Our Next Move

February 15, 2012

Stavanger night

Searching for work overseas can be a bit overwhelming, especially over the holiday period when most people are out of the office or just coming back after time off. Sending your resume around, searching online job boards and having countless phone calls with agents isn’t much fun either. But after weeks of searching, John pushed through it all and found himself a new job: in Norway. So we’re excited to let everyone know that we’re about to move to Scandinavia indefinitely!

Lvovsky Our Next Move

Photo by Lvovsky from Flickr.

It’s always a thrill to plan a trip to a new place but moving is a bit more of a pain in the arse. There are visas to secure and accounts to settle, items to ship and short-term accommodation to find. We haven’t even begun to think about where we might like to live in our new city – or booked our flights for that matter. We still have a bit more research to do and are awaiting more information from the company. Did I mention that neither one of us has been to Norway before?

Stavanger harbour yodod Our Next Move

Photo by Yodod from Flickr.

One of the things we learned during our sabbatical year was that we prefer to reside in a destination for awhile instead of moving around a lot. Being an expat probably isn’t what most people have in mind when they think of slow travel but we want to start a family later this year and so staying on the road full-time, even at a meandering pace, doesn’t appeal to us at this stage in our lives. Perhaps we’ll save enough to take a long-term family trip again one day, but in the meantime the expat life will suit us just fine for stability, while providing us the opportunity to discover a new country and culture.

JMCoating Our Next Move

Photo by Yodod from Flickr.

We were considering a few different places this time around, including the US and the Middle East. In the past we’ve lived and worked in France, the UK and, of course, our native homelands of Australia and the United States. We were pretty much open to anything at the start of our search, with Europe always a top choice because, well, it’s our favourite continent. But after careful consideration and other factors, an important one being the opportunities available, the contenders became Denmark, France, UK and Norway, with a company in the latter having the choice position for John.

DenaFlows Our Next Move

Photo by Dena Flows from Flickr.

John loved Finland, Denmark and Sweden when he visited in 2003 but I’ve never set foot in any of the Scandinavian countries, which makes it extra exciting for me. We’ll be close to so many places that I’m dying to visit: Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and, of course, the rest of Norway. So while this blog will be taking on more of an expat focus for the next several months as we settle in, we’ll have the opportunity to cover many more European destinations in depth in the coming years. I can’t wait!

RaulSoler Our Next Move

Photo by Raul Soler from Flickr.

Our new home will be Stavanger and I’m grateful to the talented photographers on Flickr for making the art for this post possible. I’ll talk a little more about Stavanger in a coming post. So much research to do…

Do you live in Norway or have you visited before? What do we have to look forward to?

80 comments

  1. Comment by Dayna and Kurt

    Dayna and Kurt Reply February 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    That will be so incredible for you both.  I believe in a year or two (possibly sooner), we will probably adapt the expat lifestyle in lieu of the way we travel now (though we do spend a month or two in most countries we visit).  I am enjoying it now, but I have a feeling I’ll be like you and want that stability, an apartment that is my own, etc. in the foreseeable future.  

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      I think it’s great to do a year or two away and move around a lot and see what you like first, though…we definitely found last year to be awesome for deciding which places we could handle full-time – and which places we couldn’t.

  2. Comment by Lisa

    Lisa Reply February 16, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Congratulations! I hope you have an amazing adventure in Norway. I have friends who lived and worked there and they loved it, though they said the cold was intense.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      That’s so great to hear, Lisa – I expect the cold to be fierce as you’ve mentioned though! I read today that it rarely snows in Stavanger so that’s a plus!

  3. Comment by Alexa-- 52 PerfectDays

    Alexa-- 52 PerfectDays Reply February 16, 2012 at 2:27 am

     Norway looks so peaceful and the pictures you put up resonates its beauty. Congratulations and I hope your lives in Norway will be memorable one.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      It certainly does look peaceful – that definitely appeals to us. Thanks so much for your kind wishes, Alexa =)

  4. Comment by Randy Kalp

    Randy Kalp Reply February 16, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Fantastic news! I love moving to a new city, especially one that you are really excited about. Can’t wait to read about your adventures in Norway.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      We do too, Randy – thanks! =)

  5. Comment by emilyinchile

    emilyinchile Reply February 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Exciting stuff! Can’t wait to hear more about Norway and how settling in to expat life goes.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      Thanks, Emily! I’m sure it will be eventful, haha =)

  6. Comment by bluenosegirl

    bluenosegirl Reply February 16, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Good luck with the move guys!  I find Norway has a bit of a Nova Scotia feel to it and look forward to the day I get to visit the place that looks so familiar to me.  

    I am with you on the expat way of life as a way to travel, I really like getting to know the day to day life and rhythm of a place.  However I think it may take the rest of my life to really know London.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! I’ve never been to Nova Scotia – will be sure to share more of our own pictures when we arrive, of course, and you can let me know how it compares =)

  7. Comment by Ellen & Justin

    Ellen & Justin Reply February 16, 2012 at 8:23 am

    That’s exciting, guys! I look forward to hearing more about the job, the new community, and life in Norway!

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Thanks so much, Ellen and Justin – we’ll share every detail! =)

  8. Comment by Catherine Sweeney

    Catherine Sweeney Reply February 16, 2012 at 1:28 am

    So exciting! It’ll be fun to read about your expat life in Norway and new additions to the family.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Thanks so much, Cathy – look forward to sharing our adventure with you =)

  9. Comment by Claire

    Claire Reply February 16, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Wow, that’s exciting! Looking forward to hear about Norway, would love to go I’ve heard nothing but good things about it! 

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      We don’t know too much except for Fjords and the Viking history – I can’t wait to explore!

  10. Comment by Amanda Williams

    Amanda Williams Reply February 16, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Awesome!! Very excited for you both!

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks, Amanda!! =)

  11. Comment by Flipnomad

    Flipnomad Reply February 16, 2012 at 11:05 am

    wow… this is awesome… the town looks very beautiful :-)

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      It does, doesn’t it? Postcard pretty – will be a big change from Melbourne city

  12. Comment by Laura

    Laura Reply February 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I’ve never been to Norway, but I’ve heard great things and have always wanted to visit. Can’t wait to hear more!

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks, Laura! I’ve heard great things as well so can’t wait to see for myself =)

  13. Comment by Sabrina

    Sabrina Reply February 16, 2012 at 4:10 am

    Congratulations! That’s so exciting! It’s so difficult to find a job in a country when you’re far away… interviews plus visa issues = so much stress. I’ve never been to Norway, but met lots of really fun Norwegian students in Texas. They made it sound like a great place :)

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      How cool! I’ve only met one Norwegian but look forward to getting to know the place =)

  14. Comment by thetravelchica

    thetravelchica Reply February 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Congrats, guys!  I definitely understand the desire to settle down after a long burst of travel, and I think the expat life will suit you both.  That’s going to be a great location for exploring Europe, and I look forward to reading all about it.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 17, 2012 at 12:12 am

      Thanks, Stephanie! Last time we did the expat thing was in France and we loved living in Europe – can’t wait =)

  15. Comment by Cam

    Cam Reply February 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Awesome news – congrats guys!
    We went through the same experience last year, finding new work and getting “settled” again after a year of consistent travel. It’s great to have some roots again, and how exciting to do it in an entirely new country!

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks, Cam! Can’t wait to have our own place again =)

  16. Comment by Audrey

    Audrey Reply February 17, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Congratulations! Dan and I were just talking about Norway the other day and how we’d love to return as it’s such a beautiful country. And I can definitely understand wanting to settle down for a bit and enjoying the discovery of a new culture, language and country. I think a lot of long-term travelers are thinking about that these days :)

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 17, 2012 at 10:21 am

      Thanks so much, Audrey =) We’ve both tried it before and loved it but I think this will be a longer stint than either of us has done before (aside from when I moved to Australia for the first time). So wonderful to hear that you loved Norway – can’t wait to explore!

  17. Comment by Sophie

    Sophie Reply February 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    What fun! You’ll love the lovely long white summer nights. Look forward to reading about your experiences here. And when you come to Oslo, let me know.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Ah, fantastic, Sophie – I was waiting for your comment – wasn’t sure where you lived or if you were still in Norway =) Almost everyone we know is in Oslo so we’ll be visiting for sure =)

  18. Comment by Nate Robert

    Nate Robert Reply February 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Olso is pretty much the perfect city, I have a good Norwegian friend, and stayed recently for a couple of weeks. Absolutely loved it!

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 18, 2012 at 11:08 am

      That’s awesome, Nate – I’m sure we’ll get to visit Oslo a few times – it’s only an short flight away – look forward to checking it out!

  19. Comment by B311

    B311 Reply February 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Congrats! Seems like a hard-fought victory and the place looks amazing. You both must be so excited. Any chance of blog post on the horizon detailing the process you took to land the new job (not specifics of the job, of course)? Love your writing style and would be interested in hearing your thoughts on what works and doesn’t work when looking for work abroad.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 18, 2012 at 11:03 am

      I thought about writing a post about the job search specifically so thanks for letting us know that you’re interested – I’m putting it on the editorial calendar and will get John to work on it with me. =)

  20. Comment by Andrew

    Andrew Reply February 18, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Join the expat world. It is great. You will never be more frustrated. Or cheer at the smallest accomplishment.  It is a wild ride, but such a great experience. Looking forward to more expat posts.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 18, 2012 at 11:02 am

      I’m sure it will be like when I moved to Australia for the first time all over again, haha

  21. Comment by Our Oyster

    Our Oyster Reply February 18, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Make sure you go to Bergen and do a fjord cruise!!! Oh and the train ride from Oslo to Bergen is INCREDIBLE

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 18, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Thanks for the tips! We’ll be living close to Bergen so I’m sure we’ll get up there soon enough =)

  22. Comment by Andi Perullo

    Andi Perullo Reply February 18, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh I’m SO excited for you 2! Look at all of your awesome comments you got. :)

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 18, 2012 at 11:01 am

      I know – our readers are the best! =)

  23. Comment by Laura

    Laura Reply February 19, 2012 at 2:17 am

    Wow, moving to Norway! This is a big step. Best of luck! 

    We plan on visiting Scandinavia later on this year, so we are looking forward to reading your posts about Norway once you’ve moved there. Sounds so exciting!

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Thanks so much, Laura! How exciting that you’ll be visiting Scandinavia – I’ve never been there so it’s all fresh for me – I can’t wait =)

  24. Comment by Ali

    Ali Reply February 19, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Congrats on the big move! 

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Thanks so much, Ali! Hope to catch up with you and Andrew in Germany at some point =)

  25. Comment by Amer @TendToTravel

    Amer @TendToTravel Reply February 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    wow that sounds awesome! I’ve never been to Scandinavia but I know that the quality of life over there is really high. Who knows you might just stay there longer? I mean, I would. Good luck and looking forward on your next move.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks so much, Amer! We’re hoping to stay there for at least a few years – have heard the same about really great quality of life (and will report back on that) =)

  26. Comment by GRRRL TRAVELER

    GRRRL TRAVELER Reply February 20, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Congrats on the new move! I don’t know much about Norway, so it’ll be exciting to learn more about it through your adventure.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Thanks so much – it’s so exciting to learn more about a new place, isn’t it? =)

  27. Comment by Jade

    Jade Reply February 22, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Ah, so exciting! I’ve never been to Norway, but they have a huge tourism push right now and I’m seeing ads for it everywhere! Can’t wait to read about your next journey and staying put for a little while! 

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 23, 2012 at 1:07 am

      That’s a great tip, Jade =) I should contact the tourism board as soon as we get there!

  28. Comment by Stevo the Devo

    Stevo the Devo Reply February 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve read about Stavanger and it seems like a cool place. I heard they have the best seafood restaurant in the country there. Did you know that their football club is called Viking FK (Viking Fotballklubb)? How kool is that?? Go the Vikes. They play in the Norwegian league called the Tippeligaen. How kool is that name too?

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      You know more about it than I do! I’d heard of Viking FK but never knew it was Stavanger’s.

  29. Comment by Marie-Eve Vallieres

    Marie-Eve Vallieres Reply February 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Congratulations on the new job! :) Moving to a new country is equally exhilarating and stressful, but such an amazing experience! Can’t wait to read more about it.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks so much, Marie-Eve! We’re really excited and can’t wait to share =)

  30. Comment by Shanna Schultz

    Shanna Schultz Reply February 26, 2012 at 6:07 am

    I can’t wait to hear what you have to write about Norway@GroundedTraveler:disqus   I have heard that it is a beautiful place.  We have not been there yet, but our experience in other northern European countries has been nothing but positive!
     

  31. Comment by Laurel

    Laurel Reply February 27, 2012 at 2:06 am

    How exciting!  Congrats.  Looking forward to reading about all your Norway adventures and how you settle in.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

      Thanks so much, Laurel!

  32. Comment by Cheryl Howard

    Cheryl Howard Reply February 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    YAY!! Can’t wait for you guys to come here and for me to come see you in Norway! 

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John February 27, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      We can’t wait, either! I’m glad we’re living in Stavanger because from what I hear a lot of visitors really like it. Hopefully we’ll get to play host a lot. Looking forward to catching up =)

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  34. Comment by Kristina

    Kristina Reply March 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    you will love stavanger! it is rather small, but the surroundings and the nature is stunning!!!
    and yes, being an expat is great – I just moved to melbourne myself, after living 4 years in switzerland! :)

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John March 3, 2012 at 12:58 am

      That’s so great to hear! And I love Switzerland – Melbourne will be quite a change for you then…enjoy it and let us know if you have any questions – we lived there for four and a half years before heading off travelling in 2011 =)

  35. Comment by Abby

    Abby Reply March 3, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Congrats!! This is so exciting. You know I love being an expat and moving around — every year or so. You’ll love Norway — this is so cool! So excited for you guys. :)

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John March 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Thanks so much, Abby!! We’re so excited too – haven’t had a moment to think about it but I know once we get on the plane it’s going to be unreal =)

  36. Comment by Erin De Santiago

    Erin De Santiago Reply March 5, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Congrats! Exciting….it looks like we will finally get to see each other then! One of my best friends lives in Norway and we will be based in Holland starting in June sometime so we will be close! :) We might need to plan a Disneyland Paris adventure! 

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John March 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Yaaay! That’s fantastic…you’re moving to Holland?? How wonderful – we’re practically neighbours. I’ve never been to Disneyland Paris – sounds like a good plan. Can’t wait to finally meet =)

  37. Comment by Sherry

    Sherry Reply March 8, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Wow!!! I’ve been MIA for a few weeks, and here I am stumbling on you two moving to Norway. Though I have not personally been there either, the photos and stories from other bloggers always motivates me to go. Looks like a beautiful country and best of all, truly lovely people – a perfect place to start your young family. Wishing you two an easy transition and looking forward to your stories ahead.

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John March 8, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Thank you so much, Sherry – we can’t wait to check it out =)

  38. Comment by Christopher

    Christopher Reply March 11, 2012 at 10:05 am

    A great way to see the world. I hope your time in Norway is great–will be following it. 

    • Comment by Andrea and John

      Andrea and John March 11, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Thanks so much, Christopher!

  39. Comment by Eveleen

    Eveleen Reply March 13, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Thanks
    for the post.  I am agreeing with you this is perfect place to start your
    life with your young family. Thanks for this post and to share these things
    with us!!

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  43. Comment by Emily of Roads Less Traveled

    Emily of Roads Less Traveled Reply April 16, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Norway was the highlight of my European backpacking travels. Picturesque, serene, peaceful — and the fjords had a special sense of remoteness…

    • Comment by inspiringtravellers

      inspiringtravellers April 16, 2013 at 8:54 am

      It is certainly a gorgeous country for travel…

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