On Top of the Nordic World

Latest travel trip to the serene, untouched country of Norway. We spent 5 days exploring cities such as Bergen, Gerinagerfjord, Alesund and the area of Jostedalsbreen National Park. Traveling to Norway was the most peaceful experience I have had while visiting a country. During April, what we referred to as Norwegian hibernating season, tourists are nowhere to be found, roads are empty and even the animals are still tucked away for the winter - all rightfully so, as the weather jumped from sun to rain to snow as we drove north up the western Nordic coast. We stayed in quaint, truly local air bnbs nestled in the depths of Norwegian mountainside. We cooked every meal, woke up to drink coffee in the fresh air and stopped for every inch of beauty along the way. 

While driving toward Geriangerfjord, we stopped along the highway to pitch a picnic. As we sat on this slice of Earth, I felt a sense of disassociation to the trip I was on. In fact, lately travel to me had seemed to loose its magic, its power of exploration and adventure - it had started to feel normal, routine (and I know that may seem odd..) but I was losing the spark I had once felt only a year ago when I first began my international voyage. As I looked out at the structures of nature, I couldn't help but think that my traveling was not deserved, in fact I felt that it had become too easy. I realized that I wanted travel to be something I worked to achieve, whether that means I struggled to get to a place or created a career that allowed me to travel as a part of my creative endeavors. I wanted more purpose than some idea of fulfillment and finding who I am. In fact, this year of traveling has not given me a series of "ah-ha" moments, lightbulbs have not sparked with ideas of genius, just because I chose to visit one place over the other. In fact, it isn't about the act of traveling that has altered my mindset - it is the small aspects that are associated with visiting somewhere new. It's being exposed to different cultures, meeting new people, developing my art on a more complex level & teaching myself about how to digest life's lessons. 

As someone who cannot relax, in fact try to watch a movie with me and I will squirm throughout the entire thing anxious with the idea that I could be doing more, I fear that my travels are becoming too comfortable for someone my age. I want to be challenged, pushed, ripped at the seams in an attempt to learn and grow.

And with such concerns, I was reassured that my travels speak to a greater level than just "travel for the sake of relaxation."

I travel because I work hard at a job that is much more difficult than some would expect,

I travel because I understand the fragility and fleeting essence of time and am determined to not lose a moment of it,

I travel because I am fully unattached - free without responsibilities that demand my attention,

I travel because I steadfastly pursue knowledge of what is around me,

I travel because I am hyperconscious of my movements in this world.

All of these mold into something much greater than traveling for the sake of travel. 

With this, I realize that I need to go forth in my future journeys with something in the balance, something to push me to that place and force me to engage. I hope that I can continue to explore Europe my last few months of living here and aim to travel outside of my comfort zone in these next few years. For travel and exploration will never dim from my life, but I will make a more cognitive effort to push through my limits, my comforts for a trip I can deem as self-actualizing. 

Norway was a short but beautiful experience full of realizations and readjustments in the midst of rustic fjord air. 


Shannon Ciricillo