Sunday, 8 November 2015

The reasons for our move to Tromsø / Norway

Before I'm going to broach the issue of those things which are not so rosy about living here in Tromsø / Norway, I thought it could be helpful to provide some background information about us and the reasons why we moved to Tromsø in the first place...

I'm originally from Hamburg / Germany and I have lived there all my life before I moved to Helsinki / Finland in August 2009, due to a university place. During my time in Helsinki, I met the love of my life, a Finn, and after three years of living in Helsinki, I moved with him to Åbo (Turku) / Finland in late summer 2012, due to his university place. At the end of the year 2014, we decided to move abroad, so he can seize the chance of having an exchange year during his studies while I would regain job and career opportunities which I simply didn't have in Finland and increasingly craved for. 

We received a list of places in Europe where my love could spend his exchange year, including Germany, the Czech Republic and the Nordic countries Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. Unfortunately, the cooperation with our original favourite, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, had been cancelled in the meantime. 


Germany has never been up for debate since I'm originally from there and turned my back on that country for many good reasons. The Czech Republic has never been an option for us either, amongst others because I don't speak any Slavic language such as Czech which would have been quite an obstacle when searching for job and career opportunities in the Czech Republic, especially since English language skills are not as common there as in e.g. the Nordic countries. And so only the other Nordic countries were left.  


Basically everyone I talked with guessed that we would go for Sweden. It would have made perfect sense since both of us speak Swedish and I'm known for having a strong affinity to Sweden, but since both of us suppose that we will end up in Sweden sooner or later anyway, we decided that this exchange year should be used as an opportunity to live in a country we would not have moved to otherwise. Quite quickly, the decision was made in favour of Norway, amongst others because of its local language. Understanding Swedish enables one to understand Norwegian, too, while understanding Icelandic and Danish is a bit trickier. And the decision between Trondheim and Tromsø was made even quicker, solely based on the fact that the last letter in "Tromsø", the "ø", looks exotic. Yes, believe it or not... ;o) 

So, in August 2015, after three years of living in Åbo, we did not move to Tromsø because of the mountains, the stunning landscape or the illusion of Norway being a picture-perfect country to settle down in happily ever after. We moved to Norway mainly out of pragmatic reasons. The mountains and the stunning landscape just came along with the package. And as for the "picture-perfect country to settle down in happily ever after": There is no such thing as a picture-perfect country in this world, and "settling down happily ever after" has never been our intention when we moved to Norway. Indeed, it's left open how long we are going to live here as we moved to Norway not only due to my love's exchange year but also because of my job and career opportunities. And if we would have fallen deeply in love with the place we live in right now, we might have reconsidered our intention of not settling down here happily ever after - but that clearly has not happened. 


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