mission: vacation (mostly).

This was the least planned, and probably the best prepared, vacation I've embarked on for more than a decade. My first trip to the United States, so I wouldn't know what to plan for anyway.

Not having too much of a plan worked out rather well. I could make use of the opportunities that came my way, or simply relax and let it all pass me by. This is a recipe I'll recommend for a successful vacation.

plan: here and there, and back again.

  1. Leaving Norway for the United States on May 20th.   Done.
  2. Staying with friends in the New York area for 3 weeks.   Done
    • Take lots of pictures.   Done
  3. Travel around in the New York / New England area for 3 weeks.   Done
    • Meet internet-friends face to face for the first time, and look at life, nature and whatever.   Done
    • Take more pictures.   Done
  4. Spend another 2 weeks in the New York area.   Done
    • See some of the more regular tourist-attractions in and around NYC, and travel around the countryside on one-day trips.   Done
    • Maybe add in some longer trips.   not really
    • Take even more pictures.   Done
  5. Leave for Norway some time in mid July.   Done

traveling light.

I didn't bring more with me than the essentials – what I needed for a week to ten days away from home. I could pick up whatever else I needed for my 8 week stay, as I went along. Shopping is a great pass-time activity.

It all worked out rather well. Needless to say that I brought home a little more than my bags contained when I left Norway. I may travel at least as light another time.


I came – looked around – and went home again. All in all: I'm glad I made this trip.

The above could have been an alright conclusion now that I'm well home after an alright trip, but of course that would have been a bit too short after having spent 8 weeks in the Northeastern part of the United States.


Generally: I've found no major differences in how people go about their lives in this part of the United States, compared to life in Norway. If there are any major differences, then I haven't seen them.

Different habits when it came to food, and the available TV programs were even less interesting than what we have on our TV channels in Norway.
No problem – I didn't go hungry and I usually do not spend much time in front of a TV anyway.

People were mostly friendly and helpful everywhere, but generally slightly more so in less busy areas – away from the larger towns. All in all pretty unproblematic to be a visiting Norwegian in this part of the US.

On each page I have listed and linked to the sites of my most prominent contacts/relations – people I visited during my stay in the US. They're all involved in web development – same as me, which is how/why I came in contact with them in the first place. Nice people.

living environment.

Seemed to be almost a competition in presenting a nice front, as homes and gardens looked well kept when seen from the right angle. A bit more variation if one looked at it from the “wrong” angles, but I guess one isn't supposed to do that.

Apparently not all that many maintained these nice fronts themselves in the more crowded areas, as there were always some hired hands at work everywhere. Looked much more “personal” and inviting further away from the larger towns.


General impression: this part of the US is relative featureless compared to what I'm used to. Not flat, but low, rolling, forested hills that made it a bit difficult to see whatever features there were in the landscape.

One could easily pass a mountain without noticing it other than as a name on the maps, which happened to me more than once when I was driving around in the New York / New England area.

future journeys.

Now, there are a few places left around the world that I'd like to visit if/when I get a chance. Some of these places are in the United States, so I'll be back – if/when I get a chance.

I'm planning a shorter vacation this year (2008), somewhere in Europe. May result in another travel journal if I can manage to focus on the task of creating one. What I will do and/or where I will in the years after that, is unplanned and unknown – and I'm not good at making predictions.

about this travel journal.

The following pages with photos and comments, are based mainly on the on-line travel journal I kept up for myself and my friends during my vacation. I've changed and added some, since it takes time – and some quiet moments – to let all impressions sink in and turn them into a proper and truthful presentation of my vacation – and I haven't quite finished yet.

I brought home more than 6000 pictures and a few hours video. Two kilos of documents of all kinds – papers that is – is also part of what I can dig into if my memory eludes me. All in all quite an archive, and I simply couldn't process it all during those 8 weeks. I've been working on sorting, selecting, organizing and commenting on it on and off for almost a year, in between everything else that occupies my time.

I have now managed to get all the basic parts – around 600 images and complementing text – into this travel journal. Got some more writing to do, and maybe I'll also find room and reason for a few more images.


It may appear to some as if I've thrown all accessibility rules in the book overboard while recreating this travel journal. Seriously, I haven't. I have been very concious about how to deal with the subject during the entire process, and I have almost got it the way I want it.

There are a few images still in need of context-relevant alternative text, and the surrounding, explanatory, text is incomplete or even missing as guide here and there. All this will be remedied in time, as I prefer to read my own journal – or have it read out to me, and not be depending on its images. I do not intend to describe every single image though, as that wouldn't add anything of value to the experience I'm trying to convey.

This journal is designed, styled and filled with content to go with my choices and suit my own taste. That's my idea of how a personal travel journal should be. It was my journey, and now I'm sharing my experiences with you throughout more than 60 illustrated pages.

Have a nice day, wherever you are.


May 27th 2008.