“And patience [worketh] experience; and experience, hope” (Paul, Romans 5:4).
As Malcolm Gladwell argued in his bestseller book, Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours which is approximately 10 years of deliberate practice to become an expert.
With the goal to travel to 100 countries in10 years, that would make us seasoned family travellers. We’re onto our six years of happily traveling the kids along our family adventures, and by far, explored 36 countries, including the new territory we are currently exploring at the moment, Canada!
Yes, there are certain traveling tasks that feel so routine, like appointment with embassies, visa applications, packing, adjusting to jet lag and body clock. These are great expertise to have as a working professional. Patience with documents, mastery of own body sleep and up close encounters with countries diplomats… necessary skills of a future CEO or founder of a corporation, and we can discuss further why!
However, more importantly, though skills which we are yet to master, there are hormones, grumpiness and boredom.
Hormones, there traveling women vs. two patient men makes a team. This means at the very least, two weeks of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) of emotions, the struggle is real. Acknowledging this, makes the battle easier, though we can only monitor, not control. Experiences on the pattern makes it understandable and yes, conquerable, if not tolerable for the surrounding men around these women.
Grumpiness, or bad hair day moments, or waking up at the wrong side of the bed, is also normal during family travels. One day something too personal embarrassing the other. Too close for comfort takes patience and experience, too.
Boredom, because what parents may find interesting, may be so very boring for the kids and the other way around. We would not be telling the entire truth to our traveling adventures, if we would lying if we say “everybody loves visiting .. insert name of place/ country/ region… Nope, most of the time, there’s someone who will rain on somebody’s parade when family travels together.
BUT, there are also the AHA moments, the wonder-at-first-sight moments, laugh-out-loud-together-moments, we-actually-saw-what-happened-together-moments.
AND… these moments turn into memories. Memories that would be from imprints on their lives and define the decisions and actions they would do in the future, what will define who they will be by choice.
Experience together over any material things… no argument there. We’re armed with experience-building patience, even if it takes 10,000 more hours together!
Living up to our main family value, we really are a hopeful bunch.
Free educational and fun family activities Turknoy style aka deep-rooted into our family lifestyle are readily available in New York. There are lots of ideas, discussions and pondering mover aching feet and full stomach. Our senses are all overwhelmed.
Broadway is to talent and making it big in the world;
Times Square is to branding and consumerism and making it known in the world
Then, then… .. Financial District is money management and getting power over money in the world!
And until then… let’s get all the money vibes from The Wall Street Bull’s Balls. Legend has it that those who touch them will have prosperous and wealthy life. So, oohmmm we go. Seriously, we saw a Hindu lady who was actually doing this like a solemn prayer. So why not?
“My bull is a symbol for America. My bull is a symbol of prosperity and for strength.” – Sicilian artist Arturo Di Modica, creator of The Charging Bull.
Broadway, Times Square or Wall Street, New York can make dreams come true for this fearless and are able to stand tall and proud.
Freedom is NOT the absence of fear… but by being able to act fearless.. whoever we may be!
World citizens, worldschooler or not, New York sets an example. It may be the place, it may be the city’s history, it may be capitalism, it may be a lot of things… yet we firmly believe that these ideals can be replicated.. anywhere in the world. Dreams are dreams without time zone and coordinates. With positivity and a lot of hard work, sprinkled with luck (bulls’ balls!) dreams do come true, whatever they may be.
Straight from Oslo, Norway, like a real Viking explorer , off we crossed the Atlantic Ocean to New York, New York wee hours in the morning, straight to breakfast and off to see places for the second time.
We’ve written about hope and goals and we’re excited really to realize baby steps to leap frog moments towards achievements of our family goals, travel goals included.
But for now, New York, New York!
First stop, Times Square early in the morning and we feel like we are in the living room as the place was still “unpopulated” New York style.
Second stop, Central Park, wishing to meet Tom Hanks or John Wick accidentally!
Third stop, hungry for some Filipino food, hoops NOT… scratch that… we are world class.. so off we walked more to get a taste of the world’s most famous chickenjoy – Jollibee in Manhattan! Oh hot, was it crowded but we were determined.. and hungry and drilling over this chicken joy!
She had been buried in bed for the past ten minutes, debating on whether it’d be worth it if she had finally dragged herself out; although when it had come to it, her body felt as if it weighed a ton. Her brain barked and brandished psychological threats, though her body displayed no signs of swaying.
She squinted her eyes against the rouge ray of white light that had found it’s way through the gaps between blinds as she wiggled her toes and stretched her spine. Her brain had swapped tactics, and was now shuffling through memories of homework that had yet to be thumbed through; coincidentally- or rather voluntarily loitering on certain sore spots.
Six seconds later she had found herself in the bathroom.
It wasn’t hard due to the fact that the rooms within their current apartment- like any other, had practically been pulverized among one another, and she had been able to cover the living room with what had been consisted of three sluggish strides; although it’d be difficult to deny the fact that the dread that lay within her notebooks had egged her on a tad.
She slouched in front of the wall mirror, much to her mother’s dismay. Her mother’s voice bounced about in her head, her face that had remarkably mimicked one of a Saber-toothed tiger at the time flashed before her eyes. She grasped her toothbrush, although she couldn’t help but straighten her spine. Her hair jutted out at every angle humanly possible, though as much as she fingered fruitlessly it had bounced back to it’s former maddening mane-like glory. It was definite. She was indeed related to ferocious Felidae.
She breathed in the cool, crisp air. Her shoes clicked against the damp pavement, as it was slightly drizzling. Rain patterned against the roof of her hoodie, a mollifying melody. She yearned to dampen her hair, although wasn’t quite as zealous at the thought of awaking sniveling and stuffy the day after. She clicked across the wooden bridge, the usual light tone of oak mirrored one of spruce once it had been drenched.
She proceeded to pass sculptures that would have been considered scandalous if not for knowing Norwegians, eyeing a few people she presumed had been posing for the wrong reasons.
20 minutes later, her clicks had become less enthusiastic; if anything, they had morphed into piteous shuffles. Dad had map at hand, cracked at the rim; although allegedly function-able nevertheless. She made a show of her discouragement plastered at face, frowning at what seemed like scraps of metal that had miraculously managed to cling onto one another; although her father- oblivious to the lack of approvement, sauntered off, offspring ambling afterwards.
Another 20 minutes later, after passing the scrap-metal-map among one another, as if the change in person would affect the topography itself; they had found themselves at the point where they had started, the sought-after Grass Root Square quite literally underfoot.
She glanced at Dad, a mixture of triumph as well as daggers. He made a I’ve-had-three-kids-nothing-surprises-slash-tires-me-anymore kind of face, as he scrutinized the sculptures.
In all modesty, she had seen quite the number of sculptures in the span of her 13 year old lifetime, though nothing compared- or rather embodied anything nearly as unique as this.
From a further prospective, it seemed as if slabs off of the pebble-gray pavement seemed as if it were levitating; although at intimate inspection, hundreds of thousands minuscule men- and women, had been bolstering the bottom.
Their sizes varied, depending on whether they had been maintaining the weight of stone; since the immensely minute figures seemed only to sprout in the stead of numerous blocks. Their tiny jade heads clustered together in order to embody a single large, lime slab.
Their minuscule mouths appeared to gape in agony as her brother layered the slab the tiny figurines were bearing with his rear. A flat, elevated surface was equivalent to an inanimate object worthy of bottom smothering. At least, through a certain someone’s eyes.
Numerous people swept by, not a single fleeting glance at the grass-like population that had literally been sculpted under their noses. Well, we’re definitely one to talk, although considering the multiple renovations that took place surrounding the area, it’d be considerably difficult for anybody to spot. Anybody who wasn’t trodding all over it, that is.
With the expanse of knowledge she had unveiled that day, something bubbled at the pit of her stomach; something of a melancholy melody. The world had ballooned a green 50,000 time’s bigger that day, for how would she ever make it, if tens of thousands of people; excluding those below five inches, were clambering for “it”? She knew the answer, although the thought of it sent bile belting up her throat. How? Well, first things first.
“Hope is not a prognostication; it is an orientation that no matter how things turn out, they can have meaning.” – Vaclav Havel
Family travelers are imparting the value of consistent hope. This is one of the many reasons we drag the kids around the world. Well, technically, just around Asia, Europe and North America for now. Hopefully, around the world soon enough.
When a traveling family run towards a train station hoping to catch the train on time, that’s hoping for the best.
When a traveling family is almost get denied entry by an Immigration Officer to a country of destination because of visa application requirements concerns and all family members continue showing calm while presenting valid travel documents, that’s hoping for fairness and diplomacy.
When a first time family hikes in an unfavorable weather up a gorgeous landscape in a foreign country and keeps the hyper mood, that’s hoping for an awesome adventure.
When presented with a bad customer service and the traveling family maintain a good attitude towards all people, that’s hoping for the goodness of humanity.
Emily Dickinson may have written it in a poem eras ago, but as family traveller, it is in our traveler’s literature pack.
“Hope”is a thing with feathers (By: Emily Dickinson)
“I see life as a passageway, with no fixed beginning or destination,” We tend to focus on the destination all the time and forget about the in-between spaces.” –Do Ho Suh quote during his colorful exhibition of structures to represent his experience of migration
It takes a creative city to create art structures that will have different meaning and impact to its residents and visitors. It takes a cosmopolitan city to create diverse art structures from international artists that sparks creativity.
Off our worldschoolers to hunt for the tiny little bronze statues in the city. They found it and didn’t count – 50,000 of them in total.
Grass Roots Square was created by Korean-American artist Do Ho Suh. Some pavers in the square have been removed and replaced by tiny bronze statues, 50 thousand of them in total, ranging in height from 8-10cm. They’re standing together, interacting, and some of them are sharing the weight of paving stones. The project was designed and approved before the terror attacks, but somehow that makes the little people standing together in solidarity seem all the more poignant.
It is our hope that contemporary art like this inspire our traveling kids that anything can be done to express creativity, that the world is a blank canvass for them to paint on.. or an empty pavement to install tiny little creations! Because no matter how tiny, there’s strength in numbers of trial and error.
Have you see the art of Do Ho Suh? Are you impressed?
“If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.” – Alfred Nobel
Oslo City Hall (Norwegian: Oslo rådhus) is a municipal building in country capital, Oslo, located in the northern part of Pipervika neighborhood and faces Oslofjord. It houses the city council, the city’s administration and various other municipal organisations. The building as it stands today was constructed between 1931 and 1950. It was designed by architects Arnstein Arneberg and Magnus Poulsson.
Oslo City Hall is built of red brick and has two towers, one 63 meters tall and other 66 meters tall. The bricks used are larger than what was typical at the time of construction, but are roughly the same size as bricks used in the Middle Ages. The bricks – measuring approximately 27,5 x 13 x 8,5 cm – were produced by Hovin Teglverk in Oslo. The eastern tower has a set of 49 bells
On December 10 each year, during the death anniversary of Alfred Nobel, the Oslo City Hall hosts the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in which the annual laureate gives his or her lecture and is awarded the medal and diploma.
A podium for the laureate and the Nobel Committee is erected in the far end of the hall for each ceremony. The Norwegian Royal Family and Prime Minister attends the ceremony.
There are free tours inside the Oslo City Hall. Have you seen the interior of this administration building?
Quick quotes from the Traveling Parents before we pass the torch to our eldest worldschooler who is extremely passionate about exploring and writing:
“Every secret of a writer’ soul, every experience in his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” – Virginia Woolf
You got this, kyvelo! – Turknoy Parents
Saturday, May 5, 2019; 8:00 AM.
The night before, Mom had mentioned something among the lines of waking up at 4:00 AM, and had even went as far as planting the bloody phone alarm bomb alongside my bed. Protest had been on the tip of my tongue, although I hadn’t mustered the courage to do so.
As much as this fact had threatened my usual sleep-stocked slumber, I had slept soundly nevertheless. I had managed to pry my eyes open to what I thought had been four hours of sleep, when Mom bludgeoned through the unfortunate door; halting in her tracks as I allegedly “slept” on, completely unnerved. I had been semi-conscious at the time, so I hadn’t completely deceived mother dear. Mutinously mumbling, Mom trudged back through the door, which much to my surprise, had managed a piteous “click”, as she shut it behind her.
I squirmed beneath my sheets, partially due to the psychotic steam that had practically originated from myself, as well as the fact that I had started envying my former frozen self the day before.
Fast forward, although not too much so as to deprive Mom of precious “reflection”; I had been seated at the dining table a few minutes ago, where I had went through the usual territorial dish disputes; which hadn’t been much use since Dad had knowingly distributed accordingly, wary to the single grain.
Kim had decided to grace us with his bed-headed presence shortly after I had finished, although soon enough he wasn’t far behind.
We arrived at Oslo Central Station pink-faced and breath deprived, tapping for the troublesome tickets furiously, for the train had been due to leave in the next six minutes. As soon as I had stepped foot on the train, it had heaved and huffed, gradually gaining speed as we sped through the greenery. We stumbled through the numerous occupied seats; the occupants of which made noises remarkably like the exasperated huffs originating from the train itself.
Speeding through luscious lakes, and fanciful foliage, the train rocked here and there, lulling me into a dream-lavished snooze of which I had debated on whether this infamous “Lillehammer” really had anything to do with hammers at all.
I clenched my teeth as another ear-piercing ring rang through the air. I had woken a few minutes ago, and had fruitlessly been screwing my eyes tight, in hopes of returning to thoughts of mjolnir.
The two hour train ride had finally screeched to a stop. The staff door swung open, revealing the person I guessed was the conductor. I narrowed my eyes begrudgingly, as I couldn’t find a reason as to why a grown man was in need to “toot, toot!” every five minutes. I stepped off the train all too gladly, skipping the way to Lillehammer.
That is, until I had caught sight of exactly how steep their roads, as well as their pavements were. You attempt skipping on a surface where the tiniest nudge would make it perfectly acceptable as a wall.
Map at hand, we marched up up up, family members overlapping family members; desperate for the front position, desperate for the valid excuse of “waiting” for the rest.
“Museum”. My heart skipped a beat as I saw those letters peek out of the green landscape that my skin tone had done a remarkable job of mimicking. I stumbled towards the building, eyes bulging as a bus sped past. Nostrils flared, I huffed as we stepped into the museum.
“I suppose it was worth it.” I thought grudgingly, although I dare not say it out loud in fear of being accused of sucking up. Dad drawled on about the Vikings in the 1800’s in custody of practically nothing, whilst I fought the urge to roll my eyes. Nothing, huh? An enormous expanse of green stretched as far as the eye could see, shades of mint, lime, and emerald dotted here and there. Houses clustered just above the crystal lake, although it wasn’t difficult so as to imagine it’s former pre-beach-house beauty.
I pressed a palm against the spruce-like wood the cabins consisted of, breathed the scent of worn wood. Mom had teased about taking care of time portals, although now I had the strange urge to seek one out. A river rushed nearby, it was ridiculously accessible.
Seeing, smelling, and feeling things that had such stories behind them was simply indescribable. I’m not a lazy writer, so I don’t say that to the advantage of a decrease of words, which the previous extremely detailed paragraphs should hold proof of.
I had LITERALLY trotted through time today, from Viking abodes, to the perfect, prim, and proper peoples and places of the following decades; I had thoroughly enjoyed the adventures today had held, as well as Lillehammer itself. The architectural astonishment, and the historical heaven I had experienced the moment I took my last excruciating step uphill had been one of the most memorable; despite the lack of hammers.
“The brace man well shall fight and win, through dull his blade may be.”-~Fafnismal 28
Tønsberg is generally regarded as the oldest town in Norway, founded by the Vikings in the 9th century and also regarded as an Ancient Capital of Norway.
The town is also eventful in this present time as it is ancient. Tønsberg is a town filled opportunities for those with an urge to explore (like our Turknoy family and the Vikings!) We have noticed buzzing activities just below the The Castle Rock Tower, Slottsfjellet, and Brygga during our visit.
Tønsberg has beautiful nature to explore, too. At the coastal path, gorgeous and ever changing magnificent landscape can be enjoyed.
As mentioned, the town of Tønsberg is the oldest town in Norway. It was founded during the Viking Age, and celebrated its millennial jubilee in 1871! The greatest testament to the town’s significance during the Viking times is the world-famous Oseberg ship, which was discovered just north of Tønsberg center.
After the Viking Age and throughout the Middle Ages, Tønsberg remained a center of power until 1671, the only established town in the Vestfold region.
Tønsberg was a hub for commerce and shipping, and sites as Tunsberghus, several churches and monasteries, as well as the Earldom of Jarlsberg served to reinforce the town’s position of importance. Tønsberg was also a member of the Hanseatic League and played a major role in the establishment and development of commercial whaling in Northern Europe.
For hundred of years, Oseberghaugen has concealed one of the world’s largest Viking treasures, the Oseberg ship, excavated in 1904. The 21.5 meters long Oseberg ship turned out to be the grave is an eminent woman, perhaps a queen. The ship was filled gifts for the journey to its not so obvious doom! A copy of the Oseberg ship’s beautifully carved bow can be seen at The Slottsfjell Museum. Another complete replica of the ship can be seen at the harbor of Tønsberg.
The Castle Rock Tower is Tønsberg’s most famous landmark and is part of Slottsfjell museum which is located at the foot of the hill. The present tower was built as the 1000-year anniversary and was completed in 1888. The tower is 17 meters high, with a stunning view of the town. The original cross from the Maria Church and the engaged signature of three Norwegian kings can be seen in the tower.
The Slottsfjell museum and the area around is a culture heritage that represent the long history of Tønsberg. The ruin park shows remains of the one of Norway’s most significant medieval fort. In the museum’s Viking hall is Norway’s forth Viking ship, the only preserved ship that is placed outside Oslo, and the story of Oseberg findings. The Whale exhibition shows whale skeletons and the history of Svend Foyn. The blue whale skeleton is the world’s largest preserved skeleton.
The Quayside and old warehouses restored in 1978-1980. The brygga is a popular place with restaurants, marina and activities in a maritime setting.
Torvet, the main square of city center is a 10-minute walk from Tønsberg Brygge or Wharf and also to the Tønsberg Station. It was Sunday when we visited so everything was closed. It was still a very fun walk to do with kids!
It does make a lot of sense, though, that Marvel Universe is in a town with Norse mythology and Viking background. Tønsberg was the Earth-based battleground of Orin’s war against the Frost Giants, revealed during Thor’s prologue. It is also the location where the Red Skull, back when he was Johanna Schmidt, first discovered the Tesseract, containing the Space Stone, which has had a massive impact on the fate of the Avengers. The New Asgard with a new queen Valkyrie, that’s Tønsberg, Norway. What a fateful location indeed.
Marvel Studios may or may not have filmed in Tønsberg, well, they should have. This town is fabulous and Asgardian in any way!
Have you been to New Asgard… hoops, Tønsberg? 🤗🇳🇴😜❤️
There is nothing noble in being superior to your frown man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. ” – quote by Ernest Hemingway
Being superior to your former self, exactly what Hemingway quoted, is what we have taken away from Lillehammer with its extreme love for literature, books and written word. There’s a sense on ownership in all literature events we observe happening in the Lillehammer; an ownership that feels everybody involved in their own confident world.
One fine Saturday we visited, the Literature Festival, Norsk Litteraturfestuval, is being celebrated and there were a lot of book readings and discussions with authors almost at every buildings. We visited the Public Library and there’s an ongoing event with an author, a great event to have observed, while browsing the library, even though the discussions were in Norwegian.
This festival, the Norwegian Festival of Literature is the biggest of its kind in the Nordics. Words is the main weapon to stir emotions and provoke actions in this Festival.
Lillehammer is one of Norway’s most important cultural centers and has a status as a UNESCO City of Literature.
Lillehammer is a charming town at the entrance to the Gudbrandsdalen valley. Coming from Oslo, it’s a huge change of scenery from buzzing wide streets to picturesque pedestrian streets; from high dense of people to not so much, having only 27,000 inhabitants.
After exploring the town and it’s literature events, we head on to Maihaugen Open- AirMuseum, a blissful environment depicting how it is to live a life like it was the old days with the Viking.
The Maihaugen Open Museum has more than 200 historic houses and buildings as far back as the 13th century to the present day.
We have visited houses from each decade during the 20th century. We also visited the childhood residence of Norway’s Queen Sonja.
Quick Triva: Lillehammer is the location of the American-Norwegian television series in Netflix, Lilyhammer. Our traveling dad watches this.. for travel planning purposes. It’s semi-crime, semi-comedy series set in Norway, what’s not to watch?
What a fantastic spot for kids looking back and knocking on the generations past.
We also experienced Norway’s important postal history at the Norwegian Postal Museum at Maihaugen.
Storgata, lined with idyllic wooden houses, provides the framework for a modern and friendly shopping experience and an experience already in its own right. We were able to shop for some very expensive brand at very low prices, a.k.a we visited a semi-flea market as it is in a fancy shop.
Hoarding on books from UNESCO City of Literature at Storgata, Lillehammer
The train view
We could easily fill this blog with lots of train view as we took a loads of photos. The lake view, the fields and mountains views, the houses and landscapes views – everything seems to have come out of a perfect masterpiece.
The train back and forth form Oslo to Lillehammer has jaw dropping view we didn’t want the journey to end 🇳🇴
Did we give you enough reasons to visit Lillehammer? Hope we did.