Hello & Welcome to my first blog post! I’m so excited to finally put into existence this space that encompasses my creative journey. You have no idea how long it took me to get to this point of finally publishing! I will be sharing things about Design, Travel, and some of my own Lifestyle content. Lots of fun things to come! But, first things first, here is a bit about me, Kari Nicole, and how I ended up in Norway starting a Design & Travel blog.
I’ve wanted to start a blog ever since I moved to Hawaii right after graduating college in 2018. Aged 22, I moved to this tiny little island in the middle of the pacific ocean and I was exposed to a different world. Everything I was experiencing, learning, and finding along my journey – I thought could help others too. I’ve always been able to express myself best through words. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Virginia Tech, I developed the very important skills of writing and communication.
In college, I chose a major that I thought would give me a multitude of options. I could take a degree in communication in many different directions. However, as my final semester of college approached, I felt a bit of anxiety. I hadn’t figured out what I was doing after graduation yet, and a career in Public Relations didn’t excite me. I get it – you won’t be passionate about every job. But, I didn’t want to jump on a path that I feared would only get narrower. Why hadn’t I figured this out sooner and changed my major to something I COULD see a career in? The regret and frustration tried to creep in, but I wasn’t going to stop searching for the right fit.
Long story short, through a mutual friend, I heard about a unique opportunity to move to Hawaii for a job, helping adolescents overcome a range of life challenges. An outdoor therapy program that taught the training on site. My college degree and a passion to serve was all I needed, and I applied immediately.
Looking back now, moving to Hawaii was the best decision I made! Although, I did not feel that way my first night as I cried myself to sleep haha. I remember looking at my location on google maps and zooming all the way out. I still couldn’t see Virginia. The place I called home for my entire life. Where was I? Did I really just move to Hawaii? To be honest, I felt pretty alone and scared at the beginning, but also excited and independent at the same time. I didn’t know a single person there. And the job was a whole challenge in itself! But, I loved who I was becoming and the path I was on.
I could talk about all my experiences in Hawaii for days, but I’ll keep it short for now. I saw firsthand the things I could accomplish when I took risks to pursue things that were new, foreign, and scary. This decision propelled me on a trajectory that has lead me to where I am today.
Fast forward to now, I am living in Norway with my boyfriend, a professional footballer (aka soccer player according to Americans), who signed with a Norwegian football club in 2020. Moving to a foreign country and finding a job is not the easiest thing, especially when the language is Norwegian :). Norwegian was never an option to choose from on my Midlothian High School language curriculum options! hah. Combine the foreign language issue with a global pandemic, when most companies are now laying off employees and money is tight. Let’s just say hiring a fresh out of college American was not a high priority at the time!
Essentially, I was forced to make a decision. Was I going to wallow in the fact that things were hard, or would I keep looking for solutions? Sparing you the details and knowing that everyone has struggled in 2020 in their own ways, I also don’t want to downplay the challenges I faced. Things were really hard, BUT I am incredibly grateful for the time and clarity to figure out and pursue a career path that I’m truly passionate about! I ended up enrolling in a certificate program in Residential Interior Design from KLC School of Design in London, England. A ways to go to reach the goals I have for myself, I am finding the beauty and joy in the unconventional path.
As I am in the process of becoming an Interior Designer and living in a foreign country, I wanted this to be a space where I share everything about Travel & Design, sprinkled with some Lifestyle content as well. Whether it’s an interior design tip I’m learning in school, a lesson that living abroad has taught me, or just a list of my favorite books or my morning routine, I hope this can encourage those who read it to take a deep breath, pursue the things they’re passionate about, and embrace their own unconventional path. As beginnings can be scary, the first step is to start. You will figure everything out along the way by simply doing. Thank you for reading if you made it this far :). Please reach out and let me know what you think! I hope you enjoy!