Back from Sydney to Oslo : how is it?

back from Sydney to Oslo

Happy New Year everyone!

I wish you a wonderful 2016 with excellent health for you and your whole extended family, lots of joy and laughter as well as personal and professional success.

How did I start the year? EATING LOTS and enjoying the beautiful sunny weather of Sydney Australia, way to go! I hope I’ll get some time to share the highlights of this unreal break and warm you up with picture of the beach.

So how is it being back you might ask? Well good question…

Total shock to be back from Sydney to Oslo!

Although I’m known for being extremely positive, I have to admit, that was SO HARD! There is no way around it, you expect it and it happens*:

  • we used to spend Christmas holidays in Europe and when we were back to work in Sydney it was all sunny and warm. This time we went back to subzero temperatures, darkness, work and… less friends 🙁 (but good ones still !!! Aurélie, Raija and Anne: “your welcome home” on Facebook made my day)
  • where are the colours gone? That comment got a lot smiles on my Facebook page 🙂

We went from this (no filter, I swear)…Coogee Beach Australia

…to this (again no black and white filter either: I left a bit of the red plane wing to testify.  And no, the window of the plane was NOT dirty or dusty!!!

Oslo in winter

  • Our home is freezing. It was 13 degrees when we got back. We spent two whole days fire up our two fireplaces which means many return trips from the local shop up our 4 storey with no lift with 40 liter wood sacks for hubby. He also bought an additional electric heater and an electric blanket! We are definitely using the Ugg slippers we got as Christmas gifts from our Sydney relatives!
  • Darkness and hibernating: although we are gaining daylight at a rapid speed of an additional 10 minutes a day, it’s still pitch black when I wake up all through the school drop off and pitch black when I leave the office to do the school pick up at 4pm. I fall asleep from 9pm and don’t wake up before 7am. I feel like I’m in hibernating mode

In the meantime, this trip allowed me to realise the impact of living in Oslo on my health and beauty…Can’t fight my positivity, can I?

Living in Oslo makes me fitter

  • Eating and driving in Sydney. I realised in Sydney how often you have to drive. At the end of the trip I felt like a forced fed goose (and god knows I love foie gras): wake up, hop on the car, have a massive lunch, hop back on the car, get home, hop on the car, have a massive dinner, hop on the car, go to bed. Combined with the warm and humid weather, I felt mega bloated.
  • Oslo city lifestyle. Compare the above to:
    • living on the 4th floor with no lifts
    • working on the 3rd floor, no lifts and the microwave (to reheat my lunch) being placed in the basement
    • short lunch break with very few places open for take away food forces me to make a quick sandwich in the morning to bring with me. No KFC or Belles Hot Chicken here!
    • expensive meat so lighter and more balanced dinner at home
    • less opportunities to dine out: too cold and late whether it’s with the kids or without kids
    • Walking to school, walking to work totalling 30 min a day walking in super cold weather (minus 13 was the worst Ive experienced so far). I feel like I burn many more calories than running on the beach for 20 min (not that I did that anyway) or than my 30 min walking part of my commuting routine in Sydney Eastern Suburbs.
  • Back to the gym
    • I realise I wasn’t exercising in Sydney except for the odd week-end mornings boogy boarding or walking to Maroubra beach.
    • I started dance classes and was playing tennis 2 hours a week in Zurich. I started hip hop dance class in Oslo. It was fine, the music was great but it lacked some work out elements and I didn’t really make friends. The commuting wasn’t the best either.
    • I’m going to enrol at the local gym, 5 min walk from home and try their step and zumba classes. I hope I’ll get to know people in my area better. Probably more expats and parents at the French school but hey, you get along better with people like you right?

From this…

Sydney Lunch


… to this…Norwegian lunch

Less respiratory problems in Oslo

  • Less social drinking. What was killing my throat were big nights drinking at the pub, talking loud and then ending at karaoke. Lost voice guaranteed. Haven’t done that yet here: alcohol at the pub is to expensive and I haven’t discovered the Karaoke situation here yet
  • No air con. At the office we have heaters and windows we can open. No air con. How do I know air con has a bad effect on my health? Everytime I’m near it, I start coughing, even in the cab taking me from Sydney airport to our friends in Randwick!
  • Turtle necks. I always cover my neck and throat, whether it’s with turtle neck underwear or turtle neck jumper. Which layer, it doesn’t matter. I find it more practical than scarves and I find it makes my face looks thinner 😉 The downside for hubby is: no more clivage. But hey, that’s an incentive to take me to warmer places right?

Oslo weather is good for my hair and makeup!

  • the weather here is extremely dry. That means that when I GHD my hair, it stays! In Sydney, humidity ruins it all (not as bas as Singapore though) and in summer you’re often swimming or sweating so you wash your hair more often and it becomes a hassle to dry it to then curl it.
  • Interestingly, wearing a beanie doesn’t ruin it as much as I thought
  • Again what’s worth than wearing loose powder and make up when it’s hot and humid. Here it’s really enjoyable, no stickiness and that chill gives you a nice natural blush doesn’t it?

How to dress for work when it’s minus 12?

In the pic below, I’m already wearing 2 layers:

  • Invisible Base layer: Heattech long sleeve T shirt and woollen tights
  • Second layer: teal blouse, silk scarf and corduroy pants

Office fashion in Oslo

Third layer: preppy tweed jacket, Uggboots (that are replaced with heels in the office) –

Sorry about the mess in the background. Notice the electric heater by the bed!

Oslo office fashion

Fourth layer: Quilt winter jacket, beanie, gloves

Oslo fashion

How about our Aussie kids?

We decided on this trip was for our kids who feel very Australian, despite speaking 90% French and 10% English.

They were really excited about the trip, loved being there, catching up and playing with their friends, enjoyed every piece. However I didn’t feel they were too sad to leave but surprisingly I felt they were really happy and balanced at home in Oslo. They love their home, although it’s a bit chilly. I see them laughing and having fun at school. They happily do their homework again and return to their routine.

Life goes on and they enjoy having a lot more attention from us, speaking French again and not be limited in what they can express.

It snowed last night and it makes everything much brighter, nicer and more cheerful!

*Scroll down an you find some positivity as I just can’t help it, everything has a flip side 🙂 

4 thoughts on “Back from Sydney to Oslo : how is it?”

  1. I wish I’d gotten to see you! Your stay was too short. I love reading about your adventure in Europe – I’m learning so much! When we moved back I realised how sedentary Australian lifestyle is too and I made a huge effort to walk everywhere and take public transport when I can’t walk. We live in an area where I can walk to most things purposefully. We are looking to buy a place just within walking distance from Eloise’s school so we can get daily exercise in.

  2. Oslo sounds really SO awesome… I would love the cold and snow…It used to be like that in South Germany but it’s been now years without a real winter… Climate change…

    1. Why don’t you come and visit us while it’s still winter? June will be very different. We have room for you and your family! Don’t be shy, it will be fun and I need people to show me how winter can be that awesome 🙂

  3. Hi Christine!
    What a busy fortnight! Plus the distance didn’t make it any easier. But that’s a good excuse to plan your next trip to Scandinavia right? We have a massive guest room and we are locating in the nice exciting heart of the city. Don’t be shy!
    House hunting, that sounds like fun. Which area are you looking at?

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