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Lofoten – my new home at last?

Celebrating my birthday on Volandstind.

Moving countries is not as easy as it might seem. I don’t mean traveling, staying in one place for a month or two and then moving on. I mean committing to one place for a longer period of time. Going through all the paperwork, bureaucracy and ticking off countless boxes of the ‘to-do’ list.

But today I just want to celebrate finding my new home.

Hot summer day on Veienestind, Lofoten.

Hot summer day on Veienestind, Lofoten.

Originally from Poland, I lived in Wales for 10 years, in Germany for a year and recently I moved to the Lofoten Islands in Norway. Each country has left some traces in me, making me into some kind of a hybrid: an outsider and local at the same time. A simple question: ‘Where are you from?’, can result in a maze of answers. I’m not really sure how to identify myself anymore. Am I still a girl from an industrial Polish city? Or living in a small Welsh town made me into a countryside lover?

Lofoten Islands have been luring me for a few years. The seed was planted during my first visit and the love and longing to become a part of this magical place has been growing in me unconsciously ever since. It was probably my partner’s dedication to this place that made me want to explore it. Would I have visited and fallen in love with Lofoten if it wasn’t for him? Who knows, it doesn’t really matter now when I’m here.

Celebrating my birthday on Volandstind.

Celebrating my birthday on Volandstind.

Living above the arctic circle, magic of midnight sun, weather changing constantly like my moods and mountain peaks often rising straight from the sea. Polar night lasting a month which I have not experienced yet and feel both nervous and excited about.

No, I don’t know all the mountain names yet and still might get confused where the north and south is (especially after exiting an undersea tunnel)… I am a slow and cautious hiker and might never be super adventurous. But it doesn’t mean that I love the Islands less. It doesn’t mean that I don’t belong here… When writing these words I can just turn my head and look out of the window towards the fjord and the afternoon sun dancing on the mountains. And I smile to myself. I’m home.

All photos by Cody Duncan.

 

Summer light on Hornet.

Summer light on Hornet.

 

Flakstadtind summit.

Flakstadtind summit.

 

Winter hiking.

Winter hiking.

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