Anouk Brisebois: Embracing the Norwegian Outdoor Lifestyle

Who is Anouk Brisebois?

Born in Quebec, Canada and currently living in Oslo, Norway, Anouk Brisebois is an outdoor enthusiast who works in the climate change field. Here’s how what was meant to be a 5-month exchange program in Norway led Anouk to moving to the country full time and falling in love with the Norwegian outdoor lifestyle.

A Chilly Canadian Upbringing

As far back as Anouk can remember, winters have always been extremely cold in Canada, sometimes falling to minus 40 degrees Celsius with the wind. She says the cold can hit so hard that people have to run from their home to the metro station in order to not completely freeze. A number of times each winter, schools had to close due to the cold and/or the conditions of the roads during a snowstorm.

The Move to Norway

Anouk moved to Norway in 2017 to complete an exchange program at the University of Oslo which was supposed to last five months. She quickly realised that the weather in Oslo was much more temperate than what she was used to in Canada, with winter temperatures only falling to minus 20 degrees Celsius, which she found much more tolerable. 

There is a saying in Norway that Anouk has applied to her daily life since the move: “Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær.” Meaning that there is no bad temperature, only bad clothes!

What was meant to be a 5-month exchange program became one year as Anouk met Jens, her now husband, and began to fall more and more in love with Norway. In 2018, Anouk went back to Canada to finish her Master’s degree, then quickly moved back to Norway just seven months later and landed a job in green financing within CICERO Shades of Green, an international research center for climate change.

Adopting the “Friluftsliv” Lifestyle

With its mountains, forests, and lakes, Norway reminds Anouk of Canada, but says one major perk of Norway is how much easier it is to access nature using public transport. Residents can catch a bus from the city and conveniently reach the many skiing and hiking trails Norway has to offer. She also loves how you can enjoy nature on a daily basis in Norway, even when living in the city center, with more than half of Oslo being covered by forests and parks.

Norwegians live by the quote “friluftsliv” translated as “open-air living,” where Norwegians seize all opportunities to go outdoors and practice any activities that nature has to offer. 

Anouk and her husband live their life like real Norwegians: “friluftsliv.” The nature has so much to offer and the scenery is amazing with all the fjords that surround them. In the winter, they go cross-country skiing, either close to the cities where there are many different trails available, or at her husband’s family cabin in Geilo, a four-hour drive from Oslo. The cabin is surrounded by mountains, so the pair often go cross-country skiing, randonnée, snowshoeing, or hiking. 

Some of Anouk’s favourite places she has been hiking include:

  • Preikestolen
  • Ustetind
  • Reinebringen
  • Ryten
  • Festvågtind

This summer, Anouk is set to complete the Trolltunga hike, which she has been dreaming of doing for quite some time now for its beautiful views from the top. 

How to Stay Warm in a Nordic Winter

To stay comfortable during all of their outdoor adventures, Anouk and her husband gear up in Bluey Merino clothing. They love how the clothes keep them warm, prevent them from sweating too much, and keep the odour away. The durability Bluey Merino offers has allowed the garments to become Anouk’s winter essentials.

A Passion from a Young Age

Since Anouk was very little, she has been very passionate about the environment. She has always been involved in different environmental projects and groups, from having her prom dress made from recycled gum paper, to being in charge of the environmental committee in college, to having a career in the climate change industry today. She is currently working in the research sector on different climate and environmental related topics and wants to conduct a PhD within the next few years on climate change and adaptation.

The Road Ahead

Anouk and her husband are avid travellers, with a list of around 50 countries that they would like to visit in the near future, including Australia of course! Since they live in Europe, Anouk finds it easier to travel since most countries are closer and more accessible. Although she wants to buy an apartment in Oslo soon, Anouk’s desire to travel is stronger, so for now, she’s putting most of her focus on her next adventures.

For more details about Anouk’s life in Norway, you can watch her interview with NomadJunkies here.