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15 Reasons Why Living in Norway Is Awesome

15 Reasons Why Living in Norway Is Awesome

Norway is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and if you love skiing, you can do that for 6 months a year. There are many advantages to living in this awesome country, although you should check that you are comfortable with cold winters and icy driving conditions before you decide to move. Here are 15 reasons why living in Norway can be a wonderful adventure.

1. Most people speak English.

If you are an English speaker, you will find that Norwegians love to practice their English as they have all studied it at school. This makes the initial impact much easier. Even the tax return form has an English version.

It is recommended that you learn Norwegian because most people will speak that when they are socializing. This can take up to 3 years and may be a requirement if you want to take a university course. Another great plus is that university education is free as it is state funded.

2. The scenery is beautiful.

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    Whether you are driving or taking a rail trip, the stunning scenery which stretches for miles and miles is breathtaking. You have everything from majestic mountains, waterfalls, glaciers and green hillsides—not to mention the wonderful fjords. The Oslo to Bergen rail trip takes 7 hours but for most of the time, you will be admiring the marvelous scenery.

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    Driving on the national tourist routes will provide you with many memorable moments. Getting off the beaten track is so easy.

    3. You can camp anywhere.

    Norway has a law called “allemannsrett” which gives you the right to put up a tent anywhere you like in Norway. There are some exceptions, such as private property or a national park! Now, if you are into hiking and camping, this makes Norway a paradise. It also makes things cheaper as hostels and hotels can be expensive.

    4.  A family-friendly state.

    Norway is famous for its family-friendly policies. It is a well known fact that fathers can take up to 12 weeks paid leave during the first three years after a new baby’s arrival.

    Growing old in Norway is also very beneficial. If you fulfill certain requirements, elderly citizens over the age of 67 will receive a state pension of $1,000 a month. Workers also enjoy a shorter working week of 37.5 hours and they have longer paid holidays of 25 working days.

    5. Norway’s banks have great online services.

    Once you have your bank account set up, you can do almost everything online. Transferring money to another account or paying bills is really easy. All you need is the account number of the beneficiary and this saves you loads of time.

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    6. Health care is more or less free for everybody.

    Once you are legally resident, you can apply for the free public health service. According to the WHO, Norway’s healthcare is in the top fifteen (ranked at number 11 while the USA is at number 38.)

    There is a fee to be paid for each doctor’s visit (about $21) until you reach the cap for the year which is $1,817. You pay for basic medicines too but they all go towards the annual cap so once you reach that, the service is free for the rest of the year.

    7. Be part of a booming economy.

    Norway has become rich because of its offshore oilfields and gas. Much of this money is saved by the government and used for public welfare which makes living there easier in many ways. It should be no surprise to learn that its national pension fund is worth about $376 bn. Despite a single-track economy, this year’s figures show that industrial and economic growth have exceeded expectations and the outlook is still very bright.

    8. Norway is not overcrowded.

    The population of Norway is 5 million (2013 census). This works out at 14 people per square kilometer which means plenty of space for everybody. Compare that with Macau with 20,500 and Hong Kong with 6,480 per square kilometer to put things into perspective.

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      9. Enjoy pleasant urban surroundings.

      If you live in Oslo, you will notice very few skyscrapers and shopping malls. There is a magnificent opera house and the new Munch Museum will open in 2018. Security was criticized after the famous Munch paintings The Scream and Madonna were stolen. They were later recovered and the robbers left a note saying, “thanks for the poor security.”

      10. Norway is moving towards a multicultural society.

      After the terrible shootings in which 77 people were killed by Anders Breivik, Norway showed its commitment to giving him a fair trial and resolved to make the country a better model for a multicultural society. For example, a Muslim woman called Hadia Tadjuk was appointed Minister of Culture. It is also interesting to note that 11% of Norway’s population was born abroad.

      11. Norway is leading the way in new industries.

      We mentioned above that Norway has a single-track economy and there are over 50,000 engineers employed offshore on its gas and oil platforms. But that does not mean that there are no developments in its other industries such as forestry, mining and fishing. Many paper and pulp factories are changing over to bio-refining. The government is busily promoting Innovation Norway to showcase its progress in modernization.

      12. Norwegians are happier and live well.

      According to the OECD index on the happiness and well-being of various nations, Norwegians come out with a high score. Life expectancy is 81 which is higher than the OECD average. There is less pollution and not surprisingly, almost 100% of Norwegians are satisfied with the quality of their drinking water. When people were asked to express their life satisfaction with a rating from 0 to 10, Norwegians gave themselves a rating of 7.5 which is higher than the 6.6 OECD average.

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        13. Norway has a low crime rate.

        There are only about 4,000 prisoners in Norway. But what is most striking is that there is a very low re-offending crime rate. This is due to Norway’s enlightened approach to how they treat their prisoners by giving then trust and responsibility. They are offered more training, rehabilitation, and skills development than almost anywhere else in the world. They have to work but they are also given free time to enjoy themselves.

        14. Norway has the highest number of electric cars.

        Norway now has 32,000 electric cars which is the highest rate per capita in the whole world. The government has offered incentives such as tax breaks and free parking to these car owners. There has been a significant drop in air pollution. Because they are allowed to use bus lanes, they are not clogging up these lanes as they make up 85% of the traffic in them.

        15. Norwegians have a high level of education.

        It is estimated that the Norwegian government spends more than 6.6% of its GDP on education which is one of the highest in the world. It also has very high level of education and a very small dropout rate. This is reflected in the high quality of life and the general cultural level where creativity is encouraged. These together with the low crime statistics make Norway a great place to live.

        Let us know in the comments if you have lived in Norway and what makes it so awesome.

        Featured photo credit: Preikestolen, Norway (2014)/ Alberto Carrasco Casado via flickr.com

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        Robert Locke

        Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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        Last Updated on November 9, 2020

        10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

        10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

        Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

        Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

        Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

        If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

        Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

        1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

        Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

        Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

        Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

        2. No Motivation

        Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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        This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

        If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

        3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

        Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

        A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

        A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

        The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

        4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

        One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

        We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

        Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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        You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

        5. Upward Comparisons

        Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

        The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

        These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

        Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

        6. No Alternative

        This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

        Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

        Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

        Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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        7. Stress

        As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

        When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

        We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

        If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

        8. Sense of Failure

        People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

        Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

        Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

        If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

        9. The Need to Be All-New

        People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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        These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

        10. Force of Habit

        Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

        Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

        These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

        Final Thoughts

        These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

        There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

        More on Breaking Bad Habits

        Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
        [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
        [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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