How a Travel-Loving Teacher Found Her Roots in Norway

August 17, 2020 Mark Dauner

A few years ago, Pam Olson, erased a blackboard for the last time, ended a satisfying career as an elementary school teacher, and embarked on a new journey — exploring her roots in Norway. 

A Travel and Transport Vacations office sits about five miles from Olson’s house. So, one day, she drove over and walked in. Travel advisor Jenny Serena was working that day, and from the start, Olson says Serena made all the difference between a good Norway trip and a spectacular one. 

“My husband and I could not have experienced what we did; seen the things we did; or made the memories we did without Jenny,” Olson says. “It would have taken me far too long to put the pieces together to create the itinerary and attention to detail she did. Jenny truly is awesome.”


“I’ve always wanted to explore Norway.”

Customer PhotoA picture of Bryggen with the colorful wooden houses dating back to the 15th century on the old wharf.

Olson’s first travel to Norway was in 2017. She planned that trip herself and enjoyed exploring her heritage so much that she knew it would only be a matter of time until she made another journey to the Scandinavian peninsula. 

“I’m three-fourths Norwegian, and have always wanted to explore Norway to connect with distant relatives and discover my roots,” Olson says. “I loved my first trip so much, I knew I would go again when the opportunity arose.”

Life grew busy. The Olsons started a construction company. But, Norway was calling. Finally, the opportunity arose last year to take another trek. This time around, Pam Olson didn’t have time to iron out the details of the trip, so she turned to Travel and Transport Vacations for help.

“Planning a trip to Norway can be time-consuming, especially if you want to do more than visit popular tourist attractions,” Olson says. “Jenny was wonderful. She listened to me and asked questions about what I wanted to see on this trip as well as what I’d seen on my past trip to Norway. Then, she put together the most amazing itinerary broken down by day with things to see and bulleted information about each item that provided more insight into why that place or experience might be worth seeing.

“She included tidbits of information I never would have known about otherwise and which really enhanced the trip.”

One such tidbit was a note about a sun mirror built into the side of a northern mountain that was designed to reflect light during the dark winter months. Because Serena put it in the itinerary, Olson knew to look for it on her trip and enjoyed seeing it.


All My Travel Documents, in One Handy Place

Customer PhotoNorway has over 900 tunnels with the longest being at 15 miles. This was a tunnel carved through a mountain between Loen and Bergen. The tunnel had a roundabout that led to Bergen or back to Oslo.

Getting around your home country is one thing. Navigating unfamiliar roads and transportation systems in a foreign country is another experience entirely. Pam Olson found Jenny Serena’s assistance in this regard invaluable while she was traveling throughout Norway.

“Jenny provided detailed driving directions for us as well as sights to see along those routes. If there was construction, she noted so and provided an alternate route with alternate sights, should we desire to avoid the construction delay. Whether we were in our rental car, on a bus or riding a train, there was no way we could get lost.”

As is standard practice for Travel and Transport customers, Serena prepared a travel packet for the Olsons with a printed itinerary (also available in digital form within the Travel and Transport app) and all the necessary documents and instructions for every stage of their trip. 

“Because Jenny did all that, I’m using her again,” says Olson. “She took care of the time, the transportation, alternate routes, lists of things to see. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”


Seeing the Things That Matter to Me

Customer Photo | Mt. Floyen has many excellent walking areas/trails. We saw several trees completely covered in moss.

Another benefit Olson gives for using a travel advisor like Jenny Serena is that she was able to see things customized to her personal interests. 

“Jenny knew my history. She knew my interests. I had told her that one of my distant relatives was a freedom fighter in WWII. Jenny found a heavy treatment water plant that the Nazis blew up during WWII. I knew my relatives might have been involved in defending against that attack so when I saw she put it on the itinerary, we made sure to check it out.”


Photos of Norway Trip Capture the Beauty of Olson’s Heritage

Back home now, Olson has moved on to planning her next getaway — this time to the Netherlands to drink in the beauty of its world-famous tulips and to explore her husband Steve’s heritage in England.

While COVID-19 has temporarily put those travel plans on pause, Olson knows she’s in good hands and that Jenny will help her make her trip a reality as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Even now as she is stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, Pam Olson is cheered by constant reminders of her Norway trip. Twenty-two, 16”x20” canvas prints of her favorite photos of Norway hang on either side of the stairs leading to the upper level of her home. 

“That’s what Jenny did for me. I went to all these places because of her,” Olson says. The waterfalls. The bridges. The tunnels. Even the tram going up the mountain. I’m afraid of heights. I never would have done it without Jenny’s information and insight. She truly is great.”


Are you ready to make travel plans? Explore your options with a Travel and Transport travel advisor today. We’re confident we can help you plan an amazing adventure.

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