Wednesday, 31 October 2018

I am now celebrating my third Halloween here in Peru:

Funny Halloween photo
So, my friend, I have a question for you today. Do you celebrate Halloween or is this a tradition you do your best to opt out on? Maybe you are waiting it out for the more family-friendly Thanksgiving that is just around the corner? Because for many years I was one of those who did absolutely everything he could to avoid this celebration. Had nothing to do with religion or anything, more than I took a silly stand against the introduction of just another money grabbing holiday. A celebration aimed at so the shops could improve their sales and profits ahead of Christmas. It's not like I am anti-capitalist or anything, far from it really, but the truth is that back then I felt it were more than enough shopping holidays through the year already.

Well, my attitude towards Halloween started actually to change gradually already back in 2008, while I was living in Canada and by the time of my Spain adventure in 2013 I had actually gotten used to the idea of this type of celebration. Okay, I still didn't engage in it back home in Norway, but I did see it from a whole different angle. Especially after experiencing how the Spanish celebrated Halloween. It seemed like they had a richer tradition attached around. From what I remember they celebrate it for about 3 days were the third day is dedicated around family members who have passed away. Spending the day at the graveyard and remembering their loved one. Please do not arrest me on this, if I have misunderstood the entire concept.
Trick or treating in Lima, Peru
My son getting his first candy for the day
After I moved to Peru I have really gotten into the tradition of Halloween, to such a point that I am actually excited about it than my own son. Like today, I have been tripping around in excitement and almost been unable to wait for us to go trick and treating here in Magdalena. For me, it's not about the candy or anything, but it is all about the joy and excitement that my son feels when he walks around from store to store. Seeing all the kids in the street and the joy. Okay, usually I end up with some candy my self, but that is usually what my prince doesn't like or what he wants to share with me. It's not like I am raiding his bucket or anything. The truth is that he gets way to much candy after his couple of hours long walk.

There is actually one aspect of how Peruvian celebrate Halloween that I really like. In most parts of the world, the kids go from door to door for the trick and treat part, but not here. Instead of going around knocking on the doors of strangers they do their trick or treat walk at the market or centre. Going from shop to shop where the shopkeeper hands out the sugar rush of the year. I can promise you if you start early wow, you will have so much candy by the end of the night. By early I mean 4 or 5 in the afternoon, we usually start around 6, but he gets more than enough anyway. To be honest, I feel that going from shop to shop is much better and safer than the alternative. I don't think anyone disagrees with me here.
Trick or treating in Lima, Peru
His bucket is really getting full now.
Now that I look back on today, I have to say it has been a major success, my baby boy is in sugar heaven and playing some sort of game on his computer. Since its no school tomorrow he is allowed to be up extra long, it is “his” day after all. Today he went out dressed as Captain America, he really loves his superheroes, last year he was Ironman. In his closet, he has an outfit of more or less every single one of the popular ones. I even believe he has one of Thor, minus the hammer. Anyway, I have to say that this day has been a complete success. On top of it, it was all 3 of us that went out together. Not like it was last year, where it was just me and my baby boy. Not that we didn't have fun that time, because we did.

So now all we can do is wait for next years Halloween and enjoy the time in between. You know Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, summer and before we know it Halloween is back. We are out shopping for new outfits and getting ready for the fun day. Isn't it strange how your views on surten things change as you experience it up close? Like I have with Halloween and many other things as well. Have you had a fun Halloween celebration and how did you spend the day? Well, its getting kind of late and I am writing this post while I am working. Have to catch up on the time I spent going trick or treating. I do hope you enjoyed my post and leave a few words in the comment section? I know that I will appreciate it, greatly.

Monday, 15 October 2018

I am now going slightly mad in my own cat heaven:

Hello all my friends here on the world wide web, its Monday already and isn't it scary how fast weekends turns into a new weekday? Anyway, with Monday comes time for a new post on Beyond the Horizon and today I feel like ranting a bit. I guess that the headline for today's post reveals the topic. Yes, I am feeling like going mad in my own little cat heaven right now. Okay, I love animals and especially cats, but sometimes it can get a bit much. Especially with the numbers of cats that I have at the moment. I am not sure if you have read the post that I published a week ago (The Bowler family have gotten some newmembers) if you haven't read it yet, why not spend a few minutes on it? It put things into a better perspective.

So back to the topic of the day, I would say that 1 cat is a lot of fun, 2 cats are doable, but 8 cats are borderline madness. Yes, I do have 8 cats at the moment. 1 female, 1 male, and 6 kittens. I can't blame anyone else for the cat situation than my self since I failed big time on the part of getting my beautiful Gompina fixed. So it's my fault completely, but its only temporary. The plan is to only keep Gompina and find new homes for the other 7. I know that I might come off as a bit negative in this post, but with 8 cats in the apartment, I feel it is justified in some way. I am not sure about what experience you have with cats, but prior to this, I have only had one cat at the time.

So imagine this scenario, we have Gompina constantly nagging about food, Gompen is either angry or jealous 24/7 and on top of it, we have 6 kittens calling for their mom when she isn't in their bed. Let's say that from time to time they do test my patience. One thing that baffles me is how badly Gompen is reacting to this situation. Because prior to her giving birth they were like two peas in a pod, the best friends in the world and my girlfriend used to say that they were acting like a married couple. Now he can't even look at her without acting up, hissing and all that kind of stuff. It has been so bad at times that I have considered finding him a new home now, but the truth is that I love that little guy too much.

So instead of finding a new home, we are trying to give him special treatment. This in form of extra attention, his own place to eat and things like this, but I have to say that his reaction to the kittens saddens me a great deal. It seems like he is suffering because of the situation and it seems to influence my lovely Gompina too because she acts like she wants his attention. My theory is that he isn't the father and that his anger towards them stems from jealousy, but I don't think I am far off on this one. Because the first couple of days he was really eager and protective towards them, but all of a sudden he changed into this hissing and angry cat. Do any of you guys have any idea about why he is acting like this?

Well, this is my life in cat heaven, but do misunderstand me correctly. It's not like I am disliking having the cats and kittens around me. The truth is that most of the time I am loving it. Two beautiful cats and 6 super cute kittens. Most of them haven't even developed eyes yet either, but that does not stop them from crawling around and I can't help my self from engaging with them a lot more than I should. I knew it would happen sooner or later. I promised my self to keep a safe emotional distance, but I have failed big time, but can you really blame me for it? They are so adorable, you can't disagree with me on this one, or what? I guess this should be the end of my rant, but I hope you enjoyed it.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Top 5 must see Youtube documentaries about Peru:

Hello, all you travel and expat friends of mine here on the world wide web, the calendar tells me that it is Friday today and for the most of us it means the weekend is just around the corner. As usual, I am spending parts of my Friday working on a new post for Beyond the Horizon and today I want to revisit a topic that I have done a few times before. What I am thinking about here is my top 5 travel list, but this time I want to do things a bit differently. Because instead of focusing on things to do or to eat here in Peru I want to focus on vloggers or YouTubers who have made videos about this amazing country.

The truth is that I am a huge consumer of Youtube videos and what I watch spans from content like vlogs to more travel-oriented videos. I will pretty much watch or listen to anything as long as the content creator catches my attention. Yes, I have Youtube running in the background when I am working, both at work and while working on my blog, mostly because it keeps me focused and kinda inspired. In this list, you will find that I am focusing on topics like travel, food, and adventure. Things that Peru is famous for and who has not heard about Chevice right? Well, I hope you guys and girls enjoy my top 5 list.

1. Mike Chen and strictly Dumpling: This guy is just simply amazing and hands down one of my favorite content creators on the platform. He seems like a genuine and extremely enthusiastic, this is something that is important for me when I choose to subscribe to a Youtuber. One thing that I really love about his creator style is that he includes his “fans” in his videos. From what I know her is from New York with background from China and as I am writing this post he has no less than five extremely popular channels. This is channels with content that spans from travel, food, and science. Recommend that you check him out!

2. The Vagabrothers: To be honest, this is a channel I do not know that much about. I bumped into this channel while I was researching today's post and kind of fell in love with their vlog take on Peru. As I see it, they show the very best of this amazing country. The channel is run by two brothers (Marko and Alex) and they are traveling the world while vlogging about their experience. This is content that I love, mainly because I love to travel and exploring new countries my self. Yes I have subscribed to their channel and both of them has individual channels, but these I have not had time to check out yet.

3. Wolters World: This is what I would say is one of the funny content creators out there. This is a type of Youtuber I have a tendency to fall in love with when it comes to content. Because he is focusing on facts and has a specific story to tell and when you start watching him, you will have problems with turning off his videos or click on another one. What can I say, I love factual videos and this is the theme for many of the other videos on this list. They do not just aimless film a trip or anything like it. My recommendation is, check this guy out and you will love his content, promise!

4. Lost Leblanc: Okay here is a more typical travel vlogger and I have to say that he is pretty honest in his way of showcasing my current hometown. This is also what I like about his channel. He travels the world and it seems like he is trying his best to be honest about his way to portrait the city that he is visiting. This is something that is very important in my eyes because you might be in a position to inspire people to go to one of the destinations you have vlogged from if you know what I mean? All in all, I would recommend that you check him out and if you like his content, subscribe. I did at least.

5. Justin Poor: The last one on this list is also a typical travel vlogger and as most of the one that I have seen while researching for this post they do a pretty good job showcasing Lima and Peru. Justin Poor is actually the absolute smallest one on the list with his 5800 subscribers. As I see it, he deserves a much higher number then he has at the moment. I would say that he is a clean cut and has high-quality content on his channel, it is absolutely worth checking him out and maybe subscribe to his channel.

Well, my friends, I think it is time for me to wrap this post up and get it published on my blog. I do hope that you enjoyed this new top 5 travel post with a twist and that you will check out the content creators I have mentioned. Just to have it said, I worked hard to find smaller channels to showcase, but these had either given up their career or the quality was way under par. That is also why you won't find any small or new creators on this list, sadly enough. Anyway, this is my top five YouTubers who have made videos on Peru, what is your thought on my picks? Would love to hear your opinion on it.

Monday, 8 October 2018

The Bowler family has now gotten some new members:

A peruvian cat with her kittens
Okay this is the first time I am including a video like this, so I hope it works.
Hello, my friends here on the world wide web, today is Monday and for most of us, it means the beginning of a brand new week with brand new opportunities. For me, it also means it is time to publish a new post on Beyond the Horizon and today I feel like it is time to do an update on the life of the Bowlers here in Peru. This time I feel like I have some big news and changes to update you guys on. Let's say that our tiny Peruvian family is not that tiny anymore. This growth is not all that new, because in the past couple of months our family has grown from 4 members (including Princess Gompina) to now 11. No my girlfriend and I have not had a new baby, but our baby girl has and on top of that she has kinda gotten a new brother as well.

Just to do a quick recap, back in March this year I published a post (Let me introduce a new member of the family, PrincessGompina) and since then she has become an important part of the family, in many ways I would say she has become the centre of attention. So around mid-July, she started to walk around in the front of the house and it would not take her long to get a “friend”. After a while, it seemed like she wanted to introduce her new friend to the family and he has been sticking around ever since, neither have I been able to find out who actually owns him so it feels kinda wrong to kick him out. The funny part here is that Gompen is more or less identical to Gompina,
Peruvian cat mother with her baby kittens
Here is Gompina with her babies, sorry for the blurryness, it is not my photo.
Actually, the only visible differences between them are that he has darker and more fluffy fur. Like Gompina he is a real beauty of a cat, but he is impossible to get to pose for a photo, much more so than our baby girl. Anyway, the end result is of course that she gets pregnant and last week she gave birth to six super cute and perfect kittens. The best part is that I got to witness it and be a part of the birth process. Because I was actually wrapping up my workday (at 5 in the morning) when I all of a sudden heard something that sounded like a tiny kitten. So I rushed to where the sounds came from and right among my girlfriend shoes she was cleaning a tiny kitten.

If I am going to be completely honest here, then I have said that the entire process of giving birth is the most amazing thing to be part of, do not matter if it is a human baby or an animal baby. I was like super proud and excited when I saw the first kitten, to such a degree that I woke up the entire family so they could be a part of it. It was all over within maybe 90 minutes and there we had six perfect kittens and a very proud mom. The sad part of this is that we can not keep them, we have to find new homes for all six, with time. It will be especially hard on our son, that has already connected with them, I and my girlfriend have done our best to keep a healthy distance.
Peruvian kitten on the floor
Here she is as a baby her self, just relaxing on the floor.
Anyway, they will stick around for the next 2 or 3 months, until they are ready to go to their new families around Lima. Until that happens, I am sure that the situation has changed and I want to keep them. I had the same problem while I was acting like a temporary dad for animal rescue cats and dogs in Huaral as well. I usually managed to keep a distance for a couple of days and then I got emotionally attached to them. Especially the two pit bulls, that started with me being scared of them and ending with me crying when they left for their new family. They were two amazing dogs. Well, guys its time for me to wrap this post up and get it published on my blog. Hope you enjoyed today's update from us in Peru.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

I am having a case of the expat blues these days:

Kristiansund bathing in fresh snow
I love this photo. Not to brag, but I think it is one of my best photos.
Well, my friends, it is this time of the year again, where I am looking at photos that I have taken back home in Norway and watching the weather forecast for my hometown. Yes, I am feeling homesick at the moment or as the headline says, I am having a visit from the expat blues these days. For some weird reason, this always happens at this part of the year. Where the season of summer turns into the season of fall. On top of this, I am actually struggling with a horrible cold these past few days. This cold thing is most likely because of changes in weather here in Lima. As summer is turning to fall in Norway, winter is now turning into spring here in Peru and that usually puts me into a situation like this, almost with no exceptions what so ever. So you can say that I am in a perfect storm right now.

I know it might sound like I am complaining in this post, but the truth is that I am trying my best to not come off like that. All I really want is to give you guys a fresh update on my expat life here in Peru. Because in all honesty, I have to say that life, in general, is really great at the moment. I have a job that keeps me occupied, a family life that has improved greatly, my girlfriend and me are doing great, so  I really have no reason to complain. My life feels better than it has done in a long time actually. The only two things that are bothering me right now is my expat blues and my cold, so things could have been a lot worse. At the same time, I guess that feeling homesick is part of being an expat in the first place, think that this is a feeling that most expat feels from time to time.
Statue in the bear park in Kristiansund
This photo is from a park called Bjørneparken or Bearpark back home in Kristiansund
For me it is all about missing my hometown, my family, friends and old habits, I mean old hobbies. If there is one thing that I miss especially it has to be the clean air and the smell of the ocean. I have almost all my life lived by the coast, so the ocean has always had an important part in my life. In my last apartment back home in Kristiansund I lived maybe less than a hundred meters away from the shoreline, so basically, all I need to do was look out my kitchen window to get a nice ocean view. Today I have to walk more than two miles to just to get a look at it. So it is not something I do every day, that is for sure. So when I am getting the blues I try to occupy myself with things like work, blog or anything else that gets me to think on something else. Luckily for me, I have finally found myself a job.

These days I am focusing on my plans to turn the blog into a proper website.  Doing things like working on layouts, checking out webhotel providers, brainstorming around potential domains and working some on the existing content.  At the same time, I am working on new content for the blog and my Youtube channel.  To be honest, I do love the creative process, sadly I have been so pre-occupied this past couple of months, to such a degree that my blog and channel have been forced to take a backseat, but this is changing now. I am getting used to my new every day rhythm regime and such. So I am able to balance things a lot better now and that is good for the future of my blog, especially. The plan is that my website will go live in January if everything goes as I want it to.
Winter covered Kristiansund
My hometown covered in snow, isnt it beautiful?
Back to the topic, I know that I am not alone as an expat who gets homesick from time to time, believe it’s a common thing.  Especially when it is a long time since the last time you were back home. Like me who have not been back home in over 2 years now, yes I am on my third year here in Peru. Yes, I do miss my native country from time to time, but not to such a degree that I feel like giving up and go home. Far from it actually, I still enjoy living here, but I am planning a trip back home in the future. Just to visit friends and family for a while.  Bring my family along on the trip and stay in Norway for a month or two, that would actually be nice. My son has never been in Norway, so for him it would be an adventure out of this world. This is something that will happen in the near future.

Well, my friends, I guess it is time for me to end this post. It was never meant to be this long, but as usual, I have problems with keeping my posts short and sweet. Anyway, I hope you guys have enjoyed my update. Despite it got way longer than first planned, but that is life right?