Beauty abounds in faraway Norway. You can also find this shot spinning on the homepage carousel!
When I stumbled on a pile of precious photo prints yesterday, my son kindly ran some scans with his new scanner toy, procured at a garage sale. The truth is I have thousands of photos in boxes, wondering if they’ll ever see the light of screen.
This shot was from just another bucolic landscape in rural Norway. I texted my new scan to a California friend who shares my Norwegian heritage and adoration. He replied back, “Do you ever wonder if all those old Norwegians should have stayed over there?”
Oh yes, I do. But when they came to America, they were leaving a land of poverty, hunger, and overly large families (because they expected child deaths and needed helpers) living in cold, tiny cottages.
It’s no longer like that, not at all. In fact, Norway is one of the richest countries in the world—with governmental assets (from oil) in the low trillion$. They can support a sky-high standard of living for all on a modest draw alone—yet they also work hard and are keenly innovative.
Savviest of all: Unlike most countries, the oil money goes to THE PEOPLE. Not the Koch brothers, not BP, not some crown prince.
The wealth (and taxes and things) does make Norway a jarringly expensive country to visit. As the Danes joke when taking a BreakAway to Norway, “Don’t forget your cucumber.” Indeed, the many outdoorsy Euro-tourists who flock to Norway in the summer pack their camper with ample provisions—much to the dismay of tourism businesses.
The oil will run out someday, sooner than later. Yet their financial plan looks sound enough to keep them comfortable into perpetuity. I loved my visit there—which included time with long, lost relatives. Now that travel is resuming, I can put kjaerlig Norge atop my bucket list again.
Can I make it happen? Can I justify the expense? Will you welcome me again, beautiful homeland? One never knows for sure. So for now, I shall daydream with old photos and…
Keep the faith.