Travel Inspiration: Lessons from the Norwegian Fjords

One of the sneaky side benefits of independent travel is the insights and lessons I learn from my surroundings. During my recent trip to Norway with my super awesome mom, we had three days on a ferry from Bergen to the Lofoten Islands. There wasn’t much to do on the ship so the majority of our time was spent finding the best seats for nature watching, reading, naps, and going onto the outdoor decks for photos.

The ship’s course was primarily along the coastline, passing little villages of brightly colored houses and mountains rising from the depths of the ocean. All of the landscapes were breathtaking, but one of the highlights was going all the way into the Geiranger Fjord for some seriously epic scenery. 

During those moments that leave you in complete wonder, there’s something else that creeps into that silence. It’s almost as if those ancient rock formations had something to share. Here’s what they told me. 

Perspective & Patience

“Perspective changes with time and movement. Be patient.” 

This was like a 2×4 to the face, and this lesson was repeated over and over again during our time. As we approached the fjords from the sea, the mountains around would appear as simple, two-dimensional peaks rising out of the ocean or coastline. The closer we got, the clearer the true shape and magnitude became. 

Suddenly it was a three dimensional living landmass and I could see the ridgelines connecting other peaks or falling away again toward the water. I discovered so much more depth and detail than I ever imagined on that first glimpse. As we passed and put more distance between us it would return to a two-dimensional peak again, but with a different shape and grandeur from the other side.

These moments were a great reminder of how many times in life circumstances hold more than meets the eye. When pursuing a dream, you know, like starting a business or seeing the world, it starts as a vague shape in your mind. As you start taking steps to make those dreams reality, you start to see new aspects that weren’t there when you were so far away. Once you’re right up next to it, you find more opportunities and ways to navigate the landscape and reach your destination! All it takes is moving toward your goal and the patience to let the scenery unfold around you. 

Strength in Stillness

“Let the world happen around you. Stay your course. You strength is in your solidity and stillness.” 

Our first real glimpse of the majestic fjords of Norway was in Flåm. We’d had some delays in getting there – broken down trains and such, but arrived in the evening with enough time to wander along the waterfront. The next day we hiked to along the fjord to the next town over, enjoying the breathtaking views the whole way. 

Throughout our hike over, this particular cliff face kept catching my eye and in my imagination it was some kind of watchman or guardian of the fjord. It struck me that this particular mass of rock had been standing watch over this fjord for actual millenia! How many boats have passed under its shadow over the centuries? How many civilizations have risen and fallen along its shores? All the while, it stood silently watching.

It struck me that the strength of this “watchman” was partially from its solidity, but also from its stillness. All these movements of humans and nature surround it constantly, yet it continues to stand firm and silent. 

There are times in life when everything around us feels chaotic and it’s easy to get swept up in the emotions and energy of it all. This was a perfect reminder that sometimes the best answer to the chaos is to be still and simply stand our ground. Sometimes you can’t change the chaos, so instead it’s better to not engage. Stand solid in yourself and your knowing, find the stillness within and the storm will pass. 

Reflections

There have been some serious twists and turns on my path lately so these lessons hit home hard! There are many days where I don’t know which way is up or where the fuck my next step is supposed to be. More than anything, I want to help you change your life through the experience of independent travel! No biggie, right?! With that sort of massive mission as my goal, the self-doubt kicks in and I wonder how on earth I’m going to do it. What I know is that it’s my heart and there’s no other choice but to keep moving forward.

All of these lessons from Mother Nature helped me put things into perspective. The clarity and next steps will come as I keep moving toward my goals. When I find myself getting overwhelmed, it’s time to pause and be still until some of the internal chaos settles. Some of my favorite travel moments come from these unexpected lighting bolts to my soul that help me be better prepared for whatever Life throws my way next. There’s much brewing here at Beyond Reservations, so stay tuned for some big shifts coming up! <3 

Now get out there, the world is waiting for you. 

Your Turn

What challenges are you facing that have you feeling the need for some perspective? Have you had moments like this where your surroundings suddenly provide insights for your life? Where are your favorite places to enjoy the natural wonders on offer?

 

Annie

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