Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Love and Peace Caravan

That one time I decided to go to Norway with a Love and Peace caravan. Yeah that happened. AND IT ROCKED.

One flight and a four hour bus ride later, I was greeted by a really kind woman--who not only three weeks ago, I told I HAD to meet.

There was something about her couch-surfing profile that was intriguing, and odd, and so much fun. Originally I contacted her just to have me sleep on her couch, and instead I was invited on a road trip with the love and peace caravan. I accepted, and I am so happy I did.

It all began in a small room of a hotel. 12 of us sat there (two from Belgium, one from Portland, and the rest from Norway) slightly in awkward silence--taking much longer sips of coffee than needed, and then Lil said, "I'm doing this because I believe in peace, and I think people are too afraid of eachother." Her words were completely genuine--and very true. I knew this is where I needed to be-- and as crazy as this trip seemed--I felt incredibly safe. We basically were told that together we create the itenerary--we had set end points but how we got there was up to us. So we settled in four cars and our journey began.

Norway is breathtakingly beautiful. I can't recall a time in my life that I have ever felt THAT peaceful.

Even my long bus ride was a dream. The water--the mountains--the nature--was absolutely perfect and so so very relaxing. I quickly loved the concept of the road trip. We were constantly switching cars so we were able to get to know each other. Our first destination was only 30 minutes away but we took about 5 hours to get there. I'm really glad I said yes to this trip--if I would have gone to Norway on my own--I never would have seen what I saw--and now I have 11 new friends that I can visit :)

That's another thing--I really loved these people. Their humor and sarcasm was right up my alley. Everyone (for the most part) had a smile on their face, and were so so generous. I didn't have a sleeping bag---then I did. I didn't have a towel--then I did.

**Let me just take a moment to slightly complain even though I planned not too BUT older people from Portland are effin' IDENTICAL to Portlandia and not in a good way. In a---"OhMyGod......What....Why......" But really. If you want more on this, ask me in person--I shouldn't really shit talk people online. BUT PORTLANDIA IS REAL LIFE.****


I learned a ton about the people of Norway, the government, the lifestyle, opinions on America--it was really nice to hear new perspectives. It's more information than a book could have told me in my limited amount of time there.

We also had some funny things happen because of Lil's car. It is a crowd pleaser. We were parked on a mountain and a bus of people from Korea got off--she told them to come over--and next thing you know we are showered with pictures with all the Asians. It was great. Later on at a camping site--this Korean woman did a small dance for us and offered us some Jesus bookmarks that she had made.

Interesting things happen in Norway. Haha.

The trip was too short. I was only able to stay for half of it--and I really feel the need to go back. I was invited to a snow cave in the winter--WHAT? Maybe I'll go. I learned a lot in those two days. The biggest thing was to treat people with kindness, and to meet as many people as possible. We really are too afraid of people. Next time someone makes eye contact, say hello. You never know who they could be, or what they have to say.

Lil also gave me confidence in my art. After I told her what I was doing with my life she said "And you are only 23? I'm impressed." Everyone I seem to meet this summer has told me they believe I will make it--and that I will get to where I want to be. It's really refreshing and a really nice confidence boost. I believe that I work really hard--and I hope in ten years it will be a blast to laugh about all the shit and difficulties I had to work through. After all...all you can do is laugh.

This is probably one of my favorite pictures ever. My new friends peacing me off. :)

So--if you've never been to Norway, you must go. It's one of the most peaceful places I have ever been--and we could all use a bit more of that right?

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