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End of Year Wrap Up + Blog Revival Attempt

Somehow more than 365 days have elapsed since my last post in December of last year.

When I last wrote, I had been back in the U.S. for a few months after spending a full year living and working in Norway, and was struggling to find my stateside footing (update: I'm still working on this, but it's getting better...). At that time, I had accepted a new part-time role with remote flexibility, and I knew that I would be making my way back to Norway in or around May. So I decided to make the leap back across the Atlantic at the end of December, spend New Year's weekend in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and from there take a bus down to Kotor, Montenegro, where I had booked lodging for the month of January.

December 31, 2022 in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on the cusp of a new year

What was originally intended to be a month based in Kotor turned into two, and from there I explored other parts of the Balkans for an additional two months.

I was able to spend varying lengths of time in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia, and found myself diving into the opportunity to learn more about this part of the world that I knew very little about previously.

Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans trail in Valbonë, Albania

At one point, towards the end of a weeklong visit to Sarajevo, a friend (innocently, out of kindness, and having no idea where I was at the time) sent me a text that said 'Are you having fun?'. I was just emerging from a heavy museum fog, having visited the Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide and Gallery 11/07/95 – an exhibition space aiming to preserve the memory of the Srebrenica tragedy.

I responded, 'No, but I am learning.'.

Listening to an audio guide at Gallery 11/07/95 (behind me are photos of boys and men killed at Srebrenica)

As you can imagine, there's much, much more I could write about my time in the Balkans, and I hope to do that at some point (with each country a separate post).

In short, I learned a lot. And I did have some fun too.


After spending a third of the year in the Balkans (with a few side trips to Basque Country, Spain to visit new friends I met while traveling in Albania), I flew from Zagreb, Croatia to Bergen, Norway in early May - arriving just in time for Syttende Mai (Norway's Constitution Day, the 17th of May).

Syttende Mai in Bergen, Norway (May 17, 2023)

Now a summer spent (mostly) in Bergen has come and gone, I have visited the U.S. for what is becoming my standard three months a year, and as of November 2, I am back in Norway.

And my base for now is a charming village of fewer than 800 inhabitants called Skånevik.

A glance at Skånevik, from my regular walking path, as a ferry arrives

In my next post, I plan to talk more about life in this little farming village, and explain why it features a statue of Irish musician Gary Moore...


Thank you for reading! I'm glad you're still here.

If there's a topic on my blog you'd like me to expand on, let me know, as it can help guide my writing (and after a year absence, clearly I could use the help!).


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