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Beyond the Horzon 2.0

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A short introduction of Jack Bowler:

My photo
Hello all you lovely blog readers and welcome into my very own personal blog corner here on the world wide web. I feel so honored by having you here on my site/blog, thank you so very much. First of all I want to say that my name is really not Mr Bowler or Bowler, this is an alias I have chosen to use. Mainly becaue I love hats and that I at this point want to keep my real name for my self. Enough about this. It is time for a short introduction. I am a 43 year old (born in 1975) Norwegian male, currently living in south America together with my fiance and my son. I moved from Norway and to Peru during the summer of 2016. You can say that I am here living the life I have always dreamt of. I am the type of guy who loves to entertain and that is also why I started my own blog, hope you enjoy the content.

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Five things that I really do not like about living in Peru:

Hello, again my friends here on the great intraweb. Wow, its the first Wednesday of 2019 and I am all ready with a new update here on Bey...

Saturday, 21 July 2018

I just can not believe it, that another Friday is here:

Look at the fog, it looks like the sky and the ocean is one single object.
Hello ladies and gentlemen of the world wide web, today is the amazing day of Friday and for the most of us that means the start of a brand new weekend to enjoy, but I have to say wow how time fly these days. To be honest, these days it feels like my weeks go from Monday and directly to Friday. Because every single Sunday I sit down, make a list of things I need to do or want to do and then make plans for the upcoming week. Usually, I manage to get my Monday post ready and published on the blog on time, but then my week is more or less over. At least this is how I feel right now. I am not sure how you guys have it, but I seem to rarely get enough time on my hands to complete my weekly plans. A theory is that I might have too many posts in “production” at once and it might be a good idea to narrow down my focus point to get more done in the future.

Anyway, this past week has been weird in many ways, I would actually go as far and say that the past month or so has been this way. I am not going into more depth on this topic right now. I feel it is not the time or the post to do it in, but I will get back to it in a later post, very soon. So it is “finally” Friday and today I felt like having a me day. A day was could focus on my self and my own “needs”. So when I woke up around 11 the first thing I did was to fix my self a cup of wake up coffee, then turned on my Playstation and started up my favorite game, Grand Theft Auto (online). I spent a few hours losing my self in Los Santos and the world of crime. As usual, when I play this game I had company in my very close friend that lives back in Norway. We were focusing on grinding “money” for next weeks DLC release.
Yes, there is an ongoing election here in Peru. Here are some of the local candidates.
After spending 2 or 3 hours I decided it was about time for me to get something done and actually spend some time outdoors. So I got properly dressed, picked up my camera (Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, that is, in reality, a camera with a phone function) and walked out my front door. To be honest, it has been a while since I did this last, just walking around and enjoying Magdalena del Mar together with my camera. Today I really felt the need to get out in “fresh” air and just enjoy my surroundings. I went to my usual spot and one of my absolute favorite areas here in Lima, the park above the highway and the beach. Sadly today the weather has been gray and foggy, so far away from optimal conditions. Something the main photo for this post kinda shows

At the park, I wanted to kick off my photo walk with a view from there, but as you can see, it was not a success. Despite the end result I have chosen to use it. It ended up with me taking about five photos from the edge. After the park I continued down toward the beach, capturing more images. If I am going, to be honest, then I have to say that this park area is the most beautiful part of Magdalena. Sadly it kind of gets ruined by the traffic and all the noise that follows with it. On my way back from the beach I stopped for a cup of coffee, sat there relaxing and enjoying being outside with my thoughts. Here in Lima, it is more or less impossible to find a place for some proper peace and quiet, as it is in most big cities around the world. The traffic and all the people have a tendency to make some serious noise.

With time I decided to return home, dinner time was closing up and today it was my turn to prepare it. If I am the one that makes the dinner during weekends I usually turn to my favorite Italian dish, spaghetti or spaghetti bolognese. A funny detail, we have actually a street here I Magdalena del Mar that is named Bolognesi. Actually, it is not that far from where I live right now. If I am not mistaken, I do believe that I have a video up on my Youtube channel that shows this street or this part of the district. Why not check it out (Beyond the Horizon on Youtube)? I have to say that this day has been amazing, in many ways I feel refreshed and in a much better mood then I started the day with. At the same time, I have been able to stay away from my PS4 and focusing on my blog instead after returning home.
I love this building, actually it's not that far from where I live. A few hundred meters.
Usually, I spend Fridays with my son, either at home playing Fortnite or outside playing football. Today he was busy with his visiting uncle. So next Friday I am planning to regain our usual activities. Tomorrow I have plans for another one of these photo walks here in Magdalena, I will also try to get some content for my Youtube channel as well. It has been a while since my last video got uploaded. Anyway, I guess it is time for me to end this post now and I hope you guys have enjoyed today's update. Actually, I would love to hear what you guys think about content like this. If this is a type of content that you want to see more of and if this is a topic I should spend my Friday post on or I should continue as before. With my top five lists, expat stories and such. Let me know guys.

P.S: Wish you guys and girls an amazing weekend and I will see you all on Monday.

Monday, 9 July 2018

My top five things that I miss about or from Norway:

Fishing from the docks in Kristiansund
An older photo from one of my many fishing trips
Hello, ladies and gentlemen of the interweb, today is Monday and for me, that means it is time for another post here on the Beyond the Horizon blog. Today I feel like it is about time for another one of my top five lists, but instead of focusing on my more typical Peruvian topics I want to focus on something that I believe most of us expats go through from time to time. what I am thinking about here are things we miss from our native countries. Either it is “things” like friends and family, items, products or locations/places. As I see it, this is a big part of living abroad and for many of us, it can be hard to find these things locally where we live. At least it can be hard for us that lives outside of the typical expat hubs and for typical destinations for immigrating Norwegians.

As for me, I have now been living outside of Norway for over two years (it is actually close to 26 months now) and I have to say that there are many things that I miss from my native country. This is things like foods, snacks, sodas, and activities that I used to spend my off-work hours on. To be honest, this list is extremely long and sadly I have not to this date been able to find any of them here in Lima or any of the other nearby cities. The feeling of missing these things gets even stronger when I feel homesick, something that actually happens more often then you would think. In this list, I will not include friends or family but instead, focus on food products and activities that were important for my “well-being” while living in Norway. This way you get a small insight into my life previous to me moving to the Philippines and Peru.

1. Fishing and Norwegian scenery: This has to be one of the things from back home in Norway that I miss the absolute most and especially now since it is summer. The reason for this is because from early spring (April or May) to late fall (October or November) my entire off-work life has centered around fishing. I could spend hours on hours just sitting in my camping chair casting and enjoying my surroundings. It did not even matter if I caught anything, where I got to do it or for how long. The important part was that I got to enjoy the hunt and being outside in fresh air. Usually, you would see me dragging on 3 to 4 rods, one large gear case and a crab trap. As you can see from the included photo, I had settled my self in the harbor area and just having a comfortable a time fishing.

Sadly I have not been able to go on one single fishing trip since I left Norway back in May 2016, but there is a silver lining in all of this, my girlfriend has found or located some old fishing gear of mine. This means that with time I will go out on my very first trip in over two years and the frosting on the cake is that I will be bringing my baby prince along. Just the thought about this gets me super excited and that my prince will be joining me is only making this an even bigger event. He has never been out on a fishing trips before. I am not sure about when this is going to happen, but one thing is sure and that is that it will happen before the summer is back. This is because I want it to be warmer and drier weather, it would not be any fun for him if his first fishing experience were to happen in this kind of weather, I think.
Norwegian Jarlsberg ost or Jarlsberg cheese.
Jarlsberg ost or Jarlsberg cheese. Photo credit: (Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry)
2. Norwegian cheese and especially Jarlsberg: I love cheese, I mean I really LOVE cheese. Just let me put it this way, if I could only pick only one spread to put on my bread it would be without a doubt cheese and especially Jarlsberg. Okay, Norwegia cheese does not fall that far behind either, but I have a very special relationship with this specific type or brand of cheese and I use it on almost everything or just eat it as a snack. I have ever since my arrival here in Peru been looking for a decent substitute, but no luck and neither can I find the real deal. I know that the closest country that has this brand is USA and Canada, but I do not trust that it will handle the flight all the way down here. I do not want to order it from the U.S and get disappointed when I find it spoiled or bad. Anyway, I won't give up looking for it.

3. Norwegian milk chocolate: This one is maybe the most underrated Norwegian product and in my opinion the best chocolate in the world. Okay, I would not say that any brand of milk chocolate fits this description, far from it and the brand that I am thinking about here is called Freia milk chocolate. (No, this post is not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned.) I have not up to date been able to find a chocolate product that could replace or act as a substitute in any way. The truth is that the Peruvians would not be able to make good chocolate if their life depended on it. First of all, every single chocolate bar I have found has been overfilled with some type of nuts and secondly, they are way too sweet. It is not like I avoid buying any of them, but I know what I would prefer to get my hands on.

4. Kristiansund Ballklubb and Norwegian football: Here you have another activity that got a lot of my attention during most of the year, football or soccer as the Americans call it. Through the years I have no idea on how many hours that I have spent on football arenas or traveling to or from a match or organizing events, but most likely we are talking about thousands of hours. Most of these hours have been spent in the period 1997 to 2008 0r 2009. This period is a time in my life where I spent most of my time after work on this sport, either as in the leadership of a supporter club, in a football club or organizing events in and around matches. I did all of this without pay, but not that I am complaining because I have been enjoying every second of it. It has been fun, but challenging. So now I have to settle with following my team online.
American fish and chips.
This is not fishan, but an American version of the fish and chips.
5. Norwegian fish and chip or fishan: Have to say that this one was the most difficult one to pick. At this point, I was not sure if I would go for a food dish or a special type of spice, but ended up with this one. Okay, fish and chips is not a Norwegian dish, but an English one. The reason for it ending up on this list is because back home in Kristiansund we have our own version of it and if you ask me, it is way better than the original. You can say that I have had some really bad experience while visiting the UK in the past. To have it mention, back home in Kristiansund we call it fishan, not fish and chips. This is a dish that I have to try to make in the near future, the question is if it will be a failure or success. Anyway, this is one of the things I am looking forward to enjoying when I get back to Norway.

Well, guys, this is my top five things that I miss about or from Norway. To be honest, I have lately been feeling depressed and extremely homesick and this is also what has given me the inspiration for this post. You can say that this in many ways is the downside of being an expat or living abroad, far away from home. There will be things you miss more then other, at times there are things you just can not stop thinking about. One example is my “addiction” to cheese and milk chocolate. The good thing in all of this is that is not too far away future I will be going on a trip back to Norway and trust me I am excited. Well, dear reader, I hope you have enjoyed my post and to such a degree that you will share it with your friends and come back for more in the future.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Wow, how time flies, is it really already Friday again?:

A booth at a market in Magdalena del Mar, Lima
At this booth, I am buying my coffee for the weekend and next week.
Hello and welcome ladies and gentlemen of the interweb, today is the great day of Friday and I have to say, wow how time flies these days. To be honest and as mentioned in my previous post, I had such big plans for this week when it came to blog content. First out was supposed to be a new expat story post (Wednesday) and the next one after that a brand new top five travel list. Actually as fast as my Monday post went live I got started on my next one, but for some reason, I got sidetracked or lost track of time. The result of this you can see in the lack of updates since. Anyway, I am going to do my very best to get them finished this weekend and get them published next week. So since I managed to kinda mess up my own schedule, I have changed what kinda topic I want to focus on today.

To be honest this Friday came around way too quickly for me. The feeling that I am sitting with is almost like the last day I remember is Monday and next here comes Friday. My question is, where did Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday go? Okay, I can kinda see what has happened to this week. To be completely honest with you guys, I have been suffering from depression the last few weeks, this is something that usually results in a type of insomnia or a huge change in my sleeping rhythm. The thing is that a few years back I got diagnosed with PTSD and I was offered some type of treatment for it, but this would have gotten in the way of my family reunion plans (if this was a good choice or move, I am not sure of). Anyway, done is done and I have to live with my choices.

If you look at the photo that I have included in this post you can see that we have been out shopping for the weekend. If there is one thing that I love doing when I am either visiting or living in a new country is to go to the local markets. For some reason, I avoid supermarkets like they are the plague, but when it comes to markets it is like they are a tourist attraction or something. I can spend hours walking around enjoying my surrounding, look at the stores, restaurants and the crowds of people. Because these markets are really packed from the moment they open in the morning until they close in the evening. I especially enjoy the fish and meat areas, it is always so many exciting things to look at, not to forget the smells. On top of it, I prefer to do my shopping at these places, have fresher food and better customer service.

Today have been one of these days where I have been rushing around super slowly. Taking things easy and trying to take my current situation into account. Not to stress my self and put my self into unwanted situations. Today I actually had a dentist appointment to remove the stitches from my surgery last week, but it got postponed because of what I have mentioned. The plan is to try to go through with it tomorrow. To be honest, I really need to get these stitches removed, they are kind of in the way or at least they are a sort of irritation for me. On the other hand, this day has been so great in many other ways. My girlfriend is as I am writing this post on an audition for a singing job, I am so nervous on her behalf and so excited. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed for her, she has an amazing voice and she really deserves a breakthrough if you ask me.

I have also started to look for work back home in Norway because the plan is that I am going back home in December and if this is something that is going to happen I need a job to come home to. The reason why I need to have a job before I come home is simple, because of the length of my stay in Peru I have lost most of my civil rights in Norway. Especially when it comes to potential benefits and public assistance. So to be able to finance things like an apartment, health insurance and such I need to have a steady income since the rights that I have lost won't return before after six months of taxable income. To have an income is extra important since I am planning to bring my family along on this journey and both of them are super excited about it. Finally, my son will be able to visit my native country.

At the moment I am not sure about how long I am going to stay in Norway and what we will be doing after that. All I know at this point is that I need to go home for a period of time. Just to be able to meet my family and friends, to be able to enjoy the many things and activities that I have been missing for the past two-plus years. One thing is sure and this is that I will be continuing my activities here on my blog. The content I will be focusing on might be slightly different in this period, but the important part is that I will continue working on it. Most likely the content will be focused around typical Norwegian topics, that way introducing my amazing native country in a way that it deserves. Because Norway is an amazing looking country, something I guess you guys know already or what?

Anyway, I guess it is about time for me to wrap this post up and get it published on my blog. It got way longer than I first had planned. The initial plan was just a few lines to complement the photo I had chosen for the post, but it kinda grew with each new paragraph. One can say that I am having a way to much fun with this blog thing and I would be super happy if you guys would enjoy it just a fraction of how much I enjoy writing them. For me it is all about entertainment and the joy of creating something, a plus side is that I might improve my English skills in the process. If you enjoyed reading this post, why not check out previous ones and maybe even have a go at my tiny Youtube channel? Well my dear reader, until my next post remember to stay safe and I am hoping to see you back on Monday for my next post.

P.S wish you guys and girls a superb weekend.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Where have we been and where are we now heading?:

Animal rescue kitten finding a new and safe home
My new baby girl and princess, Princess Gompina. Isn't she cute?
Hello and welcome ladies and gentlemen of the internet, today is Monday, the start of a new week and the beginning of a new month (July). For me, this means that it is time for a brand new post here on the Beyond the Horizon blog. Today I feel like having a quick look at the past or first six months here on this blog and at the same time try to explain or point out the path for the next few months. This means “talking” about past post and at the same time my plans for future ones. Maybe even touch on my plans for the Youtube channel. I might not have written and published that many posts in the past (18 in total), but the ones that have ended up on Beyond the Horizon has been honest and hopefully an interesting reading, something I will continue with in the future.

Because if I am going to be completely honest, then I have to say that the past six or seven months has been everything but boring. Instead, I would say that these months have been overfilled with excitement, personal ups, and downs. Everything started back in late December when my relationship ended (My life in Peru has really changed during Christmas) and a “new” experience started, being single in South America (My experience of being single in Peru so far, part 1). There have been lots of injuries, health issues and new adventures here in Lima. We have also gotten a new family member in this time period (Let me introduce a new member of the family, Princess Gompina). During these months there have also been big changes in the “relationship” I am having with my “ex-fiance”.

Lets put it like this, as 2018 got the worst possible start, but as the weeks passed things started to improve gradually on all fronts. While it was at it worst I focused on my son, my blogging and my gaming. This actually helped me cope with the depression and negativity that followed the breakup. I started the year as single and got into the dating game pretty fast, do believe that this started back in February. Through this process, I had the pleasure of meeting some interesting and fascinating girl. Something that gave me the inspiration for the blog posts (My experience of being single in Peru so far). There is coming more parts of this article series very soon, I am putting the final touches on them at this point in time. With time the situation between me and my ex-fiance improved to such a degree that we now are more or less back together again.
Public colloseum in Magdalena del Mar, Lima and Peru
This is a public "Colosseum" where people can play football, tennis and so on.
In all of this, there is one thing that I do regret and that is that I have not been able to be as active on my blog as I had hoped for. Because back in December and January when I got started on posts for the blog I had big plans for several publications every week, but as time passed I got less and less time to put aside for my blog and Youtube channel. I would say that the first six months has been a learning period for me. I am new to the blog sphere and I have a lot to learn when it comes to how thing work. How to plan my day so I get time for everything, especially when it comes to research, writing, publishing and promoting my posts. There is one thing that I have noticed and that is who my worst enemy is when it comes to finding time to focus on my blog, this is my self.

Yes, I am my worst enemy when it comes to the blog. There are so many things going on in my everyday life and more often then not I get dragged out of my blog zone by things that have to be taken care of, but I do try my best to sit down with my computer and do what needed to at least have a weekly post published. Even this is something that has been difficult to do the past couple of months.  As mentioned I am looking at these past six months as a learning period and hopefully, I will be able to use what I have learned so far in the future. That is why I say that the month of July will be great since I have big plans for this month for both my blog and my Youtube channel. Several videos are ready to be uploaded and have plans for more top five posts, part two about being single and more personal posts.

If there is one special type of blog posts that I enjoy doing it has to be the top five type of posts. I enjoy everything from the research to writing the content and publishing it. This is actually a process that fits me perfectly and for sure something I will do a lot more of in the future, I have plans for another top five list already this week. At least start working on the next one. Because to be honest, these type of posts demands a lot more time to complete than the more regular ones here on Beyond the Horizon blog. That is also the reason why I usually only do one of these a month, but they are great fun. I will also try to get more of the expat personal posts in the future. This is a way for me to give you non-expat guys and girls an insight in the life of an expat, in my case an expat in Peru.

Despite my inconsistent publishing “schedule”, I have had a good number of visitors or readers here on the blog. Only today I have had around 70 people checking out my blog, this is a number that I am extremely happy about. This is a traffic statistics that I get with a minimum of promotion. I guess you see why I am happy about it? It's not like I am having ambitions on doing blogging as a full-time job or make a living off it. To be honest, I am not into the blog game to make money or get fame, I am doing it because it is fun. I started with blogging because it looked like a challenging and fun way to express my self and share the experience with people who might be interested in what I have to say. Yes, I have adds on my blog, but I am not expecting any income from it. Honestly, I find it the statistic part of it fascinating.
Barranco skyline in sunset. Lima and Peru.
A photo that I took while visiting Barranco with my family a while back.
All I can say at this point is that if you enjoy this post, then bookmark my blog and come back now and then to read future posts because I am at this point working on several articles that will be published in the upcoming days and weeks. This is posts that are covering broad specter of topics, from top five lists to more expat and tourist related post and more personal ones. I will do my best to update my blog more frequently, the initial goal is still 3 posts a week. This is something I will do my very best to accomplish, even if it means to cut back on my gaming hours to do so. I am extremely excited about whats ahead for both my blog and channel, but the main focus will for the future continue to be on the blog. Anyway, guys, I hope you enjoyed this updated and if you did, remember to come back on Wednesday for my next post. On Wednesday I have planned a brand new expat “story” for you.

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