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I can’t believe 2017 has gone by this fast! I still remember the beginning of the year and how I could not wait to finally leave Tromsø and move to the south of Norway.
Not because I didn’t like the city, but because polar night was rough and I started to get restless. Luckily, I managed to go on quite a few trips before my move to make time go by faster!
From Swedish Lapland to Denmark, Svalbard and Bodø, I’ve ticked off quite a few places off my Nordic travel bucket list this year!
To commemorate my trips this year and tell you more about my travels and plans for Snow in Tromso in 2018, I’m hopping on the bandwagon of recapping my year in this post!
Nordic Travel Highlights of 2017
We managed to cram in loads of trips during our last 6 months in Tromsø and to say that it’s been stressful is an understatement!
I really wanted to visit Kiruna - the city that’s on the move - so in March we went on the 7+ hour bus and train journey from Tromsø that was nothing but awful! We had a nice time in Kiruna, though, and it was all worth the hassle of using public transport to visit the Ice Hotel and attempt learning how to snowboard.
In April, I met my parents in Aarhus to spent the Easter holidays in Denmark. I got to hop on the Stena Line ferry to go from Oslo to Fredrikshavn, explored gorgeous Aalborg, visited Denmark’s oldest town, Ribe, and Denmark’s fairytale town, Odense.
It was a very busy trip but I’m glad I finally got to see more of Denmark than just Copenhagen and I’ll be back to explore more for sure!
Svalbard was, of course, the best trip of the entire year! It was absolutely mind blowing seeing glaciers from above, visiting Barentsburg, going dog-sledding and hiking in the mountains of Longyearbyen - despite polar bear danger!
I’m so happy we splurged and made that trip happen cause I don’t anticipate re-visiting Svalbard anytime soon - although I wish, of course!
When we had to leave Tromsø as our rental contract came to an end, we didn’t yet know where our journey would lead us, so we moved in with Simon’s family in Fauske for a month.
There, I got to experience the marking of the baby reindeer in the mountains and explore more of the stunning region around Bodø, which has quickly become my go-to answer whenever people ask me about where they should head in Norway if they’d like to explore off-the-beaten-path!
We then moved to Stavanger in August and I can honestly say that we feel at home in the city now. Sure, there still are loads of places we haven’t been to yet but we’re taking it step by step and am planning to stay in the city for the next years to come.
After all, Stavanger has pretty much everything - from mountains and fjords to sandy beaches and the ocean - so that it’ll take a while for us to get bored there, I reckon!
Most read posts of 2017
My most read posts this year are a mix of travel guides to Stockholm, Dublin and Tromsø, as well as expat accounts from Norway and cultural insights.
Here are my 10 most read blog posts of 2017, in case you haven't read them yet:
Most watched videos of 2017
At the end of last year, I started a YouTube channel to accompany the blog and I'm super stoked about how it's been going so far! We're going on 500 subscribers and one of my videos even passed the 10k views mark!
Here are the 5 most watched videos of 2017, and if you haven't already done so, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos in 2018!
Most liked pictures on Instagram of 2017
I saw this coming and turns out I was right: my most liked pictures on Instagram are all from Tromsø, which on the one hand, is understandable as it really is a stunning place.
On the other hand, however, it makes me worry about the future of Snow in Tromso's Instagram... I mean, I don't live there anymore and if all you guys like to see is Tromsø, I'm running into a problem, lol!
Snow in Tromso in 2018
I’ve managed to grow my blog quite a lot this year and am planning to take the growth a step further in 2018. I’ve also already planned a super exciting trip for the new year, which I’m really happy to finally share with you!
I'm super proud to say that after moving to Stavanger and going down the route of being self-employed, I managed to double my page views of Snow in Tromso - which had been pretty much stagnant for the entire year prior.
Not only do I have more time to (more or less) consistently publish new posts 2 times a week, but I also personally think that I’ve been able to improve my content by lengths.
It’s incredible how much has happened since I was able to shift my focus on the blog from something I’d only have time for in the evenings or on weekends, to something that has my first priority!
I was a guest on David’s podcast, the Life in Norway Show; have founded a Scandinavia and Nordics travel community on Facebook - together with the lovely ladies Megan, Silvia and Katie of Megan Starr, Heart My Backpack and Wandertooth - and passed 400 subscribers on my YouTube channel!
In 2018, I thus want to continue focusing on my content for the blog and my YouTube channel. Rather than spending heaps of time on social media - no matter whether that’s endlessly promoting my own stuff or trying to find things to retweet from others - I’d like to spend my time more usefully by creating more blog posts and videos that will help you have the best time on your trips up north!
What that also means is that I’ll spend less time on Instagram - like, way less. I want to use the app more spontaneously from now on - posting IG Stories whenever I’m on the go and filling the feed whenever I feel like it.
And yes, I'm totally aware that this goes against all IG strategies out there but quite frankly, I’ve been trying out loads of different strategies after leaving Tromsø and noticing a drop in engagement this year, and not noticing any change except me becoming fed up with the app.
From now on, I’d like to post because I want to and not because I feel like I have to.
I also want to post more spontaneously on Facebook and Twitter, though I’ll be using FB the most, followed by IG Stories when I’m on the road. After all, there’s no way I can pay equal attention to all my social media channels - believe me, I’ve tried!
Which brings me to another major source of headache after leaving Tromsø this year: my blog name! Believe it or not but if I’d get paid a dollar every time someone tells me that I should be “Snow in Stavanger” now, I could afford a really nice dinner in a fancy restaurant somewhere...
Anyway, I said that I wouldn’t change the name of the blog when I left Tromsø and although the urge is getting bigger and bigger to do it nonetheless, I also feel like it’s getting more and more complicated with my increase in page views, which I’d hate to see drop again.
Truth be told, I’m not sure if I’ll ever change the name of this blog but I can assure you that nothing will change content-wise. And if so, only for the better. Snow in Tromso has never been solely about Tromsø. To be fair, I published a guidebook to the city which I’m rather proud of, but that shouldn’t define the whole blog.
From the moment I started this blog, I’ve been writing about destinations all over the north - from Stockholm to Scotland, Latvia, Greenland and my way too short stay in Iceland. Snow in Tromso has always been about Northern Europe in general and the Arctic in particular, and that doesn’t change just because I don’t live in the Arctic anymore.
Also, that Stavanger is my new home base doesn’t mean that I won’t ever visit the Arctic again. In fact I will - next month!
To be fair, I haven’t made too many travel plans for 2018 yet. I have some trips I’d like to go on in my head, but so far, only one big trip is finalized: Finland!
I’ll be heading to Finland to attend Matka and participate in NBE next month and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been wanting to visit Finland for ages now but never even got to cross the border near Tromsø. Thanks to the Nordic Blogger’s Experience however, I’ll get to visit Helsinki, Lathi and Kuusamo in Finnish Lapland and I can’t wait to show you around!
Other than that, I’m definitely planning on exploring Southern Norway a lot more this summer. I feel like we haven’t actually explored and seen much of the Stavanger region since moving here, despite our Christmas market explorations, and I really want to venture out to see Kristiansand, Bergen and Hardangervidda as well!
We’ll see what the upcoming year holds in store for me travel-wise but content-wise, you can be looking forward to the complete Svalbard diaries on YouTube as I still have all vlogs from our trip to share; posts and videos about Denmark, and of course, more guides to Tromsø and Stavanger, but also Northern Germany (more on Hamburg, Berlin and the Harz Mountains), and then, of course, loads of content on Finland!!
Next week, I'm heading back to Hamburg - for like the tenth time, but thanks to Hamburg Marketing, we have an exciting tour planned to see the city from a different perspective!
And last but certainly not least: Thank you so much for following along and for all the feedback I receive from you guys! I appreciate it so much and this space would be pointless without all your messages, comments and emails!
Whether you're still dreaming of a trip to the north in 2018 or already have something in the works, I wish you the best of time and please don't hesitate to ask away if you have any questions you think I could answer about traveling in the north!
Are you planning a Nordic trip in 2018?
Where are you headed?
Leave a comment below!