Bridget Studying Overseas at Sogn og Fjordane University College in Norway

Friluftsliv in Norway!

 Where to begin… Three months ago I began my journey from the beautiful beaches of the sunshine coast all the way to the mountains and fjords of Sogndal. Sogndal is a student town in the middle of Norway; it is surrounded by snow caped mountains and over looks the beautiful fjord of Sogn og Fjordan, the longest fjord in the world. The nature here is breathtaking and there are endless places to explore and experience friluftsliv. ‘Friluftsliv’ is what I am studying here; it is an ancient Nordic philosophy of life and literally translates to mean free living in nature.  It is a concept deeply rooted in Scandinavian culture and history and it involves having a range of different experiences in nature. From simply going on a Sunday hike and picking wild berries, to extreme snowboarding in the snowy mountains. The first I have definitely done plenty off since my time here in Sogndal and the latter I plan to do when more snow falls on the mountains.

If your not already getting the picture, Sogndal is a great place to live with a big student culture heavily empathized on the outdoors. Since I arrived here I have attended a concert on top of a mountain, eaten endless amounts of brown cheese, watched reindeers and moose in the wild, hiked so much my legs couldn’t walk further, kayaked a world heritage listed fjord, surfed in icy cold water, walked on a glacier and climbed the highest mountain in Norway before hitch hiking back home. But best of all I have made endless memories with the most amazing people from all over the world, who I have met along my way. Honestly I am not the fittest person and the last thing I do at home is work out, but there is a certain energy in the air here and it contagiously sucks you in. Before you know it you’re rock-climbing while speaking gibberish Norwegian to the person beside you and then planning your next trip in the outdoors while you sleep that night.

Before I came to Sogndal the most adventurous things I did was skip university lectures to go swimming at the beach. However since I came here I have completely stepped out of my comfort zone, experiencing a side of me I didn’t know existed, where adventure is what leads me into my next day. Don’t get me wrong the sunshine coast is a beautiful place and I will always call it home. But there is something mesmerizing about the nature here in Norway, it is becoming a part of me and I am a part of it. Currently autumn is in the air, red and yellow leaves are falling and we are off to a lookout to make a fire and cook cinnamon scrolls as the sun goes down. You can’t get any closer to living then this…

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