Wednesday, 30 January 2019

I have finally gotten around to upload my 1st video:

Hello again to all you friends of mine here on the great intraweb, today is as you know Wednesday and the middle of the work week for the most of you guys. Or even better, halfway to the weekend. So tell me, how are the week treating you so far? I for sure hope that you are having a good week. When it comes to me, I have to say that I have no real reason to complain, life is good and it keeps on getting better by the day. What even makes things even better is that I have reached a new milestone as a content creator and its not that I have reached 20.000 pages views on my blog, but that I have finally gotten around to upload my first video to my Youtube channel or my first video to a new channel that is.

Before I continue there are a couple of things I feel like needs to be said. First of all, I have no plans to leave the blog platform behind me to focus on a new one or that I am having the illusion of becoming a huge player on it. The truth is that I have no such illusions at all, not for my new channel or my blog. For me, this is all about living out my love of entertaining and living out the creator side of my self. At the same time, I want to share my experience around being an expat here in South America and Pery, in a way that I hope to inspire people to join the expat ranks. Anyway, maybe it is time for me to return back to the subject of the day. So on Monday, I did upload the very first video to my channel, a so-called intro-video.

The first video that I have uploaded isn't much, it's just an intro-video as mention, but as I see it its a start. To be honest, then I have to tell you that the video that I uploaded on Monday has been used on my old channel as an intro-video as well. The reason for me re-using it is because I felt it was natural since we just moved back to Huaral and the video in itself was from this amazing city. This is something I have been spending some time thinking about, the channel and what direction it will take. My original idea is that the channel is supposed to be a supplement to my blog and not a replacement for it. I have tried this before, but last time I kinda lost my focus on my videos after a while.

The truth is that with my last attempt I lost my focus on the video and solely focused on my photos and my blog. This kind of happened just after a month of uploading videos to Beyond the Horizon 1.0 and that is also why I wanted a fresh and clean start when I restarted my attempt on my career as an amateur Youtuber. I am using the term amateur because I doubt that I ever will become a big one, not with the content that I am currently planning. The idea I have behind this attempt of running a Youtube channel is that I want to create videos that kinda makes my blog posts more lively and interactive. Any subscribers and views that come with it is a bonus as I see it. Maybe I look at it in a pessimistic way?

The original plan that I have for my channel is that it's supposed to be a supplement to my blog, where I will be uploading videos that are intended to be used on the blog or to complete the story that I am trying to tell on the blog. I think that this can or will be an exciting way to expand the reach of Beyond the Horizon. At the same time, I will as well be uploading content that will be exclusive for the channel itself. This will be content like vlogs, travel and adventure videos, but for now, the focus will be on publishing videos that are focused on topics that the blog are focusing on from post to post. So to be honest, I am very excited about the future of this and how it will play out or I am actually super excited.

So when it comes to publishing and upload schedule, the plan is that I will continue to publish posts on my blog 3 times a week, something that is Monday, Wednesday and Friday. When it comes to the Youtube channel I am aiming to have one video each week and if I am doing something extraordinary it will be as extra material. Anyway who knows where this will end, I might be ending up enjoying it so much that it will be more frequent uploads. Anyway, the first video that I have uploaded is as mentioned a welcome video that I put together or edited a good while ago, but check it out and let me know what you think (Welcome to my Youtube channel). I am looking forward to your feedback.

Anyway, I guess it is time for me to wrap and I hope that you enjoyed or found this messy post interesting and by that has taken the step to check out my Youtube channel. While you're at it, why not check me out on all the other social media that I am active on like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? I do believe that I have content there that you will enjoy, so follow and subscribe to me, trust me I will appreciate it greatly for every single extra follower. I always try my best to interact with every single friend of mine on social media, so your more than welcome to say hi as well. Makes the experience way more interesting for both of us, don't you agree with me?

P.S: Help me grow on social media by sharing my content, especially my many upcoming videos, but also what I post on my Facebook and Instagram. Thank you in advance.

Friday, 25 January 2019

You have no idea how good it is to be back in Huaral:

The first photo I took after moving back to Huaral, the view from my kitchen
Hello, again my friends here on the great world wide web. Well, it does seem like another Friday has come around and for the most of you, that means the weekend is just around the corner. For me it means work and that it is time for a brand new post here on Beyond the Horizon. Not that I am in any way are complaining about this, because this is what I love doing. Anyway, do you have any special plans for the weekend? The only non-work related plans I have for this weekend are maybe going out to take some photos and maybe even record some videos. I do feel its time for me to get some new photo material for my blog and social media, at the same time I do want to show you guys my new hometown.

Well, my friends, finally I am back in the city of Huaral and as the headline for this blog post says, you have no idea how great it feels like. We arrived on Tuesday and ever since I have been meeting people who want to welcome me back. Everything from the landlord, neighbours to taxi drivers and store owners, seems like I have been a missed person the past year. You can really say it has been a busy few days, I have even gotten free taxi rides as well. I guess it is like this when you are the only white non-Peruvian living in a small town like Huaral (only a population of 100.000), you do get noticed by the locals. At one point it feels like everybody knows who I am, that's not me complaining.

As mentioned in the headline of this blog post, you have no idea how good t is to be back in Huaral, in so many ways. First of all the weather is better (it's actually warmer here), quieter (especially at night) and the people are way more friendly. I am not saying that people in Lima are unfriendly or anything, but the reality is that people outside the big city are more relaxed and more time on their hand, at least it seems like it. The only downside so far is the lack of a decent internet connection, but this is in the process of being changed. We have put in an order on nothing less than a 60 MB/s line and it should be coming sometime tomorrow and this is something that I am really looking forward to.

The line that I am using right now is just crap, it's so bad that I can't watch a video on low resolution on Youtube and work at the same time (my job is purely online). It's especially bad during daytime and I am that kind of a guy that usually work from I wake up until I go to bed. So it becomes kind of a problem for me. So you can say that this week has cost me a lot of money, but by tomorrow things like this will be permanently fixed. This means I can start to work on videos for my Youtube channel as well. Just need to find editing software that is really easy to use, like Windows moviemaker. So if you have any hints and tips, please come with it. I do not have the time to learn to use something that is more complicated than that.

As mentioned, I am really enjoying the fact that we have returned to Huaral, the fun fact is that even my girlfriend that hated living here a year ago seems to be enjoying it a great deal. I guess that for her part the financial part plays a big role in her positive attitude I guess. Our plan is to put aside enough money through the next few months so we can go for a longer trip to Europe and Norway. This is something she has wanted to do more or less ever since we met back in 2009 and by living here in Huaral we more or less cut our costs by 50% in most areas. This is something that will improve our financial situation greatly and if everything goes as planned we will be leaving by the end of June this year.

I have already been out on my first few walks as well, but sadly I haven't been able to capture new photos for my blog. Every time I have gone out my phone has been out of battery and has been on charging, but as mentioned I am planning to spend a couple of hours out with my camera this weekend. So if there is anything special you want to see, why not let me know and I will see what I get time for? The very first thing I am going to focus on is my neighbourhood, to show you guys and girls how it looks like where I live now, maybe even try to get some videos material ready as well. This is also why I am asking if there is something special you wish to see in form of photos or video.

Anyway, I am enjoying it great to be back in Huaral and I have loads of things that I want to do in the coming days and weeks. One of these things seems to be a trip to a town here in Peru called Arequipa. This is a plan that my girlfriend is working on because she really wants to go on a trip and she has family living there. I have never been there so that will be exciting and most likely this will happen in February. So this trip will get its own series of posts, just to show you a different side of this amazing country. I guess its about time to wrap this post up and get it ready for my blog, but I do hope you enjoyed my update on the moving process and everything around it. I also hope to see you guys around for my future updates, it is fun to finally be back on track with my writing.

P.s do check me out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and subscribe to my Youtube channel. This way you will be able to have access to a lot of content that never ends up here on Beyond the Horizon blog.

Monday, 14 January 2019

This is why Peru should be your next travel adventure:

Photo credit Martin St-Amant
Hello again my dear friends here on the amazing intraweb, today it is Monday and the very start of a brand new and exciting week with an unknown potential of big things happening to us. All we need to do is to grab hold on whatever comes our way or seize the day as its called as well. Guess you know where I am heading with this? Anyway, tell me guys, how has your weekend been? Did it play out as you had expected or did something special happen? I really do hope your weekend turned out just as you had hoped for. When it comes to me, then I have to say that I got what I expected. Pretty much all work and no play. On top of it I got the pleasure of ending up in some mini-drama, but nothing major.

Okay, before I continue I feel like to get the disclaimer out of the way. If you are the type of tourist that are looking for a destination where you can lay on the beach all day with an umbrella drink in your hand, then Lima isn't for you. I am saying this because the standard weather here is far from the traditional sun from a crispy blue sky. Actually, in many ways, I would compare the weather here as pretty similar to what I am used to back home in Norway, minus the heavy periodic rain. I would say that weather-wise Peru is the South American version of Norway. Sure you will have some decent temperatures all year round, but along the coast, you won't have the typical tropical climate or weather.
With the disclaimer out of the way, I can finally get started on why you should choose Peru as your next vacation adventure? Let's say its a grey day and a trip to the beach doesn't tempt you, well one thing you can do is take a trip to Lima central and look at all the awesome architecture that dates back to the early Spanish occupation of Peru. These buildings are just amazing to look at and it doesn't make it any less with the thought that people have been living in them for hundreds of years. Or you can visit one of the many historical museums that are situated around the city. Lima is full of these, both the indoor and the outdoor type. The exciting part here is that you many pre-Inca ruins scattered throughout the city and they date back thousands of years.

If historical museums or sites isn't something you enjoy then you have a couple of zoos you can visit or go on a local food safari. Because if there is one thing beside the Inca culture that Peru is known for it is food. From what I do understand Lima is looked at as Paris of South America when it comes to food and food culture. I have written a post about Peruvian food in the past you can check out (Top 5 foods you have to try while visiting Lima). You might get some ideas of what to try while visiting this great city. If you ask me, the very first thing you have to try it is the best chicken in the world, Pollo a la Brasa. You might like it so much that it ends up being your dinner or lunch for the rest of your stay.
One thing that I really enjoyed doing when I came here for the first time was something as simple as just walking around in the city looking at everything around me and tasting all the different types of street food that Lima has to offer. Or the truth is that the girl and now my current girlfriend acted as my local guide here. Wow is amazing to think about that it's on its tenth year since my first visit. I know that I am not painting a very exciting picture of Lima and Peru right now, but the truth is that I am a type of person who finds joy and pleasure in the small things in life. Like when I tasted grilled or fried lung for the very first time. I didn't like it back then, but the experience has stuck with me ever since.

When it comes to Peruvian street food, this is actually a post that I am currently working on, doing some needed research and such. I guess that this one will be the next top five travel list that is getting published here on my blog. Since I look at my self as a half decent foodie it plays an important role both in my daily life and here Beyond the Horizon. I do highly recommend doing a typical street food safari, you will be amazed by how much great and cheap food you can find that way. As I see it, food is an important part of a nation's culture, but it's not everything. Like here in South America music and dance are just as important, that comes from a guy that really does not like to dance at all.
If there is one single area of Lima you just have to visit it has to be the picturesque district of Barranco. This part of the city is buzzing with life almost 24/7. Here you have amazing restaurants, an incredible view, always some street entertainer who has a concert or something in that direction. Barranco is the cultural and artistic centre of Lima. Then you have the Cat park or John F Kennedy Park. This is the only place where I have seen a hole park area dedicated to homeless or abandoned cats. If you go to the seafront you can do some paragliding, maybe fish or if you are lucky to take a dip in the ocean, but it might be cold. Trust me, coming here for history and historical sites are absolutely worth the ticket. Because you will learn a lot about a really exciting and fascinating culture.

So you have explored your way through the capital of Peru, but still, have time left. I would say, jump on a bus and go to Ica, Arequipa, Tumbes or even Machu Pichu. To be honest, Peru is so much more than what Lima has to offer you. Okay, you have the nightlife, the many options when it comes to places that serve food, the hectic life of a big city and all the museums and cultural events. You will find this outside the city limits too, maybe even more exotic as well. Not to forget, who comes to this country and not visiting their biggest national jewel that is the ruins of Machu Pichu? Or the old capitol Arequipa or Ica. What about going to the jungle or the rainforest to get a different perspective of your experience here? I am actually going to Arequipa in February.
So why should you choose Peru as your next vacation destination? For me it's very easy, it will be by far your best experience so far and maybe even for life. I am basing this on my own experience and through all my travels and adventures, Peru is by far the most successful and enjoyable one in my book. Maybe it is my preference, but the Latin American culture seems to fit me like a glow. For me its the entire package like the people, food, the climate, the culture, language, history and the freedom that I feel by living here. One shouldn't forget the cost of living here either, you will get far with a minimum of funds, or since we are talking about a holiday you will get a lot more for your money. Because who saves on the spending funds right?

Okay, my friends, I think it is time for me to wrap this post up and get it ready for my blog, Beyond the Horizon. I do hope that this post made any sense for you and that your next vacation will happen here in Peru. Maybe you even want to continue following me and you can do that on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and very soon on Youtube again. On social media, I post things and focuses on parts of being expat that usually do not end up here on my blog. The plan right now is to get my new youtube channel (Beyond the Horizon 2.0) up and going. I am looking for an editing program that is as close to Window moviemaker as possible. Maybe anyone can recommend a service in this area?

Friday, 11 January 2019

It is now only one week until our big move to Huaral:

Hello again my friends here on the great world wide web, today it is Friday and for the most of you guys the weekend is just around the corner, but not for me. The reality for me is that its all work and no play, but not that I am complaining or anything. Anyway, since its Friday it means it is time for a brand new post here on Beyond the Horizon blog and today's topic are something that I have briefly touched on in the past. As the headline tells you, we are moving out of Lima and back to a city that is called Huaral. I would say that Huaral is a mid-size city about an hour to ninety minutes out of Lima. Just for the fun of it, here is the English version of the Wikipedia page of the city. Don't know why, but I just love this city.

I have to come clean and say this thing about moving to Huaral is fully and completely my idea. We moved to Lima from Huaral back in January 2018 at a point in our life where we had broken up and more or less lived separate lives. I pretty much followed after because it was closer to the airport and I was supposed to go back to Norway in mid-February, naturally this didn't happen since I am still here. Later we found back together as I have mentioned, so I have spent some energy on nagging about returning to my beloved city. At one point I actually gave up and we made different plans when it comes to where we are going to live. Living here in San Miguel was just meant to be temporary until our son completed the on-going school year.
The original plan was that we were going to move from San Miguel to a district called Comas in early February, in good time for the start of the new school year. School starts up again in March, by the way. Well during the festive holidays this got turned upside down in many ways. Instead of moving to Comas we are now finally returning to Huaral. Actually, as the headline for this post says, we are moving in a week time. Now I can finally say that I have gotten my will. I am saying this because it has been my idea all along. In some ways, I kinda feel like I tricked her to join in on my idea or maybe it was our old landlord that did it? Since he got in a hurry to show us an apartment when we arrived and well the rest is history.

Well the new reality for us is that in one week we are leaving Lima for a new apartment in Huaral. We are not moving into the same apartment that we had the last time, but it will be in the same building. The previous one was a duplex, but this one is all on one floor. A bit smaller but way bigger than the one we have now. Since the one, we have now is more or less only one room, plus a bathroom. This is way to small for 3 persons and 2 cats. Well, this great return isn't all dance on roses, not without a good portion of thorns anyway. The biggest thorn has to be that we have to find new homes for our beloved cats since our new landlord doesn't allow pets. Not pets like cats and dogs. This is something that will be hard to say goodbye to my princess and prince.
To leave my two babies with a new family won't be easy, but what I am trying to tell my self is that this would happen anyway. Since we are going to Norway in six months time and we are not sure about when we are returning. It might be after three months or three years. That is why finding a new home for the both of them is the best and the worst solution at the same time, it's the best for the babies and the worst for us that leaves them behind. Because they have without a doubt become a very important part of our small family here in Peru. This is also why we are going to spend a big portion of the next week finding the perfect home for them, a home that can take both of them in as new members. Since they have become very attached to each other.

Actually, I was hoping that we would be able to take them with us and keep them in our new apartment, but when we asked the answer was a clear no. Anyway, life goes on and all of us will get used to the new situation with time. So the next week I am going to enjoy every minute of the time that I have together with my babies because after Friday next week they are not with us anymore. Sorry guys and girls, this happy blog post took a dark and depressive turn here now. To be honest I hadn't thought about what would happen with my babies before starting writing on this post actually. You can say it dawned on me what is about to happen in this area and it sent me into the blues here.
Anyway, in about a week time we are heading with all our stuff in the direction of Huaral. If there is one thing that I am really looking forward to, it has to be the part about having more elbow space. That we are not confined to just one room and me sitting in a corner working, but in our new apartment I will get a lot more space to use as an office as well. On top of it for the half price of the current one. Today we pay about 700 soles for one room, in Huaral we will be paying 350 soles for four rooms, so I guess you see the massive difference here. The only thing that actually will get me expensive are my cigarettes, everything else either stays at the same price or drops. On top of all of this, there will be a lot less fast-food choices and we save money that way too. No Mc Donalds and no Papa John, something that is good for the finances.

There is one thing that I have been very bad at while living here in San Miguel and that is going out to capture photos and videos for you guys. I know this was something that I had promised, but my workload and too many things going on at the same time have kinda stopped me. So in the next week, I will dedicate more of my time during daylight doing this. I have to show you guys how it looks here where I currently live, don't you agree? Anyway, its time for me to wrap this post up and get it ready to be published on my blog. I do hope you enjoyed my quick Friday post and that you will check me out on social media. I am on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and I am working on a comeback on Youtube this month. Hope to see you there my friends.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

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 Beyond the Horizon and this time I want to touch on a topic that I have to tread very carefully on. I guess that the headline for this post tells everything about what today's topic is, but things that I don't like about living here in Peru. This is just the reality about living in any country, it really doesn't matter if you're in your native country or living as an expat somewhere out in the big world, there is always something that rubs you the wrong way. The big difference is how you react to it if your an expat then you have to be very careful to not offend anyone. Remember, no one like that a guest tells them how to do things.

The fact that I have to take into consideration that Peruvians might be visiting and reading my post I have to be very considerate when addressing these things. Not that I think most Peruvians would mind this kind of critique, but my experience, I know that there is always someone who gets triggered by it. Anyway, these things that I am going to talk about are everything from noise to traffic and pollution. Before I continue there is one thing that I have to say. I love Peru and I love living here, but hands down Peru are far from a perfect country. The funny part is that it is all the many imperfections that make the country as great as it is if you understand what I mean? Well, I guess it is about time for me to get started on today's topic, do you disagree?
Photo credit: AgainErick
1. The noise, day and night: This is a really big one in my book. Let's call it the noise pollution here in Peru are for me as a Norwegian a huge problem. Because where I am originally from being noisy is looked down on and you can actually get fined if you make to much noise in public. Even with the experience I have had with travelling back and forth between Peru and Norway for many years, it came as a culture shock for me. The noise is literally everywhere and 24/7. Even the freaking birds are like showing me the finger in a super loud way. Not to forget the traffic, that's a chapter in itself. The cars are super loud in them self, but the drivers use their car horns in any thinkable situation. They use it if they are happy, if they are angry, if they see a beautiful lady and if someone walks to close to the road. The sound pollution here is a real problem for me.

2. Pollution and trash handling: Here you do have another big one that I have been struggling with to get used to. It's not that Peru is a dirty or Peruvians a filthy people in its self, but what I am having a problem with is the way that they deal with their garbage that is shocking on me. I have never been a typical environmentalist, but always been used to separate my trash, always gone to the trash can to throw snack paper and deliver my empty bottles to the local store. Here the reality is completely different, there is no organized collection of bottles and seemingly no organized collecting of garbage. You have the typical collecting trucks and street sweepers, but people always have their own solution on their unwanted problem, so to speak. Okay here in Lima it's a bit different, but not elsewhere.
3. The traffic: This is a juicy one and something that I have mentioned in previous posts. Traffic is a huge problem as I see it here in Peru. To be honest, it doesn't matter if its in Lima, Tumbes, Pasamayo or for that matter Huaral. There is always a lot of cars on the road and the noise they make is insane. Not to forget the standard on many of them, especially the taxis or the cabs. Taking a taxi here in Peru could easily be an extreme sport if you're not careful. Some of the looks like they are about to fall apart, with no functioning seatbelts and all of that. So if you end up in a car crash, you are pretty much doomed from the get-go. Not to forget the traffic jams, they are just as insane. You can actually end up spending a couple of hours driving in and out of Lima if you're unlucky.

4. The quality of chocolate: Now it is time for the less serious things on the list. This is a strange part of Pery, because the country produces one of the finest and purest chocolates in the world, both when it comes to a dark and white version of it, but you can't buy it anywhere. You can walk into any convenience store and all you can buy are a product that is either overly sweet or filled with nuts or both. Okay, I have nothing against chocolate with nuts in it, but would be nice to find something that is just pure and clean chocolate, preferably milk chocolate. This is kinda frustrating for me, cause I love to be able to enjoy a small piece of chocolate with my coffee, but with the high level of sugar that it has here, it's not possible to do. This is one thing that I am looking forward to when I go back to Norway.
5. The consumption of rice: If there is one thing that Peru is really known for than it has to be a potato. A fun fact, here in Peru they actually produce more than 2500 different types of potato and they grow it everywhere, but what do you think is the main ingredient with more or less every meal? It's not potato, but rice. For me, the problem is that I really can't stand eating rice. Okay I am not a picky eater and I have lived in the Philippines, but my problem is that rice doesn't taste good and it doesn't manage to kill my hunger, I prefer potato. At home, this is really not a problem, but it becomes a problem if we decide to go to a restaurant or something because I have to special order every single meal. It's not like a big deal, but it's more like a big way for me.

What I am having a problem with here is why a country like Peru has this obsession with rice when they are so famous for their potatoes. Actually, its here where the potato actually comes from and you can pick between nothing less than 2500 different types, but no the Peruvian people want this bad quality rice. Let's say it like this, this is a topic that I have complained over since arrival. Anyway, the reason for this obsession is basically that rice is much cheaper than potato and that Peru has been influenced by China a lot especially through immigration. Peru has a big community of Chinese. Do feel that I kinda have ranted enough about the rice issue or problem now, don't you agree?
Okay, my friends, I do hope that I did not seem too critical or negative in this post towards Peru and Peruvians because the truth is that I really do love this country. I love most aspects of it, but one has to be realistic. At the same time, I feel like I also have to touch in on the more negative sides of the country that I am living in. Nothing is perfect, no country, no person or anything. At the same time, since my blog has its focus on living as an expat it's important to cover most aspects of it, not only the positive sides. The good thing is that the positive sides are way more frequent than the negative ones and I do believe my blog shows this as well or at least I hope that is the reality.

Its simple, if you are considering to make the huge leap and become an expat you need to know as much about it as technically possible. By painting the everyday life as one would only put you up to fail since the reality will sooner or later sink in and turn into the bread and butter days when the honeymoon phase is over. I want that this transition will be as smooth and enjoyable as possible for you, especially if you are using my blog as an inspiration to go after this life. Anyway, I do hope you enjoyed the first top five list post of 2019 enjoyable to read and if you did, why not share it with friends, check me out on social media and help me spread the news about my tiny, but growing blog? Thank you in advance.

Edit: Sorry for a few of the photos, I know that some of them kinda crash with the content, but you know how it is sometimes right?

Monday, 7 January 2019

So what plans have I made for the new year, 2019?:

A big hello to all my friends here on the world wide web. So tell me, have you had a pleasant return to everyday life after your Christmas and new year holiday? For sure I do hope that you guys have had an easy transition back into your normal life. When it comes to me, I have to say that there hasn't been that much of a change from the holidays to normal life. This is because I have more or less worked my way through the festive season, really only taking breaks on Christmas eve and new years eve. Actually, if I am going, to be honest, last year I had only two proper days off from work. During a normal week, I spend between something like 110 and 120 hours working, either on my day job or my blog. This is one of the many things that will change in 2019.

Maybe I should get on with the program and get started on today's topic? I can finally say that the disaster of a year that 2018 in many ways was is history and welcoming the awesome year of 2019, that will become the absolute best year ever for me personally and I have made plans for the year accordingly. Yes, my friends, I have made some really big plans for this year, both on a more personal level and when it comes to my projects online. In some ways, these things are one and the same, since my blog are focused on my experience as an expat here in Peru. Maybe I should start with what plans I have for my online projects for 2019? When it comes to my blog, 2018 was meant as a test phase, to see how it felt and if the blog platform was anything for me.
So now that I have blogged my self through a whole year I can say that this is something I really want to continue with and that means I have a few things that I want to change about my blog. The first thing out is the URL, I will within the next couple of weeks go ahead and buy my self a more personalized domain and when that is done I am also thinking about going for more personal design. This is meant as an attempt to make the blog look more unique and personal if you understand my way of thought here. Because throughout the entire year of 2018 I have gotten tips and hints about doing this to stick out more and be more attractive to potential new readers and followers. Not that my prime focus so far has been the traffic side of it.

When it comes to content and content creation, here is where the biggest changes will come I think. Because up to now all I really have wanted to do has been testing this platform out and see if its anything for me. Now that this question has been answered I wish to dive more into the content side of things as well. One of the things I want to change is the number of posts and the topics of them. Since this is an expat blog, I want to show and tell a realistic expat story, if you know what I mean. Not like I have been serving lies up to now, but the truth is that I want to show all aspects of this type of a lifestyle. Because being an expat is so much more than happy life and top five lists. That is also why I want to include social media platforms like Youtube, Twitter and Instagram a lot more.
At the same time increasing both the number of posts and increase the focus on expat topics to write about. One of the things I am going to do is becoming more active when it comes to taking photos and exploring a lot more than I have been doing lately, for so to be using the experience to write posts and try to entertain you guys and girls. Basically what I want to become is much more of a storyteller and that's where more personal semi-daily posts come in as an option. I am not saying that I will be writing and posting every single day of the week but in my case a lot more frequent than has been done in the past. So for me, it's boiling down to focus on more quality, a broader set of topics and more frequent publications. I do hope this will be possible to follow through on or what do you think?

When it comes to a more personal or private level there is also going to happen a lot of things this year. The first thing out is that we are going to move again, this time out of San Miguel and Lima to Huaral or back to Huaral that is. I mentioned this shortly in one of my post at the end of last year. We had been on a day-trip to Huaral and visited our old landlords and the end result was that we had a verbal contract with them on one of their many apartments. I kinda feel that in some ways I tricked my girlfriend to accept this change or what I did was kinda tricking her to come with me to visit them. It was just pure luck that they happened to have a vacant apartment to show us, initially they had none. Should I feel bad about it or maybe not?
So we have terminated our apartment contract here in San Miguel and moving out of Lima on the 18th of January. This is something I have been wanting to do for a while now, actually ever since I moved to Lima, the truth is that I really didn't want to move out of Huaral. Actually, I did it because it placed me closer to the airport since the plan was that I was supposed to fly back home at the beginning of February last year. I have to ask one thing of you and that is, please don't misunderstand me. I have by far enjoyed living here, but at the same time, I have really missed my beloved Huaral. The good part in all of this is that all 3 of us are looking forward to be moving back, me more than the others I guess? So the next couple of weeks will be a bit hectic for us to get everything ready.

When it comes to work, this is an area that I want to kinda calm down a bit in a way. This won't necessarily be in the amount of work or workload, but in hours and days per week. Because as it is right now I work from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month and 12 months a year with no leisure time at all. As I see it this is not a life for a family man, so the plan is to have one day a week reserved for family time and fun. You know, spending time with my son, do things like go to the cinema, the fun park and such. Not to forget spending time with my girlfriend. So the general plan now is to focus on work 6 days a week, from Monday to Saturday and keep the Sunday holy for the family. I think this is a good idea, what do you think?
We are also planning our first proper trip together as well. This is actually a thing I have wanted to do for my family for a long time, several years to be precise. We or I am actually planning a trip to Europe and Norway and we are staying there for a while, at least for a few months. Because Peruvians automatically get 3 months or 90 days tourist visa within the European Union. This is also something that my baby boy has been asking for ever since I arrived in Peru 2,5 years ago, but back then I didn't have the financial backbone to take them out on a trip like this. So the plan is that our departure will be on my girlfriends birthday, that is on the 25th of June. To be honest with you, even myself are looking forward to this, remember I haven't been home since may 2016. it will be good to come home and see my loved ones back in Norway.

The last big planned change for this year is something very personal, we want another kid, my girlfriend is dreaming about a daughter and I am absolutely not a stranger to increasing our family with a new member. I have two kids already and the truth is that I love kids, always done so. My oldest kid is 21 years old and my youngest 8 years. Not these kids are not with the same woman, I have been married before. My girlfriend has even thought out what name she will have and has had this ready ever since we met back in 2009 or maybe even earlier. I think it would be really great to have a baby again in the house and I am not getting any younger either. I am 43 now and no I am not starting to feel old, far from it actually. So if it happens it happens right?
Well, my friends, these are the plans that I have for 2019, both for my blog and my personal life. At least what we have come up with so far, more plans might come up as we move along. I do hope you enjoyed reading my blog post and that you will be coming back for new ones in the future. At the same time, I do hope you will check me out on social media. I am currently active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, but Youtube is something that I am working to do a comeback in the near future. I hope you will check me out on social media because I post things there that never end up in any of my blog posts. I am even thinking about starting with live streaming through my Facebook page. Anyway, thank you for stopping by and hope you enjoyed the post.Edit: Before I publish this post, there is something that I want to ask or check out. Are there any expats currently living in South America that either has a blog, website or a youtube channel with a similar type of content? If that is the case, I would really appreciate it if you got in touch with me. The reason for this question is that I am looking for content creators that I can collaborate with. So if you fit this description, please contact me on e-mail or through Facebook so we can start talking and find out if we are looking for the same and such. Anyway, I wish you guys an awesome week and amazing start on the new year.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Looking back on 2018 and my first year as a blogger:

Hello and a very late happy new year to all my friends here on the world wide web. So please tell me, how was your celebration of the new year? Was it high and low or did you choose a more quiet approach to it this time? When it comes to me, then I have to say it turned out differently than I initially had planned. Because my original plan was to just work my way through the day and night, that way I would be up and running as normal the next day. Lets put it this way, it turned way different than I had thought it would. Instead of working all night I ended up calling it a night at 10 and went downstairs to join the party and I didn't get to bed before 7 in the morning or something close to that.

A secret is that I am not used to drinking alcohol anymore so I have been using big parts of the week to recover after my new year's party. Not like I have been really sick or anything, but felt kinda heavy for a few days and at the same time tried to focus on work and blog. Think I have been failing on both things this week, on the blog the most. This is also the reason that the looking back on 2018 post is so delayed. This was supposed to be posted on the big night itself actually, but there is a saying that goes something like this, it's better late then never and I hope that goes for this post as well. Anyway, I guess it's about time to get started on today's topic, that is looking back on the eventful year of 2018.
January: Let's say that this month is one that I really want to forget and never ever in my life revisit. Why you ask? For you that is new to my blog I would recommend that you read the post (My life in Peru has really changed during Christmas), it will clear up a lot. Anyway, this month was all about trying to cope and get used to my new situation and life here in Peru, as a single foreigner with any network of support what so ever close by or that was what I initially thought. Yes as the post I pointed you towards telling you, my fiance broke off the engagement back in late December 2017 and that came as a huge shock for me. So the month of January was more or less used for healing my self and try to move on if you know what I mean?

This was also the month where I opened my blog for the public, actually, I did so on January the 1st. The first month of running my blog had most of the focus on what was going on in my life right there and then. You know the changes in my life and all of that. Do not think that is so unnatural since it was such a huge life changing event for me. My blog didn't get that much traffic the first month, but I was focusing on the joy I felt while writing my posts, as I still do actually. Did not even share my post on any social platforms either, didn't feel the need for it. All I wanted was to have fun and have something that could take my mind off all the negative things that were going on around me.
February and March: These two months must be the weirdest ones of the year in so many ways. In February I got back in the dating game or at least tried to. Came in contact with some really nice local ladies or girls, went on some dates. A few of them were very successful as well I am allowed to say so, but for some reason, I didn't let them lead anywhere. That I still tried to figure things out might have had something to do with it, or most likely it did. In February it felt like I really were getting the hang on the blog part and started to play around with making videos for Youtube. I uploaded a couple of videos together with nothing less than 4 posts here on my blog. I also did my very first top 5 posts, one about five things you can do while visiting Lima.

In the month of March, things seemed to improve between me and my ex-girlfriend or finance as well. We have been living together ever since the breakup, for the most part, because of our son, but throughout this months it seemed like we actually were on our way to find back together again. It seemed like it anyway. This was also the month were my Princess Gompina came into my life. If you want to you can read this post (Let me introduce a new member of the family, Princess Gompina). Lets put it like this, she came, she conquered my heart and became victorious. She became an important part of my everyday life almost the same day as she arrived. I continued having fun working on my blog and I started to notice some traffic arriving.
April, May and June: This is a period of the year 2017 that was very quiet for me. Most of my time got used on playing on my PlayStation 4 and talking with friends. I and my ex-girlfriend had once again slipped away from each other, but I continued to focus on my blog together with my gaming. In my, on silence, I was starting to make a plan to return to Norway in an attempt to rebuild my life in a country and a culture that was more familiar to me, in that way also safer. To be honest, right now I am very happy that it boiled down to not develop into a reality. I stuck around and tried to continue with what I had here in Peru. On top of it, my ex-fiances brother moved in with us in June. Lets put it like this, I wasn't very happy about this situation, not at all. Anyway, these 3 months were very quiet in general.

July, August and September: When it comes to my life on social media and my blog, this was another quiet period. Too much was going on in the offline life that I had big problems finding time to work on my online project. Not that it was lacking in inspiration and things to write about, but my time did not hold up in any way possible. On top of everything, it seemed like it was drama no matter what direction I turned and that didn't help me in any way either. There was always a fire that had to be put out. But the good thing in all of this is that I finally can say that my ex-fiance and I got found back to each other and it has more or less stayed like this ever since. We even started to make plans for the future together. This happened right before my birthday back in August.
October, November and December: Okay, I have to say that this has to be the best part of 2018, in all possible ways. Things have been going great between me and my now no longer ex-girlfriend, I am getting my speed up on updating my blog again and we have a case of a cat overcrowded house for a period of time. We had two grown-up cats and six kittens. I was really going cat-crazy for a while there. Trust me on this, one or two cats are fun, but eight are pure madness in my book. We also ended up moving out of Magdalena Del Mar to San Miguel and trust me, I did not expect that these regions would be that different. I loved it in Magdalena, but here is like a different planet in many ways.

A lot of things has happened in this year and between me and my girlfriend, both good and bad, but that we are able to put this thing behind us and actually move on into the future together makes me feel good and happy. We are even talking about having a new baby and maybe going to Europe for a period of time, getting married and all that good stuff. So I think it is easy to see why I like this part of 2018 the best. If you don't, well during these 3 months, things finally got back on track for the both of us, on top of it we have also decided to move back to Huaral. Something that will happen early next month, I am really looking forward to this part. Not that I am tired of Lima or anything, but I miss Huaral a great deal.
The month I would hold up as the very best of 2018 has to be December by far and without a doubt. Not only have our little family had the best month together in a very long time, but we also had two successful celebrations together as well. What I am thinking about our Christmas and the new years eve. Both days and all the days in between have really made this year. It started in the worst possible way and ended in the best possible way. Isn't it strange how things change just to change again in such a short period of time? I think that if there is one lesson I can take with me from last year is that no matter how dark things look the important thing is to never give up on the important things in your life. Especially when it comes to family.

Well, my friends, I guess it is time to wrap this post up, but I am not sure how good this recap post ended up to be, but if you are going to leave a comment just keep in mind that I have never in my life written something like this before. Call me a newbie or freshman in this, cause it's actually true. All I really wanted to do was to look back on a year that has been filled with ups and downs and get done with it. You know to finish the life chapter that 2018 has been and start fresh on a new chapter in life. One thing I can promise, 2019 will be an amazing and exciting year in so many ways and I hope my future posts will show this. I have decided that this year will be the best one ever for me. So I really hope you will stick around and join me on my future adventures.