We interviewed Elin, one of our Spotters for the Oslo City blog. She describes herself as a “smiling girl with a great curiosity for all the things and people she doesn’t know yet.” Originally from the West of Norway, she’s been an Oslo local for 12 years now, moving to Oslo for her first job after completing her studies.
We had the pleasure of meeting Elin twice in Oslo, and on the Spotters meeting in November 2012 in Amsterdam!
Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I still don’t know what I want to be when I ‘grow up’, I have a masters in food safety and microbiology and a lovely job in Oslo – but my love for travel and writing keep me reckless and full of dreams about doing something else in the future. The more I travel, the bigger my appetite for exploring the rest of the world, grows. And I’m lucky enough to get several months off works each year to travel! I’m passionate about vegetarian food as well, and I have my own blog ‘Taste of Slow‘ where I share recipes and travel stories.
How do you like being a Spotter?
I love being a Spotter! Traveling as a local is totally in line with my favorite way of traveling. What I love most when I visit new cities (besides meeting interesting people) is to walk around and discover the areas outside the main tourist tracks! Being a Spotter also keeps challenging me to really see my city, and to keep being curious about new places that appear. Since I love to travel and explore myself, I also like to contribute to Oslo travelers having a good experience when visiting, and giving them an alternative to the mainstream travel guides. Travel guides which often introduce you to the most expensive areas of town.
I just discovered that being a Spotter may also help getting you jobs! A few months ago I was contacted by an Italian communication agency which offered me a position as translator, content writer and social media manager for the Norwegian version of a website they run. They found me through Spotted by Locals – which means they consider Spotted by Locals a high quality website!
Why Oslo? I moved to Oslo after completing my studies because I wanted to a) get my first job and b) hopefully get and interesting research job – and then Oslo gave me more opportunities. As a girl from the countryside I imagined Oslo to be too big for me – well, I was wrong! Oslo is MY city. The city is big enough to offer the cultural range of a big city, but still small enough to run into my friends by chance on the streets. I really appreciate the short distances in town, so if you are a walker – like me, you will be able to reach most parts of the city on foot. What I love most about Oslo is the markets and the range of great concerts, also the possibility to get out of the city for great nature walks in less than 30 minutes.
What do you know about Oslo that no tourist will know?
I know about this great place to go swimming in the river during the summer! It is called Frysja and is situated on top of Akerselva. Here you can bask on the green grass by the river with all the locals, take a dip in the cold river and have a BBQ or picnic. Since the weather is pretty unpredictable in Oslo and your chances for a beach day may not even be the best during summer, it is also a nice place to start your walk along Akerselva all the way down to the city center.
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
A perfect day in Oslo starts in Sagene, where I stop by one of my favorite stores Se min Kjole to see if they have any new and irresistible dresses, followed by the retro shop Hr. Fru Retro. A perfect day is of course sunny, so I walk along Akerselva. On the way I stop by my absolute favorite place in Oslo to watch the amazing powers of the water, at the city waterfall (Møllefossen).
I continue my walk along the river to Grønland (about 25-30 min walk), where I go to Evita for a vanilla soy latte and a piece of chocolate cake. If you feel like a trip out of the city to walk the chocolate cake off, it is easy to get to Sognsvann for a stroll in nature. Later on I would go for Moroccan food and red wine in Mogador. If the night still feels young and I feel like ‘shaking it’ rather than going home, it is time to end the evening at Pigalle.