May 13, 2013

Flam Train Stop, Norway

Image and text by Gabrielle.

We are on our way home today. Taxi to shuttle to airplane to car. It will be a long day, and it will feel so good to get home again!

Friends, have you ever felt like you’ve had your fill of travel? I confess, I’m ready to sit still for awhile and put the suitcases away. And I keep wondering how long the feeling will last. A year? Only a few weeks? Will I be feeling the wanderlust again by Friday? : )

This trip has been epic. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s the last big trip before we move back to the United States. And it definitely felt like a grand finale. I can’t wait to share a full report!

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen Tuttle May 13, 2013 at 10:11 am

I must confess I’m slightly sad to hear you’re moving back to the US. Reading your posts about living in Europe have helped satisfy my wanderlust ever so little! Thank you for all of the photos and stories!


2 Design Mom May 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Oh Karen. You know we’re feeling the same. It’s hard to leave such a beautiful place! We are working hard to buy a little cottage here, and we think the renovation will keep us coming back. So maybe we’ll be dividing our time between France and the U.S.


3 Karen Tuttle May 14, 2013 at 10:33 am

Hooray :) I saw your episode on House Hunters International and tried to keep it from my husband that I already knew what house you picked!


4 Trina May 13, 2013 at 10:51 am

Karen, that was my first thought, too :)

But, Gabrielle, you and your family are such an inspiration, I’d love to see how you continue to do so in “plain ol’ USA” :)


5 Design Mom May 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Thank you, Trina! It’s true. We loved adventures even before we moved to France, so hopefully we’ll still be adventurous when we move back. : )


6 Summer May 13, 2013 at 11:28 am

Hehe, I too am sad to see you move back, but I’m sure you’ll manage to be awesome here too. ;)

So funny you say that about having your fill of travel. I’ve definitely gotten like that in the past year or so. This may be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever said, but here goes: Once you see so many castles, they start blurring together! Haha, but seriously. I just like being home with my dog sometimes.

That’s why I’m such an advocate for travelling while you’re still young(ish). I know I still have places I want to go, but there will come a time in my life that I just want to sit on the porch with lemonade and never deal with TSA again.


7 Design Mom May 13, 2013 at 2:36 pm

“Once you see so many castles, they start blurring together!”

Totally. We can relate. We were talking about that on this trip. Our first year here was full of museums and cathedrals and castles. But the last year and a half have been more about outdoor adventures.

There are only so many old buildings that 6 kids can take. : )


8 Sandra Gonzales May 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Glad you’re back because I was wondering if you’re a helicopter parent….


9 Design Mom May 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I fear that I am! I’m going to go respond on Amy’s post — probably in the morning, because I am beat and need to head to bed.


10 Carly May 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm

I’ve absolutely loved seeing all of your instagram pictures from this trip. Norway is now on my list of places to see!


11 Design Mom May 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm

So glad you’ve enjoyed the photos, Carly! We started planning our next visit on the plane ride home. It’s a stunning country!


12 Maria B May 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I confess I’m a bit relieved to read that you’re tired of traveling. When we lived in Germany, we knew our time there was limited and we traveled like crazy people, which can be challenging by yourself, but even more so when you have a couple small children in tow. I am SO grateful for every single experience we had there (Paris! Rome! Amsterdam! Dieppe! Portugal! and on and on…it was amazing!) But when we made the decision to return to Canada I felt an even mix of excitement and disappointment and relief. We left two years into our four year posting and people thought we were crazy to leave early, but I was so ready to settle down and just live! And the fact is, there’s so much to see here in N America…A lifetimes worth of stuff actually. And when we did decide to come back early, we committed to continuing our travels. So far we’ve been able to keep our travels frequent. Though they may not seem as exotic as driving to Paris, I would argue that Niagara Falls is just as worthy a destination. It’s all in how you look at it, right? Anyway, this comment is wandering into babbling territory. Can’t wait to hear about Norway!


13 Design Mom May 13, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Agreed! North America is amazing. We’ve loved our trips to Mexico and Canada and we can’t get enough of the U.S. — I have a special place in my heart for National Parks.


14 Summer May 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I love this post! :) My friend married an Englishman and moved over there decided they’d moved back early too, and I believe she had similar feelings as you did.

Your comment about moving back to Canada also reminded me – You’re so lucky! :) Because, another thing I tire of is the American jokes I get while I’m overseas (and I’m from Texas, so it’s doubled ;) ). I can roll with punches just fine, but it’s really played out. It’s not original, nor funny anymore. I’ve sometimes found myself wondering, “Do they really think this is the first American joke I’ve ever heard?” I’m not ashamed of where I come from, as I don’t think anyone should be ashamed of where they’ve come from.


15 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity May 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I adore travelling and I think I always will, but I sure love coming home as well. Every year in about January I get itchy feet and start planning some kind of trip for the summer. I like to go some place new every year, even if it is just a new town close to home. Travelling is my way of keeping my mind alert and renewing my interest in life.


16 Design Mom May 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm

“Travelling is my way of keeping my mind alert and renewing my interest in life.”

I love that thinking, Grace! I think traveling can keep you young, and help prevent becoming close-minded or set in your ways.


17 Alicia May 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm

When I am on vacation I often wish to be home surrounded by my comforts and my schedule. When I am at home I look forward to the next adventure. It’s a constant cycle for me.


18 Design Mom May 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I can relate, Alicia. It seems to be a cycle for me too.


19 PARIS BEE kids blog May 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Sad to hear you’ll be moving back to the U.S! It’s been great following your stories in France and wonderful to read about others experiencing the some of the same expat moments. Of course I’ll keep reading wherever you go! :-)

xoxo PARIS BEE kids blog


20 Nora May 13, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Before you head for the US, there is another expat (UK) who blogs from the Normandy area. You must have crossed paths by now!!! She could be a great help with your french house of the future. Am I violating blogger etiquette if I put her blog address here? Oh well, here it goes… http://www.myfrenchcountryhome.blogspot.com. Sorry if I shouldn’t have done that, but I swear some of your photos are of the same buildings, your weather is the same as her weather, etc. I hesitate as I press submit, but….oh heck.


21 Heidi May 13, 2013 at 10:49 pm

I’ll be interested in your journey of moving back to the US. When I moved back to Canada after 5 years in Austria, I felt quite a disconnect to the people around me. I hope that your experience is easier than mine was.


22 Valerie May 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine

This quote has always resonated with me – though my time off and budget have not always been available at the same time to support my travel bug! But regardless of if it’s a 3 day or a 3 week trip there never is anything better than the feeling of being “home”.


23 Lili May 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I recognize those houses! Did you gone to Norwegia?


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