Welcome to Our Blog!
Thanks so much for visiting our blog!
Since you’re here, you already know that Kristin, Winston, Marcus and Nora will spend a year on a remote island in Norway. During this time, Kristin and I will blog regularly about our life there. If you’re interested, sign up on the right, and we’ll send you an email when a new blog is up.
The name of the island is Rødøy, which means “Red Island” in Norwegian. You can see it on Google Map here, and find pictures of it on Google Images and Flickr. Amazingly, Google cam has been there so you can get a virtual tour using Google Street View.
Rødøy is just above the Arctic Circle, which means there’re days in the winter when the sun never peeps above the horizon, and they’re days in the summer when the sun never sets — “midnight sun” as it were.
Many people ask, are the winters dark and unbearable? I spent some time up in that area before, and I found the winter there special in its own way. The sky lights up from 10 to 3, and because the sun is just around the horizon, the day is in effect a very long sunrise and sunset, casting soft and glowing light on everything. After it gets dark outside, people spend time indoors around their fireplaces or wood burning stoves, and be “cozy”, a word that has broadly positive meanings in Norwegian and applicable in all sorts of circumstance, like “it was a cozy conversation.”
The climate there is cold, but not as cold as one might imagine because of the gulf stream, which brings warm water from the tropics up along the coast. If the gulf stream stops – which has happened periodically – this island would be covered with ice all year around. But until then, it’s quite livable. In summers temperature can shoot up to 70s, even 80s on occasion. And winters are not much worse than Boston’s.
How did we find this place? As with most big things in life, it was by happenstance. A Norwegian friend of ours, Ann K., spent a year on Rødøy and loved it. When we talked to her about moving to Norway for a year and wanting to mix that with a little adventure, she wholeheartedly recommended this island. Kristin then looked it up and found that the island needed a teacher. She applied for the job and got it.
Neither of us had ever set foot on Rødøy before. And neither of us had ever lived so remotely before. Traveling, yes. Living, no. I’m certain that there will be many miserable days and we’ll curse ourselves for ever dreaming up this whole thing. I also know that no matter what happens, we’ll remember this year vividly for the rest of our lives.
So Rødøy it is, the island which we’ll call home for a year.