Although I am in the process of making plans for the future, Tromsø is a beautiful city and after 2 years of living here in Northern Norway, I've only just now found a flat that I can really call my home and am staying for at least a year more (cause that's when our rental contract ends and oh boy, finding a flat in Tromsø is so hard - but more on that later).
With graduating uni and getting an A for my Master's thesis (yaayy!!) though, my path to do a PhD is more or less widely open and since I wrote my thesis about Greenlandic culture, I might have to move to Denmark (or even Greenland) if I really want to pursue this path.
I've actually dreamt about doing this ever since I did fieldwork in both countries last year but that's not the only reason why I can imagine moving to Denmark (or anywhere else South of Tromsø).
Tromsø is as remote (and expensive) as it gets by many standards and I've started to envy everyone living more south for being able to leave for a weekend or city trip on a whim (and budget).
If I wanted to go on a weekend trip, I'd have to go to Oslo first and the plane ticket to Oslo is usually even more expensive than the ticket from Oslo to any final destination in the rest of Europe.
It's incredibly difficult for me to visit my family as there's always 2 hours on 2 planes plus 3 hours on the train or in the car involved. All this catching connecting flights and connecting trains has become more and more annoying during the last 2 years and I'd just like to live more centrally in Scandinavia.
That I want to stay in Scandinavia is a given, also because I understand the three Scandic languages and don't really want to move somewhere where I really don't understand anyone - listening to Danish already gives me enough of a headache, haha!
Anyway, while I'm not quite sure where I'm headed with my life next year, I do know that I'm incredibly lucky to live in a place others dream about visiting.
To live in Norway means that there are SO many fascinating places to visit, right off your doorstep and I'll probably never get enough of all these mountains and fjords. There are so many must-see destinations in Northern Norway alone and I'm incredibly grateful that I've already visited quite a lot of them.
Where I've been already:
The Lofoten Islands are probably my favourite place in the whole of Norway and there are still so many awesome islands left to discover there!
I visited the North Cape back in 2013 before I even lived in Tromsø and although it is a pretty touristy place, it's on many peoples' bucket lists and I totally understand why!
The magical home of the Norwegian mountain kings: Trollfjord! I've visited the fjord on a Hurtigruten cruise from Tromsø to the Lofoten Islands last autumn and it really was an amazing experience!
I've also been to Hammerfest, Northern Norway's oldest town; Gamvik, Norway's northernmost village where I spent a horrible workaway stay, and twice in the Lyngen Alps which is a popular destination for skiers about an hour from Tromso.
So yes, I guess I did a great deal of exploring Northern Norway already. Still, there are a couple of places on my Northern Norway bucket list that I haven't visited yet and while I also have pretty much the whole South of the country left to discover too, I figure that it's best if I check the places "nearby" first.
After all, it'll be pretty easy to explore Southern Norway if I live in Denmark - way easier than from Tromsø at least.
Still left on my bucket list:
Of course, Svalbard is a no-brainer! It's only a 1 1/2 hour flight from Tromso and it'll never be easier to visit this Norwegian outpost than from here.
It is expensive though so I'm considering a short trip really as there isn't exactly much to see anyway but I'd love to go on a tour to see some icebergs and maybe if I'm lucky, I'll even see a polar bear from the distance?
Anyway, you'll be the first to know if I'll actually head there!
Alta is just a short flight from Tromsø and even though the town is relatively small, there are 3 reasons why I want to visit anyway: the Northern Lights Cathedral, Ancient Rock Carvings at the Museum and the Alta Canyon.
Since there's isn't all that much to see, this would be the perfect weekend getaway from Tromsø and a trip I'd like to take before the snow comes back.
Let's see if I can make a trip to Alta happen this autumn - finger's crossed!
Røst is the most remote island of the Lofoten archipelago and situated 100km from the mainland. Apparently it's a hot spot for spotting puffins and let's be honest, that's definitely enough reason to visit the Lofoten Islands again!
I've also seen so many beautiful pictures of Reine on Pinterest which is also part of the southern Lofoten archipelago so I wouldn't mind a pit stop there.
Blåmannsisen is a glacier near Simon's hometown Fauske and although I've been to Fauske 2 times now, I didn't get the chance to visit the glacier yet. When I visited in October, the street up to the mountain was already icy and the weather quite bad and well in March there still was lots of snow around.
I'm hoping to make a trip to Fauske and maybe also the family's cabin in Swedish Lapland again this summer so finger's crossed that I'll finally get to see a glacier for real!
That being said, I'd also like to explore Swedish Lapland more and would so love to embark on the 4 hour bus trip to Narvik to then take the train that crosses all of Northern Sweden. Specifically I'd love to see Abisko National Park and Kiruna, the city that is being moved, as well as the winter market in Jokkmokk.
Abisko National Park is famous for Lapporten - the gateway to the Arctic and I'd just love to spend a couple of days going hiking in the area and seeing the gate for myself.
Plus, I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to shoot the Northern Lights there!
Kiruna is a mining town in Swedish Lapland and in order to continue with mining, the town has to be moved a few kilometres.
As I understand it, they are moving apartment block after apartment block so the whole process is going to take a while but still, it's such an interesting thing to witness and I'd love to visit and learn more.
Jokkmokk is a small town in the heart of Swedish Lapland that doesn't differ much from Tromsø in as that the main things you can do there are hiking, watching the Northern Lights and skiing. However each year in February they organise a so called Winter Market to celebrate the town's Sami culture.
Similiar to Sami Week in Tromsø, you can find a market with all kinds of Sami handicraft and design, as well as a competition in reindeer racing in Jokkmokk. It sounds like such an interesting event and I'd love to take part once.
So that's it - my bucket list for Northern Norway and Swedish Lapland! You probably don't know this but before moving to Tromso, I actually published a Northern Norway bucket list already and it's so great to see how much I've been able to cross off the list already!
Now I've only got to spot a whale in Tromso this winter!
Have you been to any of the places that are on my list?
And do you have a bucket list for the country you live in?
Welcome to Wanderful Wednesdays!
My favourite from last week was the post "Subsistence Fishing on the Mekong River in Laos" by Global Locavore. Not only did Lauren post some stunning sunset pictures from the Mekong River, she also raised the issue of subsistence vs. commercial fishing which I found inredibly interesting!
Thanks to Lauren for linking up with us!
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