Goodbye Job and Goodbye Oslo!

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Sunset over Aker Brygge Oslo

Today marks an important anniversary for me.

Two years ago I left the UK to start a new adventure. I wanted to experience living and working abroad, so I accepted a contract in Oslo from a few opportunities. During the first year I enjoyed living in Norway so much that I took a permanent job.

But for the last six months I've faced an internal struggle. Despite the excellent pay and conditions, I grew sick of the work. So many pointless tasks just to fill time, the corporate bullshit, some awful colleagues (important – some fantastic ones too!). As time went on the feelings grew stronger, to the point where I'd had enough.

It was time to accept the job I've done for most of the past ten years was just not right for me.

I've really enjoyed living in Oslo. It's enabled me to travel and meet people from different cultures. Through this blog I've been able to express those thoughts and feelings and rediscover my love of writing, publishing and sharing my observations with the world.

Shortly after arriving here I met a special someone. We dated and grew close to the point where it's pretty serious now, but he lives in Trondheim.

So, how did I resolve the situation of a job I disliked, a partner in a different city and the need to earn money quickly to sustain a life in Norway?

I went into hiding for six months, frantically saving every krone I could! My only real outlet over the winter was this blog, it kept me sane! I also joined MESH to meet creative people and explore options for freelancing in Norway. A by-product of this was getting to know the Norwegian startup community.

At the end of March I finally said goodbye to the corporate world. I genuinely felt the weight of the world had lifted from my shoulders. People say that a lot, but I really did feel it that day.

I'm now a freelance writer.

Does this mean I'm staring at my cat all day trying to write the next Booker prize winner, or becoming the new big name in Scandinavian crime? Of course not. I don't have a cat!

It means I write training courses, web copy, sales literature, technical documentation, business blogs and other communications. My business background, knowledge of the world and native English ability combine to give Norwegian technology companies an offer that, well, they seem to be interested in!

Alongside this, I'm a regular writer for the awesome Arctic Startup blog, where I expose the Norwegian entrepreneurial scene to a global audience.

I'm also working on my own projects, including the Norway Weekly newsletter and some awesome eBooks about Norway, coming soon to this very blog!

Over the past six months I've met some of the most inspiring people I've ever known. You know who you are. Without all of you, I wouldn't have ever had the confidence to take the leap. So thank you. I don't know where this path will lead, but I do know I'm going to have the time of my life finding out.

The first stop on this journey is…


Moving to Trondheim

My new home, as of a few hours ago! Yep, I've moved in with Gerry.

I'm not afraid to say publicly I'm nervous about the prospect of so much change at once, but I feel ready for this step. It makes sense personally, professionally, financially – and most important of all – for my own well-being.

Trondheim is a beautiful town, but it will be quite a change for me. I'm moving from a capital city (albeit a small one) to a small town, reminiscent in style and ambience to an English market town. I know only a couple of people here, so my social life will take a hit, albeit temporarily.

I'm a little nervous about my business prospects here too, however there's no reason to be. Trondheim is the hi-tech capital of Norway, a centre of academic and scientific research second to none. There's a burgeoning startup scene that I'll be throwing myself right into by joining the new Digs co-working office.

Working freelance gives me the flexibly to travel more while I work – so that means more articles, photos and tales of my adventures in Norway and beyond 🙂

Finally, I'd like to say a massive thank you to all my loyal readers over the past two years. I'm not the best writer in the world, but through your comments and encouragement I've learned to enjoy what I do, even though I still make the odd misteak.

See what I did there 😉

Are you with me?

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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21 thoughts on “Goodbye Job and Goodbye Oslo!”

  1. Congratulations David! No need to be frightened, dubious, whatever… your heart told you the right move to make! Trondheim might not be a teeming metropolis but to paraphrase a vERY corny cliche – home is where the heart is, and your heart is with him. Embrace it! Who knows, you both may even decide to go somewhere else – Tromsø? (joke!!!). Thankfully you can write anywhere, and who knows, you might even get a cat! I wish you ll the luck and happiness in the world! xxx

  2. I’m so envious of you. I live in the USA and am in love with Norway through books I’ve read that take place there. I’ve just recently discovered your site and enjoy it and the pictures. I’ll continue to follow along on your adventures as long as you are willing to share them. Good luck!

  3. So THAT’S why you’ve been going to Trondheim! Good luck with the move and don’t think you’ll get rid of me that easily. Let me know when you want me to organise the Trondheim comedy club…

  4. To live is to take chances. Taking chances involves changes. Go for it! You’ll do great in Trondheim, David! In fact, Trondheim is a very nice town, but I’m little biased as it’s my home town … It may not be as vibrant and busy as Oslo, but it’s changing rapidly. And that’s exciting! Every time I’m back something new! Looking forward to hear more about your adventures! Do keep writing this very inspiring blog! All the best to you and your new life in Trondheim! As you might know Trondheim is the moustache capital of Norway, so I’m guessing you’re growing a moustache now? All things are possible! 🙂

  5. all the very best.
    It sounds an exciting mix of changes but great opportunities.
    I hope all of it goes well.
    lots of love to you both

  6. That sounds like just the right thing to do. I’m glad to read about your decision.

    Trondheim is of course smaller than Oslo, but we fell in love with its charisma when we first visited some years ago. And we returned for several visits already. We are actually considering moving from Germany to Trondheim, so maybe we meet there next year!?! For me as a programmer and nerd the hi-tech scene in Trondheim is of course a big plus. 😉

    Good luck, David!

  7. Whenever is possible, I enjoy reading your blog!!!

    I lived there when I was a very young girl; 25 years have passed and I am still so much in love with the country and its people.
    In the summer of 2011 I took my two young children and husband to Norway for their very first time, and they too, have fallen in love with the country and my lovely norwegian friends/host families.

    Ønsker deg alt det beste og holde nyte livet og dets overraskelser på en positiv måte. Norge er et fantastisk land!

  8. An inspirational read David! It’s great to see you just going for what you want and, especially as someone who is trying to make a living freelancing in Norway, I’m excited to read more about your journey.

    Best of luck!

  9. As long as you don’t turn black & white!! 😉

    Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith, and not live with relative safety and always thinking ‘what if?’
    My personal motto is ‘Don’t dream it, be it’ – and I came across a similar one recently which also sums things up ‘Life is not a dress rehersal’.

    I understand totally the weight off shoulders – I too left a reliable job, albeit in my case a job I *loved* but sadly a certain person made my time at work a living hell. The feeling of crap lifting off you is amazing – I felt it too the day I handed in my notice.

    I really hope you’ll be happy ‘Oop North’ – remember their dialect is erm.. ‘different’, shall we say…
    We should be having a sofabed in the spare room too soon, so maybe see you & Gerry over here!!! 🙂


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