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Our Andalucian paradise

My husband and I had lived in Mexico City, LA, Paris, Guadalajara, Oslo, Montreal and Vancouver. On a rainy November night we moved to a small town an hour inland from Malaga. 'Our Andalusian paradise' is about the historical town of Ronda, the mountains that surrounds it, the white villages dotted amongst them, of hikes, donkey trails and excursions around Andalucía and journeys further afield.

Having a heart in two countries
10 June 2021 @ 12:57

Looner, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Loner, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

The other day my son sent me a WhatsApp video from Norway. He was out running by the Oslo fjord and had stopped on a bridge to film the view. Far below, I could see the water that I had sailed on so many times with my late father, the Norwegian coastline, the granite cliffs worn smooth by the salt sea, and the scattering of quaint red and white wooden summer houses by the sparkling North Sea. It was so incredibly beautiful and so completely Norwegian that I was filled with a sense of deep longing.

 

Midsummernight. Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae.
Midsummer night, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

Obviously we have spring here in Andalucía as well, which is undoubtably beautiful. But spring in Norway is something very special to me. There is the joy and vitality people feel when the winter is finally starting to loosen its grip. This is something the Andalusians likely will never experience, and can therefore never begin to fathom. Regardless of how far or for how long we have been away from ‘home’, certainly speaking for myself and my kinsmen, we will always have a heart string tied up back at one fjord of another.


Looner, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Coast, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

Coast, Spain. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Coast, Spain. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

Norway is after all, if not our homeland anymore, our birthplace. For us who have now lived longer away elsewhere, like a compass, we will always feel a certain pull towards the north. I may speak out of hand here, but in my experience, it is almost a fact. Let’s take Spain for example. In spite of how fond we Norse men and women who live here are of our adoptive home country, and how much we enjoy the Spanish light, sun, tapas, wines, olives, music, flowers and the Mediterranean lifestyle, part of our heart still belongs to Norway - cold, snowy, sleety, dark, stormy and all! 

 

Sheep on the road, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Sheep on the road, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

Sheep on the road, Spain. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Sheep on the road, Spain. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

The Norwegian national anthem begins with the words “Yes, we love this land”, but some of us do not only love this land, but others as well.

 

Wheat field, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Wheat field, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

Sunflower field, Spain. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Sunflower field, Spain. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

I have heard people who live abroad speaking about how split they feel having two home countries. But having a ‘divided’ heart doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.

 

Wall, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Wall, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

Wall, Spain. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Wall, Spain. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

Instead of seeing it as something negative and destructive, isn’t it preferrable to see ourselves as having a heart that has room for both, or all, our home countries, wherever we have happened to hang our hats?


Colours, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Colours, Norway. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

Colours, Spain. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Colours, Spain. Photo © Karethe Linaae

 

Even if at times our homesickness can be almost painful, it is still a true privilege to be able to live and create a home base across country borders. So if you, like I, at times long for your original homeland, do so with joy. It is OK to have your heart in two countries.


Between islands, Photo © Karethe Linaae
Between islands. Photo © Karethe Linaae



Like 4




2 Comments


cwiz said:
12 June 2021 @ 13:03

I totally understand this feeling, Karethe! This year is the first time in 10 years that we have been in our "home" during the entire winter and now Spring. Which has always been my favorite season. I have been absolutely gobsmacked at the beauty of the flowers in our gardens and in other's gardens too. But now that we are here in our birthplace we both are longing for our adopted home in Spain. I guess to your point, we must enjoy wherever we are a live for the moment!


marelison said:
12 June 2021 @ 20:24

I know your feelings - I´ve been there.

Regards,
Mar Elison
Orihuela Costa / Iceland


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