Updated: Jun 27, 2022
The last year or so has taught us many things. Some of them so not wonderful, but also many really inspiring and energising things that we all want to keep doing long into the future. One of those for me and my family has been discovering and enjoying the wonderful places that Norway has to offer closer to home. Ordinarily we would have been taking trips to Denmark and throughout Europe, but 2020 saw a sudden stop and we started searching with enthusiasm for inspiring places in southern Norway.
When Norwegians were polled recently about their expectations for holidays in 2021, only 5% said that they thought they would be taking a holiday abroad this year. We have all started looking at Norway in a slightly different way.
Norwegians have a long culture of holidaying in their own country. Hytte culture is very much alive and cabin sales are booming. Norwegians really know how to appreciate their own country and many of the tourist boards in Norway are actively marketing to the Norwegian market, knowing that it be well appreciated and made the most of by Norwegians themselves and it's working! Tourist areas are busy at a time when business needs it so desperately, and all those wonderful attractions that keep a place buzzing and alive are able to carry on running.
We can all learn a little something from this attitude towards our own areas. There are so many special places that we never really see because we are too busy looking beyond and not stopping for a moment to absorb what other people may see as exotic and exciting.
So on that note, I have a few suggestions that I have picked up in the last year and some ideas that might inspire you to enjoy a holiday or some days out in your own region.
How to Be a Tourist in Your Own Region:
Think like a tourist. That may seem over simplified, but it's a great place to start. Don't be afraid to go to the tourist spots. They may just need your business right now and they are popular for a reason - they have something wonderful to offer and you could be lucky enough to discover a treasure close to home.
Enjoy the flexibility. Flying is fun, but driving and taking public transport has a liberating flexibility to it that makes taking a trip so much less stressful. Without the restrictions and time constraints of check in and flights, you can enjoy more time at your chosen place and even bring home excess baggage! There is also a cost aspect involved; unless you can find a budget flight, airline tickets are not the cheapest option. In Sweden taking the train is considered one of the most wonderful things to do. It allows us to slow down, enjoy the scenery and start our holiday as we should - with calm and relaxation. So let's all be like the Swedish and take the train!
Revel in lower carbon emissions. Traveling long distances to remote destinations is an exhilarating experience, but let's be honest, its not the best for our planet. I am in no position to preach because I have been one of those flying all over the world for work and leisure, but I have started to look at flying as more of a luxury than a right. Staying slightly closer to home may not initially seem the most exciting thing but with a little imagination it can make for the best holiday ever (and a most satisfying feeling of self-righteousness).
Develop a deeper love of your own country. Knowledge of an area helps you to love it more. You might have become a tad bored with your region recently, especially when so many of us have been in lockdown and not able to travel any distance much further than the shops and a walk from home. It's time now to fall in love with your special area again. Have a really good search for the things locally that might excite you and learn about them.
Expand your knowledge of your country or area. Unless you are a local tour guide or an historian there is a pretty good chance that you don't know everything about your local area. There will always be some exciting new discovery to make or uncover.
I hope these few suggestions inspire you to enjoy your local area a bit like Norwegians. So get out there and discover it and then come back tell us all about it....
For more Nordic living chat and inspiration with me and some wonderful people who like the Nordic lifestyle, head over to our Facebook group, Living a Nordic Life. We would be delighted to see you there!