It has never been a question if I would travel to Norway, more of when.
For a majority of my life, I've known that I have had ancestors who came to the United States from Norway.
So when I had the opportunity to study abroad in Norway, I knew that it would be a once in a lifetime experience of being able to connect with my ancestry in a profound way.
Being abroad over the past few months has been indescribable. Not because it is unfamiliar and new but because it is actually somewhat familiar.
Right away, I automatically felt a sense of unity and belonging. I knew that the following months would be quite the journey.
Since every country has its own specialty fare, I have tried many common, best, or unique Norwegian foods like Lefse, Brunost, and Salty Liquorice. Each includes a story or tradition behind its preparation and why people love to serve it.
To further help and better assimilate myself into the Norwegian lifestyle, I have taken advantage of learning the language. Although, I have taken a class through my host university, I've conversed with locals which have been a powerful and enriching experience.
I've tailored my itinerary to include places that are significant to my family's history because it's neat to walk the same streets my ancestors did many decades and centuries ago.
Like my ancestors, I am documenting my travels and self-reflections. Not because they have solidified my experiences but because I can share my photos and videos with generations to come.
I've added my own story to my family tree and now leave behind a little something of myself.
Who knows, maybe, I'll be the person who teaches my younger family members about their heritage!
I've seen how far my ancestors have traveled for a better life. I am motivated by their struggles and achievements to live my best life and be the best that I can be.