As my first time traveling internationally, I left home excited, anxious but ready to engulf myself in the incredible journey that lies ahead. The thought of running around in a new city and being introduced to an unfamiliar culture and lifestyle was a bit intimidating but refreshing. Intimidating because the feeling of being away from everything I know and love makes me question if I have what it takes to be on my own; although refreshing to think of the endless adventures and possibilities that Oslo has to offer.
The first task at hand was getting accustomed to the nine hour time difference from back home in California and deciding when it’s time for bed, since the sun sets at 11 p.m. and rises at 4 a.m. – do people ever here sleep? Although, the toughest part is getting through my everyday dilemma of being homesick. I’ve never been this far away from home and for this extended amount of time. I occasionally find myself counting down the days until I return back to the States. This dilemma has the tendency to blind me from this amazing opportunity and the magnificent city that Oslo is. I constantly have to remind myself that I am in an extraordinary position along with seven other women to write, learn, and grow as journalists and international travelers.
My love for music was my initial motive to take on this journey. The fact that I am here to report on the intricate music scene that Oslo fosters is surreal. I attended my first show last night in Oslo’s district of Grunerløkka. I immediately felt like a kid in a candy store with the majestic graffiti on buildings, distinct venues and nightlife, all displaying Oslo’s range of art and culture. For some odd reason standing alongside a hundred other sweaty and intoxicated Norwegians in a dim stuffy room made me feel at home. Maybe it was the groovy sounds bursting from the speakers, the sample of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion,” or forming a connection with strangers rocking out, but for the first time since I’ve been here I know why I am here.
Experiencing this month long journey with other intelligent, vibrant women also brings me comfort and confidence because each of us is diverse in skill sets and are stepping outside of our comfort zones. So far I’ve witness limitless opportunities to learn and grow; if its from my fellow American classmates, strangers I meet in the city or our Norwegian cultural teacher, Lene; I look forward to making memories, sharing laughs and learning more about the culture and lifestyle this beautiful Norwegian city has to offer.