the tale of a hawaiian transplant in norway


on being lost and found

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” –Henry David Thoreau

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.”  –Douglas Adams

the other afternoon we were driving home from running errands.  my husband noticed our daughter, kaya, was asleep and so he suggested we try the scenic route home since we are still new to our island of osterøy.  when we came to the crossroad we had two options:  to take the milkman/bus route, or go in the opposite direction and see what lay beyond.  in the past few months living on osterøy we noticed that the roads on our island all seem to go in circles, so we decided to explore.  we figured we would get back to lonevåg eventually.  after driving along sea cliffs overlooking the icy fjord for about twenty minutes we reached the small city of bruvik.  at that point we had another juncture.

we still hadnʻt bought a gps yet and our map function on our phones were inaccessible due to being in the middle of nowhere, so we chose to go with our naʻau (hawaiian loosely translated–guts, soul, intuition).  after driving up a curvy mountain road for another twenty minutes we saw a man and his dog standing at a bend.  we stopped and my husband asked for directions to lonevåg because i still canʻt speak norsk.  the man laughed at us and told us to turn around.

at this point, we had been driving for over forty minutes in one direction and we really did not want to just make a u-turn and go back the same way.  so my husband pressed the man for another option.  the man explained that there was a way.  but it was not an easy route.  it was not paved and you needed to pay a toll as well.  but we figured, anything was better than going backwards, so adventurous pioneers that we are, we decided to give it a try.

within a few minutes we were already grateful for our choice.  we stumbled upon a winter wonderland.  stunning views of the water, snowcapped mountains, icicles larger than people (this is especially awesome when you keep in mind that i am from hawaiʻi), and pine trees stretching out towards infinity.  kaya woke up half way through the drive and although she normally hates being in the car, even she could appreciate the magical scenery.  she “oohed and awed” her way back to “civilization.”  it took us over one hundred minutes longer to get back to the farm, but every minute was worth it.  life is often that way.

as i was uploading pictures from our journey onto the computer a couple days later my husband and i started discussing the importance of getting “lost.”  now if any girl knows “lost,” i do.  it is the story of my life.  i mean for most people, just being here in norway, could be defined as being seriously lost.  what is a hawaiian girl from the ghetto (yes, you read that right.  ghetto–not paradise) think sheʻs doing living on a dairy farm in the norwegian countryside?  but it is much more than that.  my entire life has revolved around being lost and found.  ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you about my arduous journey to where i am now as one being jam-packed full of detours, potholes, and even landslides.  my story would be like mario kart (yes iʻm old)  where you are racing on one of those wildly nightmarish courses and simultaneously watching out for banana peels, and other players shooting at you with turtle shells, or striking you with lightning.   or (for those of you not of my generation) i also imagine it as one of those traffic advisories that tell you to not attempt to drive anywhere and just stay home.  two easy examples:  1)  graduating law school, passing the bar, then realizing that i hated lawyers (maybe I always knew that), and 2) falling in love with a viking who lived almost 7,000 miles away (and these are the public-ready illustrations, believe me it gets much, much more dirty and juicy).

now as a mother, i will never insist on kaya sticking to one path (yes, iʻm thinking of that cliché) because i know how important it is for her to get lost so that she can be found.  and so this post is just a reminder to myself, to my family, and to whoever else, that we should all get lost sometime.  itʻs good for the soul.


a (sort of) beginning

so i say to myself:  everyone is doing it, why not jump on the bandwagon?  forget the fact that this conclusion has gotten you into big, big trouble many of times.  i mean, you did just delete your FB.  and you did just recently leave your family, friends, and ancestral home and move to the opposite side of the world.  so, why not?  it will be an easy way to keep my loved ones posted while avoiding the irritating drama of FB.  but then there are other things to think about as well.  first, do i wanna share my personal life with the world?  second, who exactly will read this?  and third, what will i write about?  after thinking some about the first question, i ended up indirectly answering the other questions as well (which is usually how my mind works).

because this blog will be available for the public to read (not that anyone other than my close circle will actually read it) i quickly decided that i didn’t want it to be too personal (i do have my family’s privacy to protect).  but it did have to be somewhat personal otherwise it would defeat the original purpose of my blog.  in thinking about a happy medium i considered the sorts of posts that i tended to write on FB (which in recent times was decreasingly less and less).  the majority of the time it was comprised of photos  i took.  photos of my daughter, photos of my food, photos of my travels.  once in a while (while either being in the woes of inspiration or frustration)  i threw in some music and politics, and once in a great while i threw in some witty lines of poetry (and while i’m writing this i’m silently regretting my decision to delete my FB account without first archiving my status updates but also not wanting to log back in within the 14 day waiting period it takes to have your account permanently deleted, but also hoping that there wasn’t anything of pure genius that can never be recreated, but simultaneously holding the melodramatic image of a writer from the 1800’s novel being blown away in the wind or burned in a fire, and knowing that it will be okay in the end.  at least, i hope).   and that is how i decided i would write and post photos about similar topics.  mainly motherhood/child-rearing, cooking, travels, and random ramblings.

during these thought processes the same recurring question kept floating through my head like a scrolling advertisement:  will anyone read this?  i kept telling myself, it really doesn’t matter.  you should be writing with your family/friends as your audience.  and if not for them, then for yourself (a kind of pour-your-brains-out-therapy).  but i can’t kid myself for too long.  ego is always involved (no matter how enlightened you are).  which is why i’ve just had to tell myself that i should just write and try not to fret about it.  if anything, i know my husband will enjoy it.

and so we finally come to this first post.  i kept looking at the generic initial post by wordpress (the one that tells you to delete and post here) and wondering, what the hell should i put there?  the pressure!  so i decided to just type (free-write) and see what happens (a technique i picked up in undergrad).  and that is what you see above and here.  this is my first post, the beginning of my blog about the beginning of my new life in norway as a hawaiian transplant.