Our last day of blogging! It has been fun but a little difficult to find time every day. At the beginning of February I never thought I would write about Norway every single day, but it actually wasn't very difficult. There are a few topics I wanted to write about but never covered, simply because it was too time consuming. I'll write those when I have more time! (For instance, I wanted to write about Nordic Mythology, Norwegian literature, etc.) Thank you for all your wonderful comments, I am glad you enjoyed learning about Norway!
For my last post I wanted to write about being Norwegian in the US (and maybe a little about being Norwegian abroad in general.) As most days, I am writing this late but I am happy that I posted something every single day!
In most cases, it is very easy to be a Norwegian abroad. We can go many places without visas; more places than Americans for instance. (Brazil is one of the countries that has instituted visa reciprocity - since Brazilians need visas to enter the US, Brazil decided that people from the US need visas to enter Brazil.) In general there are no places where there are bad feelings against Norwegians, making traveling easy.
In the US it also easy to be a Norwegian - but sometimes that makes me feel a little guilty. I am always welcomed warmly, I get lots of compliments on my accent (wow, you don't sound like a foreigner!), nobody thinks I am "taking jobs away from Americans." Sometime I see, for instance, Latinos being treated unfairly for speaking little English, and I think that I will never feel any anti-foreigner sentiments - and I wish that was the case for other foreigners as well. It is also interesting that people are less likely to think I am a foreigner just because I am white. In general, Americans are very friendly and open to outsiders, but the more Sarah Palin-inclined among us are quick to blame problems on immigrants, usually the ones from Latin America. Not cool!
Living abroad also makes you examine your own country and culture much more - it is always interesting to look at your country from afar. Some things I appreciate more - health care for all! - and some things I realize I don't miss at all! The lack of politeness and the difficulty with small talk are two of those.
Since I have already gotten serious in this last post, I will use this post to give Obama one piece of advice: Get the health care sorted out before it is too late! It is such a contentious issue and he has to act while he has good approval ratings and wide support. Health care is a right, not a privilege! (And now I will step down from my soap box.)
Thanks to all Slow Travel blog friends - congratulations on making through the whole month!