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Hello Happier Abroad,
My name is Alexander and I'm 30 years old and come from Norway where I work as an Engineer.
I used to do a lot of traveling around Europe, and even to Russia and the USA in my teens, but after leaving college and entering the workforce I ended up living the A4 life of an office slave always chasing the next big project or promotion. Earlier this year I turned 30 and realized I didn't really have much of a life outside of work, and that I had to do something before I wasted all of my best years. Thus I have decided to take more time off, which will probably mean actually taking out my 5 weeks of annual vacation time, and do more traveling abroad.
Been lurking here on HA for a few months to get inspiration, and figured it was about time to register. I don't know if I will be active posting or not, but we'll see how it goes.
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Welcome to the forum, Alexander!!! If you can bring value, then cool. If not, you will be deemed a troll lol
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How did you find us? What is Norway like? I heard people are very cold and the women are feminist. Is that true?
Can you compare and contrast Norway, Finland and Sweden? Are they basically the same? They are supposed to be the most reserved and least friendly countries in Europe.
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
That's what I've experienced, too, while I was in Europe and introduced to Scandinavians. Why are Scandinavians so boring, wooden and robotic...like Asians? LOL.
Anyway, welcome to the forum, Alexander.
I came across your site on Google, although I don't remember the exact words. Probably one of the travel destinations, like Philippines.
Compared to many other countries we are fairly cold yes. It's not so much that we hate everyone, but more that we don't want to be an inconvenience or to bother anyone, and are rather shy and reserved until we get to know you. Especially for foreigners it can be a bit hard to break through as we mostly associate with fairly closed groups of friends and friends of friends. We usually warm up when we get something to drink though, and if you are from one of the "correct" countries we will probably find you interesting and maybe chat you up. We can be fairly racist, especially compared to political correct Sweden, so if you are not from one of the "correct" countries it may be harder though.
I guess it also has a bit to do with the Law of Jante, and that most people prefer to not stick their head out.
Together with the rest of the Nordic countries we are probably amongst the most feminist countries in Europe, if not the World.
Personally I don't feel much difference when going to Iceland/Sweden/Denmark and Finland. We've had open borders through the Nordic Passport Union since the early fifties, so there are a lot of mixing between the countries both when it comes to employment and relationships. Finland and Denmark are perhaps slightly more outgoing, while Norway may be slightly more "cold" to strangers.
Well, it's hard for me to say since I have lived here my whole life so this is what I''m used to. I don't think it's as bad as people often make it out to be, but it's probably easier to be a native here than a foreigner. I know my friend from the states who lived here for a year was going crazy over the bureaucracy involved when dealing with the government, and pretty much complained about everything else as well.
We do have 25 days of vacation a year (plus 1 week extra if you are older than 60) which is quite generous compared to many other places. However it's not always that easy to actually get it, especially when you are single and no kids you are expected to be flexible with regard to vacations and holidays. It's all about how "difficult" you want to be with regard to claiming your rights.
But yeah, you are right, it is stupid to waste it. I just need to be better at saying no to people even when they are guilt-tripping me.