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Starting My Adventure

Why I moved from California to Norway, then France

Let’s travel back in time a bit for you to get to know me and understand how I ended up here. It’s May 2013, I am a 19-year-old ball-of-stress packing up all my belongings to move from my mother’s house in Oceanside, California to be with my boyfriend in Stavanger, Norway. No big deal, just halfway around the world even though I had never even moved out of my childhood home before now. Ah, to be so easily carefree again.

Stavanger, Norway

Bøker og Børst
Super Cozy Cafe & Bar in Stavanger Norway
Bøker og Børst
Cafe & Bar in Stavanger Norway

To be completely honest, moving to Norway was not as crazy as it sounds. My mother is Norwegian, so Norwegian in fact, that Ancestry DNA even proved she is 92% percent Norwegian. Anyways, her entire family still lives in Norway, so I grew up going back to visit frequently, I was even lucky enough to have dual American-Norwegian citizenship. All this made the decision to move to Norway to be with the boy I am so in love with much easier, no paperwork, no visas, and no complications. Well, sort of.

I would say the biggest complication is my inability to learn a language, it’s like my brain just says, “NOPE! Not today!” It’s honestly terrible, sometimes I try really hard to listen to my friends or family speak Norwegian, and my brain does this funny little thing where it just fades out, stops trying to translate what they are saying, my eyes glaze over, then, suddenly everyone is looking at me expecting a response while I have to pretend that I am not the rudest person to ever live and act like I totally know what they are talking about. Hopefully you are luckier then I am when it comes to learning a language, but this isn’t really what we came here to talk about.

Moving to Pau, France

Pharmacy & Colorful Apartment Building in Central Pau

Now, 5 ½ years later, here I am… in France. After moving to Norway, starting my own nail salon, having our first puppy, and buying our first home my now fiancé and I are starting all over again. Back in November we got an offer from Steffen’s company to move to Pau, in the southern region of France. The catch was, we had about 6 weeks to pack whatever we needed and drive at least 30 hours from Norway. This wouldn’t be difficult if it weren’t for the fact that December is the busiest month of the year for my business and we also had to get ready for the holidays. I’m already a terrible procrastinator, so needless to say, the dawning of 2019 was chaotic.

But We Did It!

We actually did it. So here I am in the early weeks of January, writing this from the comfort of my Airbnb, passing the time until we can move into our new flat (Yay!). I look forward to writing about our new adventures along with some old stories, hopefully helping someone out there that might be totally new to this whole expat thing. Or I might just be giving my mom some entertainment to share with her book club, I guess we’ll see.


Trine Nicole

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