Big World



Have you ever wondered how other families live and raise their children? What could we learn from them? Isn’t it amazing to have a different perspective on parenting? 

I have been asking myself these questions for the past few months, and I thought it would be wonderful to feature on World Kids, real families that could share their way of living and bringing up their kids.

Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to Caroline Steinsland (you are going to love her IG), who lives in Norway and fell in love with this beautiful country and its people. I spoke with her about what she loves most about living in Norway, how it is to be in direct touch with nature, family travel and her favorite children’s books.  I am sure you will enjoy getting to know her!

Hi, I would like to start by introducing myself! my name is Caroline, very simple and down to earth Brazilian girl who never thought would live a fairytale. Well… I was wrong! I found my prince charming, married him and moved to a far, far away land, known as the kingdom of Norway. There is so much wonder to be found among the most enchanting lands, seaside fishing villages, beautiful landscapes, with high mountains, glaciers and incredible fjords. In between the majestic mountains and fjord magical forests can be find with the most beautiful shades of green ever seen! A culture woven with hardy Vikings, Nordic Mythology and every kind of troll you could imagine.  Travel to the world’s most northern villages and you might meet Santa Claus or at least see a lot of his reindeer, polar bears roam and gaze up at the breathtaking northern lights (Aurora borealis).

What I described above is what I like most in Norway, the splendid nature! Other qualities that I adore about this country is the peacefulness, sense of safety and equal opportunities among all. No doubt Norway is one of the best places in the world to live!! Norway topped the United Nations’ World Happiness Report 2017, ranking highly in indicators including “caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income, and good governance.” What Isn’t great about all that?! 

Let me take you back to my beginnings… I come from Fortaleza, the 5th biggest city in Brazil. It’s a very busy city, always noisy, too much traffic, tall buildings, etc. Unfortunately, nowadays, it is considered one of the most dangerous cities in Brazil. Don’t get me wrong; I love my hometown! It’s beautiful there, where the sun shines every day!! I miss the incredibly delicious food (love the fresh juices and fruits such as papaya, mango, melon), the perfect beaches for sports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing and the friendly/happy people. Most importantly, I miss my (Brazilian) family whom I love so much! Oh, how I miss Sunday’s lunches at my grandmother’s house. Those family gatherings/meetings and the chats with grandma Rita, parents, cousins, and aunties are treasured memories.

I’ve traveled to so many different places and countries. Norway is the 5th country I’ve lived in (I’ve lived in Brazil, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, and now Norway). I’m truly blessed to have lived, seen and experienced so much in my short life. I’ve made so many friends, learned about new cultures and new languages (I speak four different languages, but sometimes I’m not able to talk at all). 

When I was 21 years old, I had the opportunity to live with three wonderful families, worked as an Au Pair in Spain, Switzerland, and Ireland. That was a huge experience.  A kind of school about life, families, raising kids, different cultures. This opened my eyes for how big the world is and I caught the travel bug which needs to be feed often! I didn’t just what to go to places I developed the desire to become a true explorer.  Taking on travel is a challenge all on its own; to make plans, itineraries, save money, what to look for when visiting new places, being curious and cautious at the same time, while also being open to meet new people. It’s given me the opportunity to learn about myself, who I really was as a person and that I could do so many things on my own (without the help of parents!).

Now let’s jump to the present day. Now I’m a mother of three beautiful children (Fredrik (12), Rita (10) and Therese (5)). I’m married to a wonderful man (a true Norwegian Viking). I have a dream job (have been working for the same company for 11 years) and I live on an island on the west coast of a fairytale country. I’m truly blessed! 

As you’ve noticed on my IG account, we love to travel, and we do it often! Although summer holidays are long and we have more time to explore, we also make the most out of a weekend or long weekend (3-4 days) to explore areas that are a few hours car drive away that we have not seen or experienced before.

We don’t really have a favorite destination, we just try to follow the sun or the nice weather… that could be at the beach, the forest or to the mountains, nearby our house or another country. We even have a big recreational vehicle (bobil in Norwegian) that we can sleep in, which allow us to be spontaneous and flexible with our travels. In Norway, we need to follow the weather forecast as rain and windy days can be quite often! Plus, my husband likes comfort and there’s no way he would sleep again in a tent (we didn’t have a pleasant experience last time we tried). 

In our travels, I try to share what I’ve learned with my kids. I try to show them how to be positive, not be afraid of challenges, not to take life for granted and always, always be thankful. There’s a big world out there, it can be scary sometimes, and full of challenges, but is also full of beauty and adventures. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek.

I’m happy where I am now. I prefer so much more the quiet/Norwegian countryside, to be surrounded by nature, to hear the birds sing and the freedom to walk or go on hikes at any time, even late hours in the night. I like to spend time with family and friends, go on a hike, fishing, or perhaps build a fire and grill some pølse (sausages/hot dogs).

We also cherish the evenings we stay at home on Friday nights, have a homemade pizza (my husband does the best pizza ever) and watch a movie! We like to be at home equally as much as we are out and about traveling and exploring. There is  a Norwegian word for this “kos or koselig” ―which can be translated as “getting cozy.” I’m so grateful to experience these magical moments with my family!

We all love to read! We own many books, but we often visit second-hand book stores and try to go as often as possible to our local library.

Fredrik likes to read any book, but his favorites are the books of facts and almanacs. He got for his birthday the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi which is really fun, and we all got to read! Im still trying to get him to read Harry Potter books. Rita likes to read the series Superbitchene (Super bitches) by Anne Audhild Solberg, a Norwegian author.  Therese is a super fan of a Norwegian series called Karsten og Petra, by Tor Åge Bringsværd.  The other book series she enjoys reading is Pippi Langstrømpe, by the famous Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.  There are many movies and tv series about Karsten and Petra, and Pippi (these are Therese’s favorite movies as well). 

But one of my favorite children’s book is «We’re going on a bear hunt», by Michael Rosen. I read this book to the kids I took care of when I was an au pair. I loved it so much that I made a promise to myself, if I ever had children, I would read it to them. 

I love Dr. Seuss books and this quote is one of my favorites: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Thank you Caroline! It has been truly a great pleasure to feature you and your family on World Kids.

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