Working online blog

First Days of Working in Norway

Hey, welcome to the first “working abroad blog” article. To emphasize the benefits of working remotely, I’m chronicling some of my experiences as I lug my laptop and camera across the planet! Without further ado, this has been my lifestyle over the last month or so!

I found myself in Lisbon last week with no real plans for the future. Through a volunteer-and-stay program, Workaway, I found myself accepting a position teaching a couple of gentlemen the ropes of photography in a small village in the middle of Norway. My life in 2017 has been a little surreal to put it mildly.

In exchange for the 2-month workshop, along with a little pre-winter cleanup on their farm, they’ve been showing me all their traditions, along with being some terrific tour guides for the area. Today, one of my host’s, Olaf, brought me along to the community’s annual “running of the mill”.

Water mill in action

Making kinetic energy the old-fashioned way.

I sat and listened to a community full of Norwegians go back and forth in a language I’m nowhere near understanding. Learning languages isn’t a strong suit of mine, although not through lack of trying!

Even despite the language barrier,  entire experience was surreal. We were treated to a Norwegian version of cinnamon rolls and handed some freshly-brewed coffee that was heated over a small wood-fired stove.


Wood (garbage) fired stove


Steamy coffee

A little condensation in the chilly weather.

To follow up the momentous occasion, I tagged along to help Olaf pick up some silver-work from a craftsman up near the crest of one of the large foothills. The silversmith and his family bought the plot of land decades ago when the one small house was nothing but a rotting mound and turned the whole thing upside down. Working without heavy machinery or contractors, they cleared the clumpy bush and trees from the land and transformed the whole place into an incredible compound consisting of around a dozen buildings that overlook two serene lakes and a boreal forest with the backdrop of Norway’s looming mountains.

Silver belt buckle

One of the many pieces on display in the craftsman’s shop.


View of Norway

Can you imagine waking up to this every morning?

After the long day, I had plenty of time to sit down and get my ducks in a row. I still had to finish off this article, edit pictures from the day and post them on, and learn some more web design, all before bedtime.

Despite making a living online, I spend so much less time on the internet than ever before. Days like this are commonplace; seeing some of the world’s most unique destinations, glimpsing into foreign cultures and then heading back to my room to crack open the laptop for a few hours of work.

Working from anywhere is a reality for me. I’m living in a country I once could only dream of visiting.  Now that I’m settled in one place for an extended period of time, I’m devoting as much of my time as possible to launching my websites, but the end goal is to create a business where I only have to work the bare minimum hours per week, while seeing all that this beautiful world has to offer in the meantime.

Things that I wouldn’t be able to see back home like the Big Dipper surrounded by the Northern Lights:

Big Dipper and the Northern Lights

Stars or Northern lights: why not both?

Life is only so long. Maybe this whole business idea doesn’t turn out the way I’d like, and that’s a real possibility.

However, there’s a simple quote from Lucille Ball that has stuck with me throughout my time on the road:

I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than the things I haven’t done.

No matter where I wind up at the end of all of this, I’ll come out of it a more complete person. That’s all I can ask for.

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Robert works part of the year as an international tour guide in Asia with Life Before Work Travel . When he's not getting paid to travel the world he's out in the field taking photos, on his laptop creating new sites, or sitting in the gutter petting stray dogs.