Godt Nyttår / Happy New Year!
Thanks to all of you who read and shared my Life in Norway Review of the Year. Although I'm trying to stay away from the insipid goal-setting and resolution posts, I do want to share with some of my plans for the year ahead, so you can decide whether to stick around or not!
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I'm going to try and write every day, no excuses. This means finding some quiet time with no distractions so I can write at least 500 words each and every day. Most likely this will be first thing in the morning. If I can achieve 500 words each day, I'll have written 182,500 words by this time next year. That's over two decent-sized novels.
However, this doesn't mean I'll fill the blog up with meaningless content. To help meet this target, I have a few projects up my sleeve.
Firstly, I'm planning to release more Kindle books following a successful experiment with Christmas in Norway. My second title is almost ready so watch out for that later this month. Secondly, I'm spreading my wings and looking for more outlets. My Norway freelance writing already appears in publications as far afield as Estonia, Latvia and the United States, but there's always room for more.
Writing is what I love to do, so in 2015 I aim to do more. Simples!
Learn more about Sami culture
This is an area of Norwegian culture I've barely touched on in the three-and-a-half years of this blog's life. The Sami are the indigenous people of an enormous Arctic area covering not only most of northern Norway, but parts of Sweden, Finland and Russia too.
There's so much to discover here on topics such as the Sami Parliament, the fascinating language, the colourful dress, and the relationship to reindeer and the outdoors.
Visit Bodø on the Nordland line
The Nordland line is Norway's longest railway, covering 729km between Trondheim and Bodø, passing through Stjørdal, Levanger, Verdal, Steinkjer, Mosjøen, Mo i Rana and Fauske. Whilst not as renowned as the Bergen line or even the Dovre line (between Oslo and Trondheim), the journey passes the Arctic circle and at just 249kr in advance, is easily the cheapest way to reach Bodø. Of course, passing the time on the nine-hour (!) journey will be a challenge, even if I choose the night train.
Bodø itself a compact regional centre with strong military links and plenty to keep the curious visitor occupied for a day or two.
Publish more interviews
Over the years I've spoken with some fascinating people who live in Norway: former professional footballer Trevor Morley, British Olympic skier Andrew Musgrave, and award-winning coffee guru Tim Wendleboe. Over at Technoport, the other outlet for my blogging, my interview with the new Innovation Norway CEO Anita Krohn Traaseth spread around the internet like wildfire.
I love finding people's stories and sharing them with you all, and I have an exciting list of people I'd like to interview this year. If there's someone you'd love to hear from, just let me know in the comments below and I'll see what I can do.
The Lofoten archipelago remains the one place in Norway I'm still desperate to go to, but I'm not sure if I'll have the time or money this year. Fingers crossed I make it, because the scenery around these islands is breathtaking. A cycle trip has been highly recommended to me although I'm not sure I'm fit enough for it… perhaps cruising by on the Hurtigruten is the best way to see Lofoten? Let me know, peoples!
Answer more questions
You wouldn't believe how many questions I receive asking about life in Norway. Every single day. Despite a note on the contact page making it clear I can't help to find people jobs, I receive the same emails time and time again. Some are incredibly detailed – information on the person's experience, family, even health – and some are just begging for work. Others ask about travel, some about the climate, and even some about schools and bringing up children.
I can't answer every email but I do want to help. So in 2015, I plan to release more content aimed at answering these kind of questions. Some may be in the form of blog posts, some through $0.99 Kindle books, some may even be in the form of a training course or eBook.
As a prominent blogger, I'll do my best to better answer your questions. These are my plans for 2015. What are yours?
Photo credit: Florian Seiffert