I receive hundreds of emails weekly regarding many of the same topics. I will try to begin putting some of the redundant questions up on this page in an effort to keep everything in one place! This page will be ongoing.
1) Do you have any tips for a trip to Norway for the frugal traveler?
I probably should write a bit more about that on my site, but I really haven’t (whoops)! I did write some travel tips, including budget tips, for Norway over at Ordinary Traveler. It shares my accommodation and food choices. Also what to see for free (it’s not super in depth, however).
2) I am looking to move to Norway as a foreigner. What visa options are there for me?
Norway’s visa regulations change as much as my hair color (which is a lot). To see what is out there at the moment, you can check out UDI’s website. The visa I initially came to Norway under has apparently been discontinued, so I am a terrible person to give visa advice sadly. If you’re looking for additional resources, I highly suggest heading over to Life in Norway or My Little Norway. They seriously have everything you could want to know about the place.
3) Where is your favorite place in Norway?
That is a difficult question seeing as though the country is rather large and has so much to offer. My favorite city is Oslo as it was my Norwegian home and offers the most to do. But Bergen is beautiful for tourism. I think the most underrated place is actually Hardangervidda. It is Europe’s largest plateau and offers some unique scenery and wildlife in the middle of Norway. Just watch out for those lemmings!
4) Can I get a working holiday visa for Norway?
This resource from Global Goose is great for Canadians and gives you information about everywhere to get a working holiday visa. If you’re another nationality, you can go here and see what options are available for you. Americans currently don’t have a working holiday exchange program with Norway.
5) When is the best time to travel to Norway?
It depends on what you’re going for! If you’re going for Northern Lights, obviously you don’t want to arrive in the summer. If you’re going for skiing, you know the answer to this too… But if you’re going to see the country, go in summer. Long days and perfect weather. Minus the probable rain here and there.
6) How do you get a visa to Belarus?
I’ve never written about this because Katie Aune wrote a great post on it before I even went there. I followed her advice and that is how I got my first visa to the country. The second time I went to Belarus, it was visa free for the month.
7) How do you get a visa to Abkhazia?
I actually did write about this one. Be sure to read the comments as travelers have updated frequently with new information or have shared their experiences.
8) What is your favorite country?
I have quite a few favorites and they are all for different reasons.
USA– it’s home and gave me opportunities I’m forever grateful for. Also home to some of the world’s most stunning scenery.
Canada– for all the same reasons as listed above except it is not my home. I have traveled there extensively, however.
Ukraine– been there many times and am amazed at how lovely of a place it is.
Armenia– people, scenery, food, and just everything else. I can’t wait to go back there.
Norway– lived there for almost four years and it treated me wonderfully.
Nepal– most humble and genuine people I have ever met.
I also really like Finland, Colombia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium, Mexico, Kyrgyzstan, and Panama.
9) Where do you want to travel next?
Everywhere! 2017 will be a travel-heavy year and the beginning of the year will take me to England, Bulgaria, Western Sahara and Morocco, the Faroe Islands, and rounding things out in June with a long trip to the United States.
I’m currently on an Africa kick and want to make getting there my next travel priority. Anywhere will suit me- just have a very deep desire to see something on the continent.
10) Is there anywhere you’ve been that you enjoyed, but never felt inspired to write about?
Only half of the places I’ve been! If I travel somewhere, there is like a 25% chance I’ll write about it and a 75% chance I won’t. One example- the Netherlands. I’ve been there several times, but I never end up with anything inspiring to say that hasn’t already been said before. Such is the case with Prague, Tallinn, and many other cities. I’m a firm believer that I’d rather write something of merit on here than just a space-filler about a place that everyone and their mom has written about. If someone else has the time to do that, go for it. But I just don’t.
11) Why don’t you go on press trips?
It’s just not my thing. I would rather work with a tourism board over coffee and find out about a place from a local’s perspective than to have them sponsor me on a trip and only show me the highlights of a place. I also can’t be objective if I don’t like a place if someone has paid for it for me. Most bloggers can’t. That is why so much of what happens in travel blogging looks phony to me. I think it is fine that people can make a living that way and I believe there is a place for every type of blogger out there, but press trips in this sense just aren’t my thing. I have worked with several tourism boards in the past, however, but it has been over coffee/drinks in an effort to get more information about the city. I have never had a bad experience doing that and will continue to do so in the future.
12) What is your favorite airport?
I don’t know why I am asked this frequently, but I am. Favorite US airport is DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) and my favorite European one is RIX (Riga). I also like FRA (Frankfurt) because it is my home airport now and security lines are never a pain. In Asia, I really like SIN (Singapore Changi). In South America, I like GYE (Guayaquil, Ecuador) probably because the airport was nicer than the city.
My least favorites are most every other one in the US (because they are gross and overcrowded), Copenhagen (hot dogs are not dinner!), Amsterdam (saw a rat there once and am terrified of rodents), Kathmandu (anyone who has been there knows why), and Dubai (overrated, overpriced, and overcrowded).
13) Where do you want to visit next in the US?
I have been to 45/50 states but never Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, or Alaska. So there. I also love the nature out west. My favorite cities are Pittsburgh, PA and Richmond, VA.