Einar Herstad-Hansen

ICT Government Administration

Oslo, Norway

Baggy pants, foreign supermarkets and a true traveller

Who is "you"?
I am really no good at answering this question but I will give it a try. I am a 40-year old guy who works with ICT in the government administration in Norway. I live with my girlfriend in a suburb of Oslo, which is the capitol of Norway. I have two-step-children, a boy at six and a girl at four. On my spare time I like to do some photography and travel. On most of my travels I have met people asking for tips what to see in different cities I have been to. Because of that I have gathered some travel-related information on globetrekker.no. I have photo-blog as well which you find at pentaxianer.no and my personal homepage is at ilpostino.no.

Wich is the thing you love the most in your city?
I love the diversity in my hometown. Oslo is the fastest growing capital in Europe and travelling half an hour by bus or tram you can see everything from old industrial complexes, the historic parts of the city to the newest and most modern areas. It does not take long to get to the islets in the Oslo fjord or wooden cabins in the woodlands outside the city. Grefsenkollen is one of the hills surrounding the city and it gives a really nice view of the city itself and the surround area. 

What makes you travel?
I did some travel with my family as a kid but I think I started travelling as an adult because of escapism. My brother lived with cancer for 9 years before he died and I guess it was a way to get away from it all. I started to travel two years or so before he died and i visited mainly Spain and Portugal in addition to Austria, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.  I love to get to know new places and new cultures and wherever I go I tend to visit supermarkets, outdoor markets, indoor market halls, various museums and historical sites as I am interested in history as well. If you think it is weird to visit supermarkets for sucking up foreign cultures you are not the first one who thinks this but I think it gives a nice insight in the culture you are visiting.  My girlfriend is also interested in meeting new cultures and we have planned to visit all European capitals together. 

Places you´ve been in the world?
If I should give you a top-5 list it would be Granada, San Sebastián and Vitória in Spain and Lisbon and Guimarães in Portugal. I really loved the atmosphere and the people in those cities. I have been to Lisbon every time I have been to Portugal and that city has stolen my heart.  I really liked Bali as well. I do some photography in my spare time and I loved the day I walked among rice fields and in the jungle and took pictures. I walked on small trails and everyone I met asked me if I was married, how many children I had and so on. I was single at that time and I got the impression they might have looked at me as somewhat hopeless who didn't have a family. On another day me and a friend got out of bed at 4 AM to take pictures of the sun rinsing from an old volcano. The volcano was two hours away by car and driving on a small road before sunrise we almost drove down some huge stairs. So much for trusting the GPS... The same day a monkey almost bit one of my nuts but that is another story.

Tell us a smell, a taste, a color, or a sense you remember from a place you´ve been?
On my second trip to Spain I visited Segovia. Despite it has historical value for Spain I didn't really like the place as it is too touristified. When that is said I had an experience I will remember the rest of my life. As I entered the cathedral I got instantly cold and got huge goose bumps all over. I literally can't explain what happened but for most of my stay in that cathedral I had the sensation that I had the Hand of God over me. I am not a religious person and I have never experienced anything like it anywhere else. Looking at everyone else visiting the cathedral at the same time it seemed like they experienced the temperature as normal. 

What is the silliest thing you ever bought in your trips?
I never really usually buy souvenirs during my travels, but when I travelled home from Asia I had twice as much luggage as when I went there. Most of this were clothes but I had also bought some gadgets. The first 3 trips I had to Iberia I only travelled with a 40 liters backpack and these trips were 3 weeks each so I didn't have much space for buying things..

If Lisbon was a person, who does it remind you of?
It reminds me of the friend you have had your entire life. He knows you inside out and embraces your every time you see him. The spirit you find deep within Norwegians and Portuguese is pretty much the same and probably one of the reasons I love Portugal that much as I do. Everywhere I have visited in Portugal feels like home. 

We hate tourism tours?
We hate tourism tours is the friend who you take for a ride to have fun with and visit new places. 

Have you ever fell in love with someone when you travel?
I fell in love with Portugal and I have been in love with my girlfriend during my travels but I have never felt in love with someone I have met during my travels. 

The most embarrassing/funny moment you had while travelling?
Once I travelled in somewhat baggy pants. It happened too fast but all of the sudden my pants fell of and I had it at my ankles. I was standing in the middle of the shopping street and it all felt somewhat awkward. 

Next stop?
We are taking the kids to Germany in a few weeks. In spring we are going back to Amsterdam and Berlin. We really loved those cities. Lisbon is (hopefully) up soon as well. We have plans for taking the kids to Denmark and Turkey during our summer holiday. We have plans to visit all the European capitols together as well so there will be some travelling in the future. Next year we are thinking about visiting the US.

Find me here