Can We Get an Encore?!?

On this last installment of our blog, we travel back home to Ohio! Thank you for following us on our journey!

We started Saturday morning at 8:00 am in Norway. Packing our things, sitting on our suitcases to zip them up stuffed with souvenirs and memories to bring back with us, and soaking up our neighborhood in Oslo one last time. We took a tram to the central station and then a train to the airport (SDG #11). After a lengthy check in process to reclaim our tax-free shopping and go through security, we made it to our gate to find that our first flight from Oslo to Amsterdam had been delayed which may cause us to miss our connection from Amsterdam to Atlanta. And so the long travel day begins…

Before we get into the details, our readers should know that one of the biggest blessings of this trip was that we were travelling together in our group! I don’t think that we would have survived as gracefully as we did had we been on our own. Each of us brought our unique personalities and strengths to the group which helped us make it through what ended up being about 42 hours of travel to make it back to Ohio with smiles on our faces despite our delusional exhaustion!

We make it to Amsterdam to find that we have missed our connection to Atlanta which means that we need to figure out how to rebook our flight. Little do we know that the line to rebook is about ¼ mile long and will take 5 hours to get through. YIKES! We divide and conquer, some of us holding place in the line, others calling OSU, and others working on the self-serve kiosks. With all of this in place, we are able to reschedule the 8 of us to fly out the next morning.

And so the European adventure continues!! We find our way out of the airport, onto a train, and to a hotel that we think we reserved rooms in. Little did we know that will all of the other flight cancellations/delays, there were too many people trying to book a reservation at the hotels in town that we didn’t even have a room here! While the Moms worked so hard to make sure that we would have a roof over our heads, the kids went out and got dinner (thanks Moms!!). Amsterdam had beautiful canals, a lot of bikes, and we saw a very pretty sunset (SDG #17). Making lemonade out of lemons!!

When in Amsterdam… Found this GIANT clog!

We were so excited to be in Amsterdam!!

Some gorgeous flowers on a canal overpass!

A very pretty Amsterdam sunset

The kids made it back to the original hotel and got in a taxi to go to another hotel that had rooms available for us all. We got checked in around 11:30 that night and had to leave the next morning at 3:30 to go back to the airport. After showering, we had a blissful 3 hours of being horizontal… YAY!

Tired but happy to be together, we made it to the airport by 4:00 am to start our check in process. We are waiting among hundreds of other travelers (who were also rescheduled due to delayed flights) to get our new tickets and go through security. While standing in line and watching everyone file through line, I couldn’t help but appreciate that we were all sharing quite the wild and unexpected bump in our travel journeys.

We make it through security and were excited to continue our journey to make it back to the States! We have ample time on our hands before our flight takes off… what else do we do except get some perfume samples and chocolate at 6 in the morning?!

Dr. Taylor featuring our new boarding passes to get back to America at 4 in the morning!

Feeling refreshed and smelling good, we board our flight to Atlanta (YAY!) and then proceed to sit on the tarmac for an hour while the plane is waiting on some technical difficulties to leave (Boo). We finally take off and are all itching to be back home!

We land in Atlanta nearly 9 hours later and make our way through immigration with big smiles now that we are back Stateside! Even though we were delayed in Amsterdam, we had plenty of time during our layover in Atlanta (phew!). Naturally, being in the deep south, we had to get some good southern food. Very tasty.

Some good southern cooking + a side of peach cobbler!

We finally boarded the plane to Columbus, so sleepy that we can’t stop laughing, and found our seats in the very back row.

Here we are in the back row on our final flight home!!

We finally touched down in Columbus and had big smiles on our faces despite how tired we all were. We collected our bags, took one last group picture, and made our way back to our respective homes.

This trip was an absolute blast and we are so glad that you were able to follow along via this blog! It surpassed any expectations that we had, kept us on our toes, and was full of memories that are going to stay with us for a very long time!

Signing off for one last time…

Norway 2022

Thanks for following along with us!!




Day 10: Shivers & Sweats!!

Hallo and welcome back to our blog! We are so glad that you are here to get a small glimpse into some of the amazing things that we have been able to experience during our trip!

In Norway, nursing school is 3 years long and in their 3rd year, students are primarily working on their practicum (clinical) hours. This week, I was paired up with a 3rd-year student, Charlotte, and I had the opportunity to go with her to her practicum hours at a local Nursing Home. The floor that we were on was for patients with aggressive tendencies and memory loss. As one can imagine, the main goal of the floor was to promote a calming environment to ensure that the patients remained safe and at ease to avoid any aggression or agitation. One of my favorite things about this experience was getting to view healthcare and nursing through the lens of the Norwegian culture. The care and intention that they employ with every single patient was eye-opening and reinforced the idea that everyone is a human being before they are a patient. Empathy, compassion, and therapeutic communication were incredibly prominent in everything that we did!!

Because it was the 1st of the month, we went around and collected the NEWS on each patient. Gathering the NEWS is essentially taking weight and vitals (SDG #3). After Charlotte explained to me that the NEWS stands for the National Early Warning Scale, she pulled out a chart that assigns a score to each patient based on their data. My jaw dropped when I realized that it is almost the same as our Modified Early Warning Scale (MEWS) which looks for potential risk factors in patients!! Serendipitously, I had the MEWS chart on my badge real and we were eager to compare and contrast the different parameters for our countries. We felt nerdy deciphering why some of the parameters may have been different based on the culture of each of our populations, but it really went to show that healthcare is patient-specific and that the lifestyle an individual pursues based on where they live truly plays a role in their health outcomes!

Here is the NEWS table (the big one) and the MEWS table (the small one on my badge reel!) next to each other!


This week has reinforced that idea even though we are learning how to be nurses in very different countries, the root of our practices, the knowledge and skills that we learn, and our passions for patient-centered healthcare are all vividly apparent (SDG #4). I can’t help but smile when I think about this.

After I said goodbye and thanked Charlotte for her guidance this week (big sad!), we all met up with our professors (Moms!) and went on quite the adventure. The first surprise that they had on the docket for the evening was a trip to a gelato shop! YUM! It was our job to navigate us there and we had to stay flexible and willing to change every time we started to walk in the wrong direction.

Here is my cup of gelato with half Mango and half Hazelnut. As I was eating, I kept going back and forth because I couldn’t decide which one I liked better… they were both SO yummy!

Following our first tasty treat, we went to a spa at the head of the Oslofjord. At this spa, we had reserved a private sauna hut at the edge of a dock on the water. This spa experience involved jumping into the freezing cold water (SDG #6) and then going into the sauna to warm up. Talk about a shock to your system!! Goosebumps in the water, shivering out of the water, and then sweating in the warm sauna… a very unique experience! We all had a wonderful time full of laughs, smiles, good conversations, and memories that I am sure will last a lifetime!

Here are our Moms (professors) at the sauna hut!

And here is our whole group in front of the Oslofjord!

To end the day, we were surprised with a trip to one of Oslo’s best burger places. The burgers were delicious, warm, and hit the spot after our chilly experience in the Oslofjord water!

“Mmmmm burger!!”

Overall, this day was one to remember! From practicum to plunging into cold water, we have learned so much not only about nursing, but also about the Norwegian traditions and culture. While our trip is coming to an end soon, I could not be more thankful for the time that we have gotten to spend here, the professors who are making this trip possible, and the generosity of everyone here in Oslo! Takk for at du leser // thanks for reading!

Just a big smile from a small hut! Thanks for reading and following along with our adventure 🙂


Norway 2022

Day 5: Empathy = Universal Language

Hello and welcome back to our blog!!

The Norway mornings are calm and the cool air is incredibly refreshing. I have been enjoying starting my days off with a stroll with one of my classmates. We go in a new direction each day and love exploring the roads around our hotel. Within just a block, we often see locals sipping on their morning “kaffe” at a coffee shop, biking to work, on the tram, or even out on a morning run. It is unique to observe and take part in practicing intentional leisure in the mornings as opposed to hurriedly getting ready and running out the door with breakfast in hand.

Here is a funny picture I took while waiting for my morning walking buddy, Ashleigh, in the lobby of our hotel!

Here’s a picture of my typical breakfast in Norway!

After our morning walk and breakfast, we made our way to LDUC (the university that we are working with) and attended some lectures. Today’s topic was about individuals who experience homelessness & who use drugs. The lecture that stood out to me the most was presented by a woman named Josefina who is a project coordinator from Sweden. She works with women who are victims of domestic violence as well as those who are or have experienced homelessness. Her presentation focused on sharing the stories of those with whom she works and her objective was to give these women a voice in order to reduce inequalities (SDG Goal #5 and 10). In her practical setting, these women are often “in hiding” or don’t speak up because they are not believed, they are viewed as “outsiders,” and are ostracized from society. With a plethora of personal examples, stories, and quotes from these women, Josefina was able to convey a very special message that left the room a bit teary-eyed. As health care providers, it is our duty to believe our patients when they tell us stories, to sit and listen to them, to treat them with respect, and most importantly to treat them with empathy. Many of these stories emphasized the idea that empathy is a universal language that we can all take part in on a daily basis. The impact that this idea held while being in an auditorium with students and faculty from all over the world is something that I will carry with me for many years to come in both my personal and professional life.

Here’s a picture of Josefina during her impactful lecture!

We had the chance to share some of our own Buckeye Wellness with the group during our professor’s lectures and we got comments from many students afterward with big smiles on their faces telling us how much they admired our school spirit! (Go Bucks!!)

Here’s a picture of some OH-IO smiles!

Following all of the presentations and lunch, we had time to work with our mixed Norway-America groups for our community health project. This time is so much fun because while we do our group work for our project, we get to chat about everything from healthcare systems to mashed potatoes with our Norwegian students. This time is truly where the international exchange comes to life – we laugh, share stories about our experiences, and simply enjoy the company of our new Norwegian friends!

After a long day full of lectures and projects, we attended an international dinner put on by LDUC. This was another chance to connect with international students while sharing a meal.

While the days are long, the smiles are big, the laughs are abundant, and the new experiences and learning opportunities are never-ending! We can’t wait to continue sharing about our time here in Norway with you all!!


Thanks for reading!