By Amber Ainsworth
Earlier this week, I took a train nearly 240 miles north of where I’ve been staying, Oslo, to visit Justin, an artist from the United States I met while covering a festival.
Justin and his wife Sarah live in a rural part of central Norway near Røros with 10 racing huskies and a Labrador named Belmont. Justin relocated to Norway from New York about two years ago.
The experience of going to see where he lives and spending time with him and his family was one of my favorite parts of this trip. Him, Sarah and her parents, who were visiting from Switzerland when we were there, were so welcoming, and I was allowed to really see how Justin lives in what I would call the middle of nowhere.
He showed me his art in a gallery, introduced me to all of his dogs and welcomed me into his studio at his home. Oh and I ended up living part of his life when I bundled up and helped him canoe out into the lake across from his house to put out fishing nets.
He also took me out looking for moose. While we didn’t see any, we saw reindeer, sheep and some woodcock birds. The area was so desolate and was a nice break from the city life I’ve been experiencing since I got here and am used to back home. It was cold and rainy, and I’ve been sick for three days, but it was definitely worth it.
It was interesting to see how Justin is able to survive off his art and live such a unique life compared to life back in New York. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the journey up to Røros, but I am so glad that I went because I feel that I was able to get a perspective a lot of people don’t get to see, and I’m so excited to share the story that will come from my trip.