myself - prepare yourself for some embarassing pictures of me in a post about Sami Week soon, haha! Anyway, the reindeer race was kinda weird. The reindeers seemed so stressed out and one even hurt himself.

Also, the stupid German tourist who pushed my tripod out of the way to take pictures herself and who completely ignored my complaint didn't exactly raise the mood. I mean, yeah there were lots of people and not everyone got a good place to see the race but we arrived at the track 45 minutes early for exactly that reason - not having to fight with arrogant tourists for a place...

Anyway, we did have a nice weekend celebrating the National Day of the Sami and there'll definitely be a blog post about all the events coming up!

Blogging

You can imagine that I kinda have a hard time combining work, uni and the blog so I have decided to stop offering sponsorships for a while. I know I said quite recently that I wanted to keep up with advertising but I noticed myself that I couldn't give my sponsors the attention they deserved this past month. Also, I really want to focus on everything Northern on this space this year so I'll focus on my own work for a couple of months and see how it goes.

I don't know if or when I offer sponsorships again but for now, I just want to focus on blogging more about Norway - from Norwegian culture to food to more hidden gems. I have a few posts on Hamburg coming up next but after that, it's all about the High North again. Hope that's of your interest too!

Anyway, this has gotten way longer than I planned it to be! Thanks for managing to read to the end and don't forget to follow my newsletter to keep up to date with everything that goes on at Snow in Tromso. Also, remember to follow me on Snapchat (@snowintromso) to keep up to date with my weekend adventures up North and follow along on Instagram for more snaps of this winter wonderland!

Linking up with Bonnie for Travel Tuesday!