Here’s 12 reasons why we should all be moving to Norway right now


1. They have VIKING SHIPS.

It’ll be pretty clear from this list that Norway is thoughtful, sophisticated, and down-to-earth, but it’s also badass. The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, part of the local university, has three Viking ships, the Gokstad being the best-preserved in the entire world. Attention, humans: Zombies aren’t real, Harry Potter isn’t real, and LOTR isn’t real; viking ships? Totally real. In a way that matches the vibe of both the city and the people, it’s like Oslo said, “Nah, guys, we’re cool only having one cathedral. We’re just gonna be awesome instead.”

2. Everything isn’t needlessly commercialized.

I was walking from the Opera House to the Grims Grenka hotel, and a shortcut was through the Akershus Fortress. It was built in 1299 and is in absolutely phenomenal condition — consider it the Julianne Moore or George Clooney of fortresses. To get there, I just…walked up the hill. No one asked me to show them inside my bag, no forlorn-looking security officers stopped me to demand a ton of money, I just climbed a few stairs and was there. To explore inside the castle is a not-so-whopping $8 (70 NOK), and in America — or any other big European city for that matter — that’s nothing. I’ve been charged $20 in California to park near a beach. Unlike pretty much every other notable city on the planet, the best parts of the city ask for nothing but to be appreciated.

3. The sunrises and sunsets.

Case in point.

4. The not-as-bad-as-you-think weather keeps away tourists half the year.

In December, daily temperatures average around 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Anyone south of I-40 might shudder at the thought, but the rest of us won’t bat an eye. And the best part is that those 28 degrees don’t come with those turbulent Kansas-esque winds. It’s a dry chill more reminiscent of Christmas, making you resent the world a whole lot less. And the touristy spots? Feels like you’ve found your own European oasis — wearing that hat and those mittens is totally worth it.

5. It’s a thoughtful, pedestrian wonderland.

The Oslo Opera House at sunrise or sunset has got to be one of the most striking man-made images in Norway. It’s built like an iceberg, in jagged white sheets that shoot up at different angles, supported by walls of glass that reflect the water from the Oslo fjord below. The roof starts on the ground, and it’s built so you can walk all the way to the top. If it’s snowy, a bonus is being able to tell who’s from warmer climates (hint: they’re the ones clinging onto the railing and still falling). The entire surrounding area (Aker Brygge), just like the roof of the Opera House, is full of pedestrians seemingly wandering everywhere. Cars don’t have jurisdiction and are few in number — Oslo is a city quite literally built for those experiencing it face-to-face. Being there, just like the fortress, it felt like an entire section of the city was meant for, well, me.

6. The way they “cheers” pierces into your soul.

None of this loud, beer-sloshing crap. A Norwegian lifts his glass, makes somehow sophisticated and skin-tingling eye contact, says, “Skål,” takes a drink, resumes said penetrating eye-contact, tips his glass to you once more, and sets the glass down. Like James Bond. Grace Kelly. Katharine Hepburn or Humphrey Bogart. Simple. Understated. And classy as hell.

7. The water is actually warm.

You know the Viking Museum mentioned earlier? That’s on what’s called “Museum Island,” and it’s not uncommon for people to go swimming there. Even further north, swimming spots can reach up to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, thanks to the jetstream following Norway’s western coastline. Spots further south, like Denmark, have much colder waters, making Norway’s list of adventures even longer and more surprising than anyone unfamiliar would’ve guessed. I wouldn’t suggest it in winter when the Oslo fjord is largely ice and the sun shines 6 hours a day, but when the “Midnight Sun” is shining, it’s pool party time.

8. It has that European-city vibe without the pretension/ostentation/attitude.

There’s something about cities like Paris or Rome that seem almost exploited. Too many people and too much money have left their mark, leaving behind expensive shops, egregiously-long queues, and would-be-beautiful pictures ruined by hoards of fanny packs and matching t-shirts. Oslo, especially in winter, doesn’t have that. What it does have are those quintessential European buildings — pressed together, five stories high, beautiful nine-paneled windows with small balconies and flower boxes — lining most every street, a castle, the National Gallery (equally rivaling the National Portrait Gallery in London), parks full of statues, and shopping, shopping, shopping. It has all these things with the vibe that it’s unaware, like a timid-yet-striking woman not used to getting attention. Basically, a unicorn.

9. The transportation system trusts you — most of the time.

If you go to hop on the underground in Oslo, take a second to appreciate the ticketing gates now operating as contemporary art. Read: they don’t work. A similar merit system enjoyed by all applies to the busses, too. Once in a while, or so I’m told, you may be greeted with a surprise visit from security, but those days are few and far between. Just like the castle and the Opera House, Oslo just sort of lets you in.

10. No matter what shade you are, you’ll blend right in.

Though the “stereotypical Norwegian” still exists, that idea is fading as Norway joins the rest of us in becoming a hodge-podge of cultures. Vietnamese and Urdu are spoken as commonly as Norwegian in certain pockets of the city, and skin tone has nothing to do with being a tourist. The only thing Norwegians seem to still have a stereotypical grasp on is height. Ladies, if you’re looking for a tall, slender guy who wears suit jackets on Tuesday nights and probably to bed, this is the place to be. And, yes, I can save you a spot in line.

11. Learning their language means you basically learn two others.

Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish all fall on a dialect continuum of sorts; the main reason they’re different languages is political, not linguistic. Learn a bit of one, and you can quickly understand your neighbors, too — but for the record, practically everyone speaks brilliant English. For some, you’ll wonder if they came from the UK or America and have picked up a Norwegian accent. If you do study one, opt for Norwegian: according to Duolingo, Norwegian speakers understand their comrades slightly better than vice versa. And then when you speak Norwegian, just tell everyone you speak Swedish and Danish, too. You’re actually quadrilingual now, so go make edits to your dating profile. Congratulations.

12. It’s the “nicest country in the entire world to live.” Again.

Yep, for the 12th year in a row the UN has voted Norway to be the best place for humans to eat, sleep, and breathe. And they’re racking up these gold medals despite egregiously high alcohol prices — if a pint cost as much as it did in Vietnam, Norway would’ve topped the annual Human Development Index since the dawn of time. Personally, I consider this just an invitation to hone my non-existent moonshine-crafting skills. Norway, here I come. If you need me, you can find me behind the copper pots, basking in my new-found happiness, high wages, and standard of living. Skål, cheers, and see you there.


17 Reasons Why Around the World Travel is Good For You

Why travel around the world?

We’ve compiled a list of the best reasons why everyone should enrich their life with around the world travel. And while we’re at it…all these reasons can also be taken as our motivation for doing what we do at AirTreks.

1. Traveling is easier than you think.

We believe that traveling around the world shouldn’t be hard: it’s actually something everyone should be able to do at least once in their lives. Whether you choose to spend a few years or just a couple months traveling this beautiful planet, it’s important to see what’s out there. It’s up to you to make the dream come true and take the first step. Launch TripPlanner to piece together and price your ideal route. Not sure where to start? You can always call one of our travel consultants and get some complimentary advice!

2. Travel opens your eyes.

If you’re open and willing, travel will make you an incredibly more well-rounded human being. And that’s really the goal, isn’t it? If you don’t know where to start, check out our Around the World planning guide.

3. Traveling helps you learn who you are.

All the challenges and opportunities travel lays at your feet help you discover who you are in a way that’s only possible on the road.

4. Travel creates meaningful relationships

People you meet while on the road become some of the most valued names on your contact list. They become places on the map to visit later on. These folks give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, and force you to take in new and refreshing perspectives, and ultimately realize that everyone is the same.

5. Traveling develops skills you didn’t know you had

Sometimes it’s only far from home that you realize you you’ve got skills you’ve never used. It’s travel that brings them to the surface and makes you smile, satisfied to have reached the mountain top, or crossed a gorge or helped a villager clean up after a storm, or even to have successfully ordered a meal at a rural Chinese restaurant.

6. Travel helps you learn new languages

There’s something satisfying about being able to throw around a few words of Greek, knowing how to say thanks in Thai, pulling out that long dormant Spanish to book a room in Santiago, or simply hearing a language you didn’t know existed just a few weeks before.

7. Travel means adventure

Zip-lining over the jungle canopy in Peru, successfully navigating the maze-like streets of Venice, bartering for the best price in the traditional markets of Marrakech, taking a speedboat ride in New Zealand, or hopping in a Land Rover and heading out to watch animals grazing in Tanzania: these are adventures worth having. People are hardwired for the excitement of adventure and travel may just be the best way to tap into it.

8. Traveling gives you perspective

Meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. In fact, your point-of-view might have some major blind spots. Seeing the world for yourself will improve your vision and your grip on reality.

9. Travel helps you move forward

If you’re between jobs, schools, kids, or relationships, around the world travel can be a perfect way to move from one of these life stages into your next great adventure. A big trip won’t just ease your transition into the next stage of your life, it’ll give you a chance to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you want to end up.

10. Travel is education

Seeing the world provides an education that’s absolutely impossible get in school. Travel teaches you economy, politics, history, geography, and sociology in an intense, hands-on way no class will. Fortunately, the school of travel is always taking applications, no entrance exam required.

11. Travel challenges you

Getting your daily latte at the same place and staring at your screen at your nine-to-five every day not nearly interesting enough? Even if you choose to work on the road (and keep staring at the screen), you’ll have to find a new place to drink your latte, and depending on your destination, finding coffee, and foamy milk or a good place to sip them could prove to be a sizeable challenge. Travel is full of moments of joy and challenges. Overcoming the challenges gives you some of the greatest joys of all.

12. Travel shakes things up

It sucks to be stuck in a rut. Everyone knows what that’s like. A big trip can be your perfect solution. Fly around the world, stopping over in all of the places you’ve always wanted to visit. Go ahead and plan your ideal route around the world (it’s easier than you think!)

13. Traveling proves that dreams do come true

You imagined it, daydreamed about it, envisioned it. Guess what? It can be done. Around the world travel is possible, you just have to decide you’re willing to take the first step and start planning your itinerary. What are you waiting for? We’ve put together some specials to inspire you to live your dream.

14. Travel gives you cool stories

Let’s face it. Even for folks who can’t tell a story, just the words “last year in Mongolia” get you instant party points. Even when events seem trivial, nostalgia and distance create an irresistible spin that makes mundane things like getting your laundry done in Zanzibar, entertaining. Just don’t be that person and overdo it!

15. Travel is literally food for thought.

You’ll be constantly surprised at the flavors the world has to offer. The way people in other cultures and countries prepare food, and break bread together (not that all cultures even eat bread) will astound you.

16. Travel gives you a sense of accomplishment

If you’re the kind of person that dreams big, you’re probably one to reach for new challenges. Finishing a trip gives you the satisfaction that you were able make a goal to travel and accomplish what you set out to do–see the world.

17. Traveling for the hell of it

Why travel? Because you can. Because you want to. Because it beats the alternative (staying home). Why not pick up your tickets and get the ball rolling!


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Updated information on entry restrictions for Norway (‘Summary’ and ‘Entry requirements’ pages)

If you are arriving in the UK from Norway on or after 4am on 18 January you will need to self-isolate on your arrival, unless you have a valid exemption. Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Travel is subject to entry restrictions

Due to covid-19 restrictions, Norway remains with strict entry rules in place. Check the UDI website for the exceptions and information about the current situation. There are some direct flights to and from the UK but the number of flights are restricted. UK nationals resident in the UK will not be able to enter Norway as visitors unless they meet certain exemptions, these are available from the UDI website. In addition to existing restrictions travellers from the UK will be required to take a number of PCR tests. See the Helsenorge website.

  • Visitors to Norway are required to quarantine for ten days. It is possible to end quarantine on day seven if you test negative for Covid-19 twice after your arrival.
  • You are required to stay at a quarantine hotel if you don’t have a fixed residential address (rented or owned) or if you are in Norway to work and are able to prove that your employer has placed pre-approved accommodation at your disposal. You can find more information regarding quarantine and quarantine hotels on Regjeringen website, or on the Norwegian hotline for entry, testing and quarantine:
  • From abroad: +47 21 93 78 40

    See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

    Separate arrangements are in place for UK military arrivals in Norway, who should consult their unit.

    Preparing for your return journey to the UK

    If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

    If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

    If you’re planning travel to Norway, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO ’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

    For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

    There is a general threat from terrorism. There may be increased security in place over the festive period, including at Christmas markets and other major events that might attract large crowds. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local authorities.

    Around 581,000 British nationals visit Norway every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

    If you’re living in or moving to Norway, read the Living in Norway guide in addition to this travel advice.

    Norway has extended the temporary border controls on its internal Schengen border until further notice. These border controls take place at ports with ferry traffic from Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Make sure you carry a valid passport on all these routes.

    Terrorist attacks in Norway can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism

    Petty crime does occur but at a low level compared to other European countries. See Crime

    There has been an increase in avalanche activity. Follow local advice, stay on-piste and only ski in recommended areas. See Visiting in winter

    To contact the Norwegian emergency services, call 110 (fire), 112 (police) or 113 (ambulance).

    If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

    The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.


    Why Wouldn't You Travel More When There Are So Many Benefits of Traveling?!

    Everyone keeps saying how important it is to travel. So what's all this fuss about? Why do people travel and love travelling?

    More importantly: why should we travel more?

    The benefits of traveling are not just a one-time thing: traveling changes you physically and psychologically. Having little time or money isn't a valid excuse. You can fly for cheap very easily. If you have a full-time job and a family, you can still travel on the weekends or holidays, even with a baby.

    2020 has been a tough year for travel - to say the least. But don't let that discourage you from making travel plans in 2021!

    Here are some of the main benefits of traveling, in case you need convincing. And I'm sure that once you get started, you'll find some more yourself!


    I moved to Norway from the US and to be honest, it was a pretty seamless process in retrospect. A different visa for the language is what I initially landed before applying for various other types (all listed above).

    The language visa no longer exists. There are several ways you can move to Norway from America and it is documented here. You can also see how to move to Norway from Australia or Canada there (which offer working visas to those nationalities and a few others).

    I have only covered 15 of the 30 on the list! To check out the rest… head over to Inspiring Travellers and see what Norway tips they have shared with you from their experiences of living in Norway (Stavanger, to be exact).

    697 thoughts on “ 30 Things To Know Before Moving to Norway ”

    It really surprises me to hear about the food quality there! The Dutch banking system is also really simple to use and it probably won’t surprise you to hear that the public transportation here can be a huge pain…even a few little snow flakes create a train cancelations! Luckily, we live in the city center so I can cycle to work every day! :)

    that is so nice that you’re able to walk everywhere by living in the center of the city! i can walk anywhere…it just takes a while! and i dont have winter tires on my bike so i dont ride it in the winter (oslo is pure ice all winter…and still even in march!)

    yea the food quality here is horrendous. makes it really hard to feel good about what youre putting in your body. i dont mind fruits and veggies looking ugly by shape, but these things are just moldy and nasty. blah.

    Glad to hear it’s an all over thing, was beginning to think it was only in Trondheim!

    Hum, haven’t seen anything like that in any shops near me here in Trondheim.
    That said, different shops make a huge difference.
    Basically you’ll want to find a shop that’s not understaffed and where the employees does a food job of sorting through their products.
    It also helps living in a place with a lot of students who makes use of the (if you find something out of date or ruined then you get paid twice the products value as a reward campaign of kiwi)
    Well, it’s something like that.
    It only works if the customers actually makes use of it but people here do.

    I love the banking system here too.
    One big thing I struggle with is paying for parking.
    One important thing we have learned is about getting a drivers license. If you are coming from the US you need to apply for your Norwegian DL within 3 months of getting your work permit. If you wait more than 3 months then you do NOT get a temporary Norwegian driving permit. It takes a minimum of 4 weeks for Norway to decide if they are going to let you finish applying. My husband wanted to ask if they could rush our application, but I don’t him not to even ask. They don’t put a priority on any one application over another.
    We haven’t traveled within Norway at all, but we have had fun traveling in Europe.
    Great post with lots of great info!

    i had no idea about the drivers license situation! i know for me i have to get my switched over within a year, but personally, i hate driving so im not to keen on doing that when i get my new visa. ill probably just be a slave of public transportation for life…and i think im ok with it!

    the banking system here rocks. i wish the US could manage something like that but there are FAR too many people living there for it to work i think.

    It has nothing to do with the size of the population, it has to do with money controls. The USA of today is simply a police state. Enjoy Norway, it is a paradise compared to the USA. I am from Israel originally, lived in both the US and Norway, I spend the good weather months in Norway and the rest of the year in Jerusalem, best of both worlds.

    There is not such a thing as “good months” in Norway lol
    There might be a week or two when it doesnt rain. It also depend on what part of Norway you live in.
    I honestly hate the weather in Norway. I look at the face skin of Norwegians and they have lots of wrinkles. How you Wonder why.

    i never noticed- i found norwegians to be beautiful!!

    Awesome! I will show my boyfriend prior to moving to Oslo, although things aren’t much different in Canada compared to the difference between US & Norway so it might be an easier adjustment. Everyone’s skiing here too, transportation is the same price or higher (while wages are way lower unless you’re a CEO), and feriepenger works the same way in Canada, although you get 4% instead of the 10.2% in Norway of your previous year’s salary, and they might be more likely to pay it out instead of accumulating it to when you take vacation. It is however in addition to your pay (both in Canada and Norway) and not deducted as it might seem, but at least you don’t get taxed on it, so it is a big sum you get for summer :-)

    i didnt realize that canada received a feriepenger! i learn something new everyday! while i think the idea is kind of lousy because it forces people to not work for a month…i love the idea of being able to actually take a month off (i just know there are some people who need money and would rather work).

    thanks so much for your comment! if yall have any other questions, please dont hesitate to email me and ask them…after living here for two years i feel i have a pretty decent grasp on most things! :) good luck!

    i like to move to Norway to live and work and become a citizen. how can you help me in the fast and legel way to be there. any Idea .

    what is the best city to live and what is the most demanding job wanted. i like to communicate with you and to hear your opinion if you had experience.

    We would like to move to norway to work live and become citizen.how can you hehp us in the fast and legal way to be there.apreciate your valubale advice.which is the best city to live and availanle jobs for computrer engineers and BBA holder. We are from Bangladesh.we have two children.

    Hi Johir! You can find jobs almost in any of the big cities in Norway (Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger), so I would start there! Check out http://www.finn.no for job offerings (it is in Norwegian but just use a browser translator). Good luck!

    I’m Canadian as well, and I think there’s a misunderstanding.
    We get 4% of our pay as vacation pay (Legally, maybe some jobs offer more). You can take your vacation whenever you want. Some jobs just give you your 4% as a lump sum once a year, some offer it as paid time off and some give it to you when you actually go on vacation and some just tack on 4% to every one of your paychecks. And it basically amounts to two weeks, not a month.

    thanks for clearing that up Meg (cool name btw!).

    im not sure what goes on in canada, so i just take whoevers word for it when written on here :):) still doesnt seem like a bad offer though! have a great weekend!

    Hii megan i want to work in norway can you guide me?

    how are electricians paid there ,i’m in uganda.

    surely paid better in norway than uganda due to cost of living here.

    Electricians get arround 500.000,- kroner a year.

    why? is better uganda than norway?

    Hi i am a medical doctor in Puerto Rico USA. Im trying to migrate to some quiet country, like Norway or New Zeland.
    Did you have any information, or people in the forum, about medical doctors arriving in Norway, it is easy to work has a doctor?
    Where i can get that information?
    Thank you

    We actually do not have a month where businesses are closed, and I’m actually very confused as to what Kristi is referring to. As a canadian myself, living in the capital city of Ottawa, this is something I have never heard of before. If your job is based on hourly wages and not salary-based, you will receive a 4% addition to your paycheck which is considered “vacation pay” because it is meant to cover you for holidays which you do not get paid for, holidays like Canada day or Christmas, that are mandatory to take off. It is your choice to collect it in one payment, once a year, or receive the bonus on every paycheck (which adds up to about 10-20$).

    I’m disabled, and second generation Norwegian. How does is work with disability there?

    I’d love to know the same thing. My husband is 1/2 Norwegian. His mother is 100 percent but moved to the US as a child. I’m on disability here in Nashville TN but was thinking about moving to Norway. My husband is a Generator Technician so he would be looking for work so I wonder if that would be a good job and or easy to find? And does it make any difference that he’s actually Norwegian even though he was born in MA and a US citizen.

    Sadly, if he doesn’t have a Norwegian passport (and as an adult it is hard to qualify for one through descent), he will be treated like any other foreign citizen :(

    Dear Megan,
    Regarding Feriepenger, in my opinion here in the US it is my money that is paid to me for vacation, and not my employers money, or in other words its paid from the payroll kitty…. just like the money my pays for my health insurance, it could have been on my paycheck instead of meted out to me as a “benefit”. So my end her is to point out that at least in Norway you get a good length of time off to refresh. I understand that some, especially Americans, would rather slave that time away for more money. But what about the flip side that I am living in the US. e.g. I work as a truck driver, its a sweat shop if ever there was one!! I am demeaned and even retaliated against if I would rather have the time off instead of staying working and pocketing the extra pay. The retaliation is real, and usually takes the form of assignment to an older lessor truck and dispatched on undesirable loads. I am the bad guy if I prefer to have the 1 week off instead of just cashing the check. And one more argument possibly… in Norway if you quit mid-year do you get the accrued Feriepenger in your final pay? Because in the US, as you know, if you quit mid-year all vacation pay is lost (is why I typically do my job change as soon as I collect m vacation pay, which fulfills the employers goal to keep the employee on longer). I would wager that when a Norwegians life is over, they probably have a lot of great memories of the experiences and family visits while on vacation, but could they say the same about all the hours on the job? Anyway, that’s my perspective.

    I am reminded of a saying, “Europeans work to live, Americans live to work.”

    Thanks for your great blog. Great information here, and I enjoy your chipper posts. You seem such a warm and positive person and I love that tone about this blog.

    Thanks so much for your comment! I haven’t lived in Norway for two years so things are not at the forefront of my mind anymore so it is so nice to hear people discuss on here to keep those memories coming back. And I do agree with you on the Europeans work to live and Americans live to work. Although it depends on the country (because here in Germany the hours are pretty dang long too!)

    It is a shame your industry treats its workers and employees as they do. I think Americans really need to get a grip on vacation and holidays. Most of us don’t even take the ones we are entitled to! Grrr :( I hope you find a balance with it all.

    Thanks so much for the kind words you left :) It really made my night and reminds me of why I love writing on here and interacting with people through my blog! Have an awesome week!

    “I think Americans really need to get a grip on vacation and holidays.” This kind of hurt to read, because it’s not that Americans think money is more important than family, it’s that a lot of families here in America HAVE to work. For example, my family has never taken a vacation, ever. We can’t afford it, because we don’t make enough money. I just wanted to tell you that the “Europeans work to live, Americans live to work.” quote really kind of hurt. My family tried, we just can’t afford it. We celebrate Christmas and we can’t afford to get even remotely expensive gifts. I got a soccer ball and some slippers for Christmas from my parents. There was some headphones that they got me but they returned it so we could afford food. It’s pretty hard in our situation.

    Hi megan m 4m india nd plumber what chances for permanent residence with my wife in norway or salary packages plz rply on my wt s app 00919813024636

    Hi Megan,
    This is Saleh Ahmed from Bangladesh.I wanted to visit your country for my post-gradutations in Mass Communications.So give me sugessions that how I can apply and which city is best for me as a per-time job holder.Thanks.

    Hello Megan
    Pls I will like you to advise me on migrating to Norway this will be adream come through I’m a from Africa Nigeria to be precise am a graduate of computer science and I wish to leave and work in Norway and even to study more there and I also repair computer system pls what’s the best way to get a visa and move over there should I apply for or direct visa pls I will GE glad if u can help me out
    Taiwo Emmanuel
    Lagos Nigeria

    The month off, is that in addition to other entitled paid holiday throughout the year? Or is the month off your only holiday entitlement ?

    (Sorry I haven’t replied to this as I no longer live there and have no idea what the rules are regarding this- I hope someone comes through!) :)

    Regarding feriepenger …It is not something that is deducted from ones paycheck the year before by the government…but is a 12% earning of everything you’ve earned last year. (a substantial difference)

    Can you please send this out to all the Americans that want to be like Norway. America is great and why change it.

    Norway is a backward country thus not a place to live,everything there is a facade or false and that’s because of the norwegians who are: uncivilized-uneducated-low class-arrogant-liars that’s part of their character-greedy-unfriendly-rascals-lazy-racist-unprofessional-and psychopaths,most of the norwegians have the Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
    The educational system is ridiculous,health service is unprofessional,public service a total disaster,justice system a chaotic, the police force and unit are ridiculous,construction system is a scandal, industry is a happy go lucky,etc. All that norwegians have is the pride of foolishness!
    One more info.: norwegian society is not Christian as it’s falsely claimed, the society there is antagonist toward Christianity while the most shocking thing is that thugs-liars-ignorant-and psychopaths have become church leaders and “pastors” there. Norway is a ridiculous country that’s because of its ppl who have the symptoms of psychopath.

    Cheers to you in Finland. I appreciate your comments, but I hardly think that what you’re saying is credible and is just a personal opinion. Generalizing an entire society of people is immature, ignorant, and just downright wrong. This post is to be used as a discussion forum for those looking to move to Norway. As you are from Finland and have such strong opinions about your fellow Nordic country, I hardly doubt you’re looking to move there, so I am completely shocked to see that you have stopped by to write such heinous stuff.

    Hi,
    you’re saying that: “generalizing an entire society of ppl is immature……. ”and so on, sorry but, since when it has become ignorant or wrong telling the truth? In that case shall we say the same of you when you say that: “Norwegians have a reputation for trolling the internet hiding behind fake email address and identities and writing nastygrams to bloggers.” . You also are generalizing an entire society as well,is that immature,ignorant,wrong. And I agree with you that norwegians have that reputation using fake email address as I have experienced it myself while I was living in Norway,and I knew who that rascal norwegian was as he was sending offending & threatening messages to me for exposing him of trying benefit through fraud, but also other cases as well of them using fake addresses or false names. Also I agree with you about the food quality (as it is a disaster as I’ve experienced it myself with all kinds of foods from their fish which is full of poisons to their bread that it always gave me headache),shall we say that you’re generalizing…
    I have lived there from 2014-15 so what I have written in the above comment,which you call as ignorant,immature. is of my experience and also observations! Also, my above comment is not only my experience but of hundreds of foreigners like USA, UK, France,Holland,Italy,Australia,Germany who have shared with me the same experience about Norway and its ppl.
    You’re saying that my post is a discussion for those looking to move to Norway and that you’re shocked of me to have stopped by…, well,isn’t the title of your subject: 30 Things You Should Know Before Moving To Norway. .

    Fellow Nordic country,hmmmmm,Finns are very different from norwegians,alot different, one reason they have the best educational system in the world. However,if you’ve never been to Finland,I’d encourage you to visit it – now that the spring and summer are approaching, I assure you’ll like the politeness of these people to the quality of the food and the nature as well.

    i do appreciate your candor and sharing experiences of your living in norway. but i hardly think me stating im watching out for trolls who have no purpose of commenting and you generalizing the society as a bunch of psychopaths is the same. you came here spewing stuff about norwegians being psychotic without offering any explanation or any insight as to why people should not move there.

    i no longer live there, fyi. i dont really respond to many of these comments these days and if they include excessive profanity, i delete them. yours didnt, so naturally i left it as it is your opinion and im sure you have reasoning behind it.

    I must say, your strong rhetoric feigns narcissism or one of tortured genius (not a compliment, look up this disorder). Megan, who has kept all of her posts positive, and very genuine based her views and opinions on experience. You came along, and with zero history or citation made claims I can only summarize as drunken, over-hyphenated cultural attacks. You then state how great Finland is over Norway. Might I remind you NPD, is a great and destructive love of ones self. This sounds more to me like a Finnish nationalism form of political hate speech.
    I sincerely hope not all Germans and Finns have the same attitudes of the ones I have encountered and you Christian. I would hate to classify an entire set of two cultures based on those few as I believe you have.
    I came to this site, as I am considering taking some time from my current work as a computer engineer, and working abroad for a few years. Unfortunately, given the discussion about healthcare, Norway is not good for me. One too many parachuting accidents have left me broken in many ways. The US can barely help me medically, even with the many advances. Norway wouldn’t be able to even to scratch the proverbial surface of my injuries from a treatment perspective.
    Megan I sincerely appreciate all the time you have placed in creating and managing this most informative blog. Maybe, one day, engineers such as myself will be able to allow the communication in digital written form, to convey the same emotion and feeling as face to face speaking. Then again, I am kind of old-school, and that may just be the worst thing that could ever happen to the human condition.

    Thanks so much for your thoughts, Phil! I appreciate you taking the time to comment (I don’t currently live in Norway so I can’t offer much new to people these days but I love that people still comment on this post!)

    Please take care of yourself and no more parachuting accidents :P

    I think she said Norway was secular, meaning “not Christian” which based on your loving Christian tone may be a good thing.

    I agree with you. I have worked in IT for around 20 years. I am always amazed at how so many people use the Internet for such things as bashing other people, especially when many of those being bashed are just trying to adhere to the original intent, i.e. a tool to aide the human species in becoming better. Sometimes, I am ashamed that I helped to build the Internet.

    Megan, it’s quite alright about not being able to give advice about current states of Norwegian living. Your blog helped me in making the decision. Without your dedication to sharing your experiences and allowing others to benefit from your life there (and sharing your experiences and views) I would still be trying to figure that out. So, hats off to you for being brave enough to put yourself out there, and kind enough to take the time to respond to all of the questions. Also, kudos for being thick skinned enough to not let these folks whom feel bashing someone with good intent is okay, because you have helped quite a few people on this forum/blog, and at the end of the day you should sleep well knowing you have done a good thing. It is people like you that help me feel proud of all the late nights and weekend work myself and the many engineers, admins, and techs I have worked with over the years in building and the many upgrades, family time we all missed to make the Internet a wonderful way for people to share with one another! Thank You so much.

    Thanks so much for your kind comment! I hate writing negative things about places (or things that people deem negative), but I just wanted to share my experience with moving to the place. I loved Norway (I’ve been gone since 2014) and it will always have a special place in my heart! Hope you have had a wonderful weekend!

    ‘Provincial’ is the word you’re looking for. But why the hatred? Some Finns seem awfully mad at the Norwegians, but is Putin what you really want?

    I moved to Norway a little over a year ago. I have to say I agree with you. This country in simple English simply SUCKS!
    I moved here with family of 4 including 2 small children. They got sick about 7-8 times last winter. We took them to a dr and got sent away empty handed. And our kids one ended up on ER screaming from ear pain he did not got antibiotic for because drs dont treat it here! Really!? While my infant ended up in hospital because she stopped eating and drinking and you know what the dr gave her? ?? Painkiller. Didnt care to check if she might have a sore/strep throat. Why? Because they dont treat it here. It’s insane to even say it to the patient or parents but drs do with no shame.

    At PPT we applied for speech therapist on 10/15 and now its 11/16 and nothing has happen. Its been over a year! Come on! That beyond lazy. Speed of a sloth!! Yep Norwegians are sloths! I think this is best comparison. I could go on and on …,

    I can’t speak to any of the rest of your comment, but a lot of Drs in the US will also not “treat” ear infections. Often they are due to a cold virus and we all know antibiotics kill bacteria not viruses. This is the same with bronchitis, many Drs are not treating with antibiotics because many cases are viral. This is easily researched. Your body will fight viruses, such as those with ear infections, on its own. Just FYI.

    Christian: jeez…. What’s your problem. I have spent my life moving between the US and Norway, as all of my family is American, but my mom is Norwegian. I have to say, alot of the info given in this blog is soooo wrong. Please get your facts right, before you publish false or severely biased facts!

    Hi, before you move you might want to do some research into the child protection service here in Norway. As a British father I moved to Norway to give my kids a safer place to grow up. From what I hear first hand parents live in fear of the state. You can be reported to the CPS (Barnevernet) by school nursery teachers or even complete strangers without your knowledge. CPS can then interview your kids, doctor, teachers etc without your permission. They are particularly intolerant of immigrant parents assuming that there is only 1 way to raise children- the Norwegian way. And believe me, if you want your kids grow up to be respectful, courteous and socially adept it’s not the way. Also I found out today that if I open an account for my daughter and it has more than a certain amount in it I am required to seek permission from the local Government official to withdraw that money. Another example of a nanny state ( and that’s a polite description)

    Ian: You’re listing up things that are exactly the same in Britain and elsewhere. If people see or suspect a child to be abused they contact CPS or even police. “They are particularly intolerant of immigrant parents” No, it’s about not understanding the laws of the country you have moved to. It is both illegal and socially unacceptable to use ie. violence to discipline your children. If you find this ‘strict’, please move.

    The banking in Germany sounds really similar, I love how easy it is to transfer without having to go through companies like Paypal! And Norweigians don’t complain?? That’s pretty amazing. And they’d probably hate me ,) And PLEASE find out their saving tips and share them!

    its so funny because norwegians think norwegians complain. but being american i have to laugh it off LOL :) and they arent picky. if something is on the menu, generally they order it as is. whereas an american will come up and be like ‘oh im a vegan…can you remove the cheese and mayo for me and leave out red onions because i dont like them and green bell peppers because im allergic?’

    Dear Megan,
    I am student from Nepal and i have recently completed my Bachelor Degree in business Administration.So, i am planning to complete my MBA in Norway.

    So, can you suggest me, how good is norway for international student like me having Moderate economic background? beside this, what are the possible chances of part time job over there? last question, can you say approximate living cost for student living a normal life style over there?
    I will be eagerly waiting to hear some fruitful suggestion from you.

    “Bikram June 25, 2014 at 2:22 am

    Dear Megan,
    I am student from Nepal and i have recently completed my Bachelor Degree in business Administration.So, i am planning to complete my MBA in Norway.

    So, can you suggest me, how good is norway for international student like me having Moderate economic background? beside this, what are the possible chances of part time job over there? last question, can you say approximate living cost for student living a normal life style over there?
    I will be eagerly waiting to hear some fruitful suggestion from you.

    Hello Bikram.
    I’m someone who have lived his whole life in this country and who live in acity with a large portion of the inhabitants being made up of students. (Trondheim)

    Regarding the conditions for foreign exchange students it’s supposed to be good (at least for students from universities cooperating with the norwegian ones.
    To get a visa to norway as a student you need to document that you have a way to finance your stay here while studying.
    And while the education itself is free, the educational material like the books and the living expenses are not and can unfortunately end up netting you almost as much in expenses as the educaton itself in an american university if you’re not careful.
    A part time job might be easy to get for someone local with a finished education.
    It’s not all that easy without norwegian skills and no education though as unskilled jobs are relatively few and far between in Norway, especially in places where you find the big educational establishments.
    You can try to look up possible grants that you can get that might help you finance your studying time here.
    There’s been various people up through the ages who wrote in their will that they wanted to give a portion of their wealth to people needing an education, sometimes it’s for widows, sometimes for exchange students, sometimes for someone poor, or young girls or all sort of things.
    Sometimes it’s for gifted students.
    Native students rarely make use of these grants as we can loan money cheaply from the government for things like living expenses during our studying.
    So I can’t see why you shouldn’t be able to get one if you find one that you qualifies for.

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    Megan, being vegan is not being picky. Neither being allergic. I am vegan and I do not believe I am being picky when ordering something without meat or dairy products. If you do not like something is a different story but please do not label everyone with the same label.

    im a gluten free pescetarian so im unsure of what you are speaking of. this referenced americans as picky- not vegans. we change every order as we see it to suit us. norwegians just cope. not entirely sure if you read that correctly before commenting.

    PLEASE READ!!
    Hello Guys. I am Jane i live in Ohio USA I’m 32 Years old , Am so happy I got mine from Esther. My blank ATM card can withdraw $4,000 daily. I got it from Her last week and now I have $12,000 for free. The blank ATM withdraws money from any ATM machines and there is no name on it because it is blank just your PIN will be on it , it is not traceable and now i have money for business,shopping and enough money for me and my family to live on .I am really glad and happy i met Esther because i met Five persons before her and they took my money not knowing that they were scams. But am happy now. Esther sent the card through DHL and i got it in two days. Get your own card from her right now she is not like other scammer pretending to have the Blank ATM card,She is giving it out for free to help people even if it is illegal but it helps a lot and no one ever gets caught or traced . im happy and grateful to Esther because she changed my story all of a sudden . The card works in all countries that is the good news Esther’s email address is [email protected]

    I am American and yes I am picky with my food so I totally get what you are saying. Thank you for this interesting article. My husband’s family is Norwegian and we always talk about what it would be like to live there. The first thing I feel like you need to be prepared for, is it is not for the host country to adapt to you, you need to adapt to your host country. So blogs like this are very helpful to get you in the mindset of the Norwegian culture. I expect Norwegians to have pride in their culture and it’s not for me to criticize the way they live. It’s not suppose to be my culture. Good luck with the rest of your Norwegian adventure and stay away from the lutefisk. Sorry Norway….I just can’t get past that one!

    YES- you said it perfectly that the expat can’t expect the country to adapt to them but rather for them to adapt to the country. While I never enjoyed skiing or winter sports (aside from sitting inside by the fireplace haha), I still found it such a cool part of their culture and heritage. As for lutefisk, I actually enjoy it haha! I am probably in that 1% of people :P Maybe I just had a mild version of it though…

    Thanks for your comments! I no longer live in Norway so I rarely respond to comments on this post but I enjoyed what you said about assimilation so much that I thought I would reply! Happy holidays to you!

    Megan,
    I was really happy to find this…very helpful. I was disappointed however, when you decided to single out vegans as being difficult or picky. While many people who adopt a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle for health or environmental reasons (both reasonable), for ethical vegans/vegetarians, the choice is not unlike a religious one. I will agree they do require a certain amount of consideration, but I (and I believe many Norwegians) will gladly accommodate them as I would anyone else. Had you, in your response said “oh I’m Jewish …can you remove the cheese for me” you’d obviously be guilty of the same crimes you ask your commenter not to commit. How is this any different? I am not trolling you…I just see how many people with lifestyles that are different from the mainstream are belittled and ostracized…it’s not right.


    Top 10 reasons not to move to Bozeman

    In my role as a journalistic curmudgeon, today I'd like to tell you some of the drawbacks of living in a trendy Western town that often makes the Top 10 lists drawn up by the likes of Outside magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, and Livability.com.

    I'm talking about Bozeman, Montana – and how the conventional wisdom is only part of the story. In the 19 years I've lived in Bozeman, I've watched my town gain an international reputation as some kind of paradise. Click on any award-giver in the first paragraph – along with the American Planning Association, CNN Money, Fodor's Travel, National Geographic Adventure magazine, and the American Cities Business Journals – to get a sense of the distant experts expressing quick and easy attitude about my town.

    Of course there's a lot to like about Bozeman – a Western university town in a scenic valley rimmed by mountains, near ski slopes and fishable rivers. We have a nice downtown, a small airport that's surprisingly well-connected, few traffic jams, and tech entrepreneurs mixing with conservationists and hipsters -- and a few actual cowboys.

    On top of that, our homegrown entertainment includes a group of local women who create edgy comedy routines – check Broad Comedy on YouTube, singing "I Didn't F*ck It Up" or imitating inner-city rappers in "Soccer Mom Ho." You can even buy a Bozeman T-shirt letting the world know that you're a supporter of our very own Green Coalition of Gay Loggers for Jesus.

    But any town has drawbacks, whether we're talking Paradise, Utah, or Paradise, Calif., or Paradise, Nev., or the various versions of San Francisco and Aspen and so on. That's why many local governments have adopted a new "Code of the West" officially warning any paradise-seeking immigrants of the problems they'll encounter when they move in, such as – egads! – rough roads, dangerous wildfires and the aroma of cattle.

    The hyped-up Top 10 lists don't admit the drawbacks of my town. They just encourage paradise-seekers to move in – and thousands of people have apparently followed the advice by moving to Bozeman since I got here.

    So, tongue in cheek, here's my rebellion against the hype: The Top 10 Reasons Not To Move To Bozeman.

    (1) Begin with the town's name – it's lame. John M. Bozeman was a grandiose hustler who helped establish the town in 1864, while he was promoting the "Bozeman Trail," a dangerous shortcut for white settlers traveling through Wyoming and Idaho to Montana gold camps. John M. Bozeman hoped that his new town would "swallow up all the tenderfeet . from the east, with their golden fleeces to be taken care of," one immigrant reported. But the whole Bozeman Trail quickly became a fiasco, as tribes including the Lakota Sioux, the Northern Cheyenne and the Northern Arapaho resisted the intrusion on their turf, within only four years or so, Native warriors wiped out 81 U.S. Army soldiers in the infamous Fetterman massacre and shut down the trail for good. As for John M. Bozeman himself, he had abandoned his wife and three young daughters in Georgia when he headed west to seek his fortune – setting the pattern for all the schemers and lone wolves who've come to this town since then.

    John M. Bozeman had some good qualities (handsome, muscular, a crack shot). But fundamentally he was "a reckless man (who) never could see danger anywhere," according to one of his own friends back in the 1860s. He dressed like a dandy, in "the black beaver-cloth cutaway coat and striped dress trousers favored by gamblers," according to historians and friends, and made his living as "a speculator" who "farmed a bit, got in a few fights, gambled a lot, dreamed up business schemes, and was out of town for long periods of time."

    John M. Bozeman's ventures included investing in a hotel and a river ferry, and delivering mail himself between Bozeman and the Virginia City mining camp, for 50 cents per piece (more than $18 in today's dollars) – apparently shameless price gouging. "His conscience was very elastic," a friend reported, and "to beat a man out of his wages or to neglect paying a bill or jumping a claim were matters of very little moment with him. . His faults were produced by his education, or the lack of it rather, and the social system of the South, where labor was a disgrace to a white man. (He) had no use for money except to bet with, and the most congenial place to him on earth was the saloon, with a few boon companions at a table, playing a game of draw."

    And John M. Bozeman only lasted a few years in Bozeman. At the age of 32, he was murdered – either by more hostile natives or by the jealous husband of a woman he was having an affair with. It was "the universal suspicion on the part of the husbands of the few women in town" that John Bozeman was a philanderer chasing the local married women, in the words of one historian. After he was killed, his estate wasn't worth as much as his outstanding bills.

    (2) The weather. Yes, when you mention Montana, most people understand the weather is often bad here – as in, cold. And thanks to global warming, the cold spells seem to be getting a bit warmer and less prolonged. But still. I've had to deal with more than a foot of heavy wet snow that fell in my yard one day in mid-June several years ago, collapsing many of my leafed-out deciduous trees and crushing the mirage of summer.

    The most recent seriously cold spell, a snowstorm in early December, generated these daily low temperatures, measured at the Montana State University campus near my house (with the late sunrise this time of year, these were the below-zero temperatures you would've faced, if you were in Bozeman commuting to work first thing in the morning):

    Three of these days, the high temperature in late afternoon didn't even break zero. This all came down a couple of weeks before the official beginning of winter.

    (3) The movie theaters. Movies can be intellectually and emotionally stimulating, a great cultural fix and an enjoyment -- but lately they're in short supply in Bozeman. When I moved here, we had two historic downtown movie theaters and a multiplex with about a half-dozen additional screens. Then another national theater chain opened a second multiplex, adding more than a half-dozen additional screens. At that point, a wide range of new movies showed in Bozeman, beyond the standard blockbusters aimed at teen-agers and families with young kids. But since then, both downtown theaters have stopped showing movies, and one multiplex closed.

    So now we're down to only the newer multiplex, which is run by the biggest national chain, Tennessee-based Regal Entertainment Group – part of billionaire Philip Anschutz's empire. Anschutz is a politically active conservative Christian, opposing gay rights and backing various right-wing causes, and Regal Entertainment not only seems to have his conservative philosophy, the company also seems ignorant of basic facts like, Bozeman has more than 38,000 residents, and tens of thousands more live just outside city limits. Many of the locals are intelligent adults making careers not only in the university, but also in dozens of local high-tech companies, Montana's biggest ski resort (Big Sky), Yellowstone National Park (also nearby), or doing their own creative work in art, writing, photography, music, dance including more than one local ballet company, the local opera company, the local Shakespeare company, and so on.

    As I write this blog post, these very good new movies have not yet shown in Bozeman's multiplex, even though they've been showing elsewhere around the West for weeks or months: 12 Years a Slave (a true story of 19th century slavery in this country, by the famous director Steve McQueen), All is Lost (Robert Redford suffering a solo shipwreck), Inside Llewyn Davis (the new Coen brothers flick), Dallas Buyers Club (Matthew McConaughey playing an early AIDS victim), Nebraska (same director as previous hits Sideways and The Descendants), Philomena (another British gem starring Judi Dench), Blue is the Warmest Color, Kill Your Darlings, Blue Jasmine (directed by Woody Allen, starring Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin), The Great Beauty, and Wadjda (a Saudi Arabian girl struggles for her rights).

    Many of those movies have already won awards and will soon be nominated for Academy Awards, but somehow they're not appropriate for Bozeman? Or they can be shown here long after most other audiences have seen them? Give Bozeman a break, Regal Entertainment Group, or more like, give us what we're due.

    I better acknowledge, two nights per month, a small nonprofit group called the Bozeman Film Festival brings some of the ignored-by-Regal movies to an auditorium in a former school that's now the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture. The auditorium has been lovingly restored and improved to be a theater, but the screen is small and the sound can be difficult to decipher. That's a noble effort – thanks very much, Bozeman Film Festival and Emerson Center – but it's not a substitute for a state-of-the-art movie theater providing longer runs in better conditions.

    (4) Lack of cultural or ethnic diversity. There is none in Bozeman, unless you imagine that white ice climbers are way different from white skiers who are way different from white fly fishermen. In the whole county, 95.5 percent of the residents are white, reporting no mixed blood at all. Hispanics make up roughly 3 percent, Natives about 1 percent, blacks less than half-a-percent. So for this kind of diversity, Bozeman is very boring. Pretty much anywhere I travel, other than Wyoming, I'm always struck by how much more diverse – and interesting – other communities are.

    (5) Isolation. Bozeman is a long distance from any real urban area – the nearest is the Salt Lake City metro area, roughly 430 miles away. This has to do with fact that Montana is the only state that doesn't even border a state that has a city of one million. To get to Salt Lake City, you have to drive through hundreds of miles of Idaho. To get to Seattle, you also have to drive through Idaho, and to get to Denver, you have to drive across all of Wyoming. And so on. So when you want a city fix, it takes some doing.

    (6) Wildfires. I used to tell friends who might like to visit Bozeman, the best time to come is during July and August, when the weather is most reliably good. But largely due to climate change, those months are now wildfire season, with a high risk of smoke filling the air, blocking views of the mountains and causing headaches and other health complaints. Now I tell friends who want to come during the warm weather, it's a gamble – they might experience air quality similar to inland Los Angeles.

    (7) Occasional bad land-use planning. The city and county planners based in Bozeman, and their supporters, have good intentions and would probably do more to protect the landscape and the current residents who like things as they are, but they're constrained by local politics. They also, like all of us, make mistakes within what the politics allow.

    As a result, we have a great deal of random sprawl – residential developments popping up on agricultural land outside the city, straining taxpayer-funded public services including law enforcement and road maintenance. And in the city, we have a large car wash that was allowed to wedge itself into a modern smart-growth neighborhood of houses, apartments and office buildings on North 15th Avenue, where there are no other commercial enterprises – as if the neighborhood residents would like to walk to a car wash instead of to a coffee shop or a cafe or small grocery. It's apparently a fine car wash, but does it belong in this neighborhood?

    Meanwhile, at the central sports-field complex, we have an array of super bright lights on tall poles whose bothersome glare extends for miles – the opposite of the "Dark Skies" movement taking hold elsewhere in the West. Banks are being allowed to build new branches around the city's fringes, like the one going in now, all by itself, in a streamside field on Kagy Boulevard, where horses grazed until recently (shown in a photo around #1 in this blog post) – as if we need more banks in a town already saturated with them (an indication of the affluence here).

    In arguably its biggest mistake, last August the city government had to pay $2 million to settle a dispute with a wealthy developer who felt burned by a city manager's land-use decision. There are other obvious planning and land-use debacles, but this writing is long enough.

    (8) Microbrewery suppression. Montana now has nearly 40 craft brewers – ranking in the top three states in breweries per-capita – making wonderful beers and ales, like Moose Drool and Cold Smoke (as in, windblown snow). But Montana microbreweries are suppressed by the hard-liquor saloons that are organized as the Montana Tavern Association, making it unduly difficult to drink a fresh draft microbrew.

    It works like this: Under state law, the hard-liquor saloons must have state licenses. The state also limits the number of those licenses, so bidding wars erupt and a license can now cost more than $100,000. Microbreweries don't have to buy those licenses. The Tavern Association thinks that isn't fair, so it pressures the Montana Legislature to pass laws ordering that microbreweries can only serve their product in "tasting rooms" for limited hours – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. "Microbreweries here operate under some of the most restrictive regulations in the country," says the head of the Montana Brewers Association. As a result, when I venture into any of the good microbreweries in the Bozeman area, last call is 8 p.m.

    (9) Restaurants. Maybe due to the lack of cultural and ethnic diversity, Bozeman has no restaurants specializing in Indian food, none specializing in Ethiopian or other varieties of African food, no Peruvian or Brazilian or Spanish cuisine, and so on. We have some good restaurants, including sushi, Thai, and a co-op that serves from steamer trays, but overall Bozeman's fare tends to be middle-of-the-road. Maybe more important, Bozeman also has no restaurant open 24/7, and the coffee shops don't stay open late, so night owls seeking community, you're out of luck here.

    (10) The supervolcano near Bozeman. It underlies Yellowstone National Park, generating the heat for all the geysers and hotpots, and as anyone who's watched the supervolcano documentaries on the Discovery Channel and PBS, it could erupt anytime. And when it does generate its next eruption – actually the term is supereruption, and some experts say this is "overdue" – it will obliterate Bozeman, along with ruining the whole planet's atmosphere. So despite the influx of wealthy people driving up the prices of Bozeman real estate, our property values are really iffy, long-term.

    I could list more than these Top 10 Reasons Not To Move To Bozeman, but like I said, this is long enough. And like I also said, I'm writing this tongue-in-cheek, because I do like living in Bozeman, despite the drawbacks. But those who are thinking of moving here, keep this list in mind. And fellow Bozemanites, if you'd like to chime in, please do.

    Ray Ring is a senior editor of High Country News, and he is based in Bozeman. The descriptions of John M. Bozeman for this post were found in Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley: A history, by Phyllis Smith, and John M. Bozeman: Montana Trailmaker, by Merrill G. Burlingame. The list of new movies that haven't shown in Bozeman's multiplex theater is derived from months of the multiplex's ads in the local newspaper.


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