This morning I woke up to a blustery, rainy day for my last day in Oslo and also my last long-ish run before I #raceStockholm (8 days!). With weather.com telling me only a 10% chance of rain, sleepily and deliriously I braved the elements, only to spend the better part of 2 hours hiding my cell phone in my sleeve praying it wouldn’t die and leave me stranded, and also likely giving many of the people of Oslo the impression that I was crazy as I spastically ran around in the rain singing beautifully along with my music.

The other day, a friend of mine mentioned self awareness to me in reference to my travels, a la ‘Eat Pray Love’. At first I thought this was silly, because I’m obviously already knowledgeable about all things Claire. But as I reflected on this thought, I realized that his was actually a much more appropriate description of whatever it is that I’m doing on this trip.

Self awareness – conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires

This certainly makes me feel better than I would classifying it as “wanderlust”. 

So far, this trip has brought new meaning to what it means to be wholly self aware. When we’re in our element, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to be an individual. It’s something that we take for granted in our everyday lives, that comfort of familiarity and ability to blend in. But here, everything is up to me. Whether for a dinner date, a good laugh, directions, or help deciding what to wear in the morning, there’s no one else to rely on. It’s amazing how long the days are when you’re self aware. But actually. You wouldn’t believe how productive you can be in an 18 hour day with no comprehensible distractions. I think that guy at the museum might have been talking to me today, but we’ll never know…. 

My random thoughts on Oslo:

  • Barry’s Bootcamp exists here. I thought Barry lived in SF.
  • Yes, I spent $20 on a salad. But somehow it was rewarding because I managed to order it myself.
  • Bulgar is a thing here.
  • My experience with Scandinavian castles is that they leave quite a bit to be desired.
  • Whoever designed the sidewalks and put gutters across them is definitely laughing at me from his grave as I’ve nearly fallen in every single one. 
  • The people here are lovely, once they realize that indeed I do not speak Norwegian and I have no idea what they’re saying.

Oslo is a quaint city with lots to love, and not even the rain nor my stinky hostel mate could get in my way. It’s been easy to get comfortable here. But tomorrow the test of self awareness continues as I head to Sweden early in the morning. I’m glad to have taken time to continue to get to know myself, and I’m lucky to have done it in Oslo. Julia Roberts really did have it all figured out.

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