There are so many special gifts you can take away from traveling, especially if you are flying thousands of miles away from home. Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone can be the very best thing for the mind. Not to get all “Eat, Pray, Love” on you but I recently traveled to the beautiful (and cold) city of Oslo, Norway. Of all countries to go, I never in a million years thought I would make a pit stop there as I am such a sun worshipper but I was presently surprised on how humbling the experience was for me.
If you are into world economy and all things financial, you would know that Norway is one of the most richest countries in the whole world. It’s thriving oil, gas, shipping and fishing industry keep the country at the top of its game. I love living in Los Angeles, it is a very unique place to set up camp but I really needed to get away and go somewhere totally different and dive into some quality peace and quiet.
LA Takeoff: LAX is one big cluster mess of an airport and flying out of their International Terminal can be a big headache which is one of the many reasons why I enjoy flying Virgin Atlantic out of Terminal 2. I found that their security lines are shorter and far less people are gathered inside waiting for their flights. If you have the chance to fly, Virgin Atlantic out of LAX than I totally suggest you take advantage of it. You should look into finding a sweet deal on their Economy Plus seats which are so super duper worth buying! It makes an 11 hour plane ride so much more enjoyable and they offer better plane food once onboard.
London Pitstop: After departing sunny LA and flying the friendly skies for almost half the day, I made a pit stop at the Heathrow Airport in good old London (another one of my favorite cities). Terminal 3 at Heathrow can keep you plenty entertained during a long layover,it features tons of shops, restaurants, lounges and even a cute little spa called No1 Spa (www.no1traveller.com). This quick relaxation getaway offers a variety of luxurious services such as facials, massages, mani/pedi and even showers for travelers that have been on the go for days. I opted for the manicure which was not too pricey considering how expensive things can be for American’s traveling overseas (the dollar is so weak). I have to say the technician did a fabulous job!
Hello Oslo: My final stop was Oslo which is approximately a two hour flight from London. My first impression of Norway was that I could not believe how clean it appeared considering the slush and ice, the roads were well kept (not a pot hole in sight) and the snow laid so precisely on the tree filled landscape. It really is very pretty. There was something about it that reminded me of my Flagstaff, Arizona where I use to go during my college days, maybe it was the chill vibe and rural feeling.
My first few days were spent enjoying the outdoors. There is nothing more calming than being in nature so I explored the various walking trails and parks. The key to enjoying Oslo outdoors is to dress warm (and thanks to my Winter-Ski-Denver-Loving Buddy, Criss I was set with all the right clothing essentials). These tops from Helly Hansen are AWESOME and will keep your body so warm (obsessed!):
Check out some of the photos I took while out and about in Oslo. You may recognize the very popular sculpture park called, Vigelandspark which is famous for its stunning 212 bronze and granite sculptures scattered throughout the sprawling land.
Where To Eat: I really loved walking down by the harbor in Oslo. The icy sea looked so freakin cool and there were tons of people sitting outside eating, drinking coffee and enjoying the day. I had the most fabulous lunch at a delicious Italian restaurant called, “Olivia” that features cozy inside/outside seating and a delicious menu filled with very yummy pasta, pizza and salads (get the ravioli, it is so incredibly good!).
Spa It Up: One of my many mottos in life is; When traveling, one must treat to a spa service! Can I get an Amen on that??!! My skin was so in need of a facial (plane rides dehydrate my skin like crazy) so I checked into Beth’s Beauty (www.beths.no) located in a historic area of Oslo. With a client list that includes the royal family, the downtown spa has a reputation with their services and technicians. If you are looking to get a face peel than please ask for Giovanni, he will make sure your skin is glistening by the time you walk out.
Zen: Whether I was walking through a gorgeous Winter Wonderland or fine dining at one of Oslo’s many delicious eateries, what I appreciated the most from this trip was observing the ease of people’s everyday life. The way of life in Norway really was refreshing to see, people take care of their surroundings and thrive on eating clean and having a healthy lifestyle. I found that they have a kind humbleness about them and really take gratitude in their families, nature and work.
I think that is the essence of what I took home with me, that the mindset of finding peace can happen right in your own backyard. If there is an area where you currently live that you can soak in the outdoors, listen to the noises of nature and go for a long walk than take advantage of it! We all have the ability to clear are heads and zen-out!
If you ever get the opportunity to travel to Oslo I think you will appreciate the simplicity it has to offer.
At the end of the day, life is what you make of it so why not bring it down a notch and add some ease back into your life.
Breathe and reboot!
The Other Hubby