Tour Your Hometown:
Megan at MeganStarr.com
1. For starters, where is your current hometown and how long have you lived there?
I moved to Germany a few weeks ago, but before that, I had been living in Norway for the last 3.5 years. So, I still definitely consider Oslo, Norway my hometown on this side of the Atlantic (I’m American).
2. For many people, travel is not always feasible or desirable all year round. How do you make the most of your hometown when you are not traveling?
The best thing about Oslo is that it has wonderful things to do in both the summer, as well as the winter. While daylight is lacking during the winter months, the city glistens underneath all of that snow. During the summers I make the most of Oslo by sitting in the many green spaces the city has to offer with a good beer. I also love the many forest hikes. And on these hikes, I pick berries. During the winter I tend to travel more just due to daylight shortages, but if I’m around the city, I can almost always be found on top of the local mountains with my dog, who just so happens to love snow! You can actually take the city trains up to the mountain. Not many cities around the world can boast that you can take the metro to a mountain to go skiing right within city limits.
3. What is the most creative technique you use to save up for your travels while you are at home?
I was working when I was in Oslo, so I saved money that way. Prior to that job I was freelancing and doing cultural training with the state-run oil company. I also worked part-time at a cafe. Cafe jobs in Norway pay pretty well so it allowed me extra travel funds.
4. What is the best part of your hometown that other visitors should know about?
I really think the forests and hills and mountains surrounding the city are incredible. But people sometimes don’t realize that the Oslo fjord has many little islands, many of which you can take ferries too affordably. I also really love that Oslo is home to old architecture, and also very new architecture. The design of the new buildings being built is unique and showcases the ingenuity behind modern Scandinavian design. I love it. And FYI: Norway (and Oslo) gets the best sunrises and sunsets I have ever seen.
5. Finally, we can’t forget about the food! Where is your favorite place to eat in your hometown and why?
Well, Oslo is expensive in terms of food. Rarely was I able to afford more than a kebab in the city. However, the cafe scene is superb. And the sandwiches and coffee are truly something to write home about, and not as expensive as having a meal on the town. While my thighs don’t miss the Norwegian bread, my taste buds certainly do. I have never eaten such good bread in my life. Oslo is currently undergoing a bit of a food revolution as many traditional dishes are being reconstructed by talented chefs in a more modernized way, the same way Copenhagen or Stockholm does. And, FINALLY, I feel that Oslo is appreciating their local produce and resources as opposed to importing everything- at least more than they had when I first moved there. I have a feeling in a few years, Oslo will be a force to be reckoned when it comes to the culinary scene.
Megan is an American currently residing in Germany by way of Norway. She can usually be found on the road searching for good beer and friendly people. She has an affinity for sports, spicy foods, Soviet architecture, and animals. If she’s not traveling, she is usually found hanging out with her dog, cooking, or planning her next getaway.
The GuyJanuary 8, 2015 at 6:46 am
Lovely round up Megan. You always provided an interesting perspective on Norway on your blog as you continue to do so here. It was also interesting to hear that working in a cafe paid pretty well.
Maybe you should post article no. 2 next year with your German home town?
Jolanta aka Casual TravelerJanuary 8, 2015 at 4:37 am
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Megan! You make me want to go to Oslo now! I haven’t been to any of the Scandinavian countries yet.
MeganJanuary 8, 2015 at 5:20 am
Thanks so much Jolanta! Oslo can be a bit overlooked in terms of Scandinavian cities, but if someone goes with the right mindset, it is definitely worth the trip and experience! <3