A true love of the Nordics | Vanessa Brune
Meet Vanessa Brune, originally from Germany but with her true affinity for the Nordic countries, she now residence in Norway where she can truly live the real Nordic life! Nordique have caught up with her to learn more about her life in this beautiful country.
Tell us a bit more about yourself!
“Well, I have a real soft spot for Northern Europe and the Nordic countries. When I was a teenager I knew I wanted to one day move to Sweden, but instead I ended up moving to Northern Norway to pursue a masters degree. Here I studied Northern and Indigenous Studies at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, and even got to visit Greenland to collect research material for my thesis.
After three years of life in the Arctic part of Norway I moved further south and I am now based in Stavanger. As much as I love Northern Norway, I did feel that I needed at least a bit of sunshine and daylight in winter, so life in the Arctic was not for me in the long run. I’m really happy in Stavanger and there are so many fantastic places to explore in the area!“
Tell us more about your passion for travel and your love for the Nordic region.
“I have been fascinated by the Nordic landscapes and cultures for over a decade now. The novels of Astrid Lindgren probably sparked this interest when I was a child, which only grew stronger when I visited Sweden and Norway for the first time in my late teens. I really enjoy photography and videography, and the Nordics make it super easy to get nice shots as the landscapes are all so incredibly beautiful. In a way, they are quite addictive - no matter how many fjords you’ve seen, you always long to see even more. At least that’s how I feel!”
“I feel so fortunate to have lived in Norway for over four years now, and had plenty of time to explore more of Scandinavia and the Nordic countries. Doing this have enabled me to also start working as a tour guide and run my own blog about traveling around and living in Northern Europe. I love sharing places throughout the Nordics that aren’t tourist magnets and I really enjoy answering people’s questions and giving advice, so being a tour guide and blogger up north really is a dream job combination for me!”
Tell us more about your blog Nordic Wanders and how that started!
“I first started my blog under the name ‘Snow in Tromso’ when I first moved to Norway. Back then I only intended to keep my family and friends up to date on my adventures in the Arctic. But at this same time, tourism in Tromsø had started to really kick off , and people started to find my blog through Google in search of more information for their upcoming travels. After a few years of answering the same questions over and over again, I decided to write an e-guidebook about Tromsø which I first published in 2016 where I help travellers plan their upcoming trips to Tromsø!
My focus is of course not only Tromsø and Northern Norway, I also provide plenty of information to other exciting destinations in Northern Europe on this blog which is now called Nordic Wanders. Here I share blog posts and videos, from all sorts of destinations such as Ireland and Scotland, Scandinavia and the Nordic countries, as well as the Baltic region.“
How do you feel life differs in Norway from your original life in Germany?
“I have only been living in Norway for four and bit years, but still - I find it pretty difficult to compare life in Germany to life in Norway as I have just gotten so used to the latter. I also sort of started my adult life here in Norway. It was also here got my first proper job after being a student.
What I can also say is as when it comes to life overall, I find life in Norway a lot more laid-back compared to Germany. I definitely spend more time out in nature here in Norway and have fully embraced the philosophy of ‘friluftsliv’ which means that you embrace nature and outdoor life! I would also say that I stress a lot less about things nowadays, and I have become a more relaxed person since moving to Norway. I guess this is what this country does that to you!”
Where have you travelled in Norway? Any favourite places?
“I am fortunate to say that I have been able to explore Northern Norway quite extensively during my time living in Tromsø - from the Lofoten Islands to Finnmark and even Svalbard! I have luckily also been to all of the major cities such as Oslo to Bergen and Trondheim.
“Picking just one favourite is really difficult, as I definitely fell in love with Svalbard during my exploring but also the Lofoten Islands. When it comes to visiting Norway, I always recommend people to head to Stavanger or Bodø.
I love Stavanger as you will pretty much find ‘Norway in a nutshell’ in the region - from mountains and fjords to a rugged coastline and sandy beaches; and of course, the city itself has plenty to offer in terms of street art and cuisine. The same goes for Bodø - this city is often overlooked by people heading to Tromsø instead, but this region has so much more to offer than you might think, and offers some real scenic treats!”
What do you love most about Norway?
“The landscapes of course! I am forever amazed by how gorgeous Norway is - no matter where you go. As a tour guide, I often can’t believe how lucky I am to visit all these scenic places for work. I don’t even get tired of seeing the same places over and over again, as they all look so different in the changing seasons and weather conditions.”