Updated: Jun 27
Hyttelivet: the cabin life, something that is cherished by Norwegians
Easter break is a time when many Norwegians head to their hytter (cabins) for a the week. It's a chance for many people to disconnect from technology and recharge their lives. About 40% of people in Norway have access to a cabin, and many of those have been passed down through families. There are whole areas that are only for cabins with roads that are accessible for cabin owners and those looking for the friluftsliv. Many cabins tend to be in fairly remote areas because so many people want to be in the peace and quiet of nature with no light pollution and noise to intrude on their calm.
The idea of hyttelivet (cabin life) goes way beyond simply spending time at your cabin or renting one. It's a total way of life. It's the style of decor, the activities you enjoy and the food you eat. It even goes as far as the friends you spend time with (hyttevenner). Norwegians love to compartmentalise and this includes spending time with groups of friends who enjoy particular activities. Cabin friends are those you only mix with at the cabin.
The idea of owning a hytte might be one that's not accessible to lots of people, or not something that you would the responsibility of, but you don't have to own a cabin or even take a cabin trip to bring some hyttelivet into your world.
How you can enjoy hyttelivet wherever you are:
Dedicate time to spend without technology. Disconnect from your phone, the TV and internet and pretend for a day or two you are at the cabin enjoying time when you really can't get the internet because its not there! You might rediscover some hobbies or explore new ones that you never seem to have the time for with the constant pressure of answering messages and emails.
Decorate with some hytte decor. Hytte decor tends to be either rustic, or Scandinavian simple lines. For the rustic look go for wood, hand painted items and plenty of vintage copper and brass. For the modern Scandinavian look you will need simple lines and muted colours. You don't need to redecorate your entire home, just have a bit of fun with a few items that remind you of an alternative way of living.
Eat simple. Cabins often don't have modern facilities and that means adapting your meals to cook on a simple burner or in just two pans. Get creative and simplify things. This gives you an opportunity to have some fun and try and cook with just a few ingredients, maybe even going for items that don't need to be refrigerated. It's also a good time to indulge in a few treats like some Nordic baking maybe or a few of your favourite sweet treats. You can find a little inspiration here.
Do some outdoor activities. The whole point of a "hyttetur" (cabin trip) is to be closer to nature and do the tings the love. This could be the time you take to enjoy hiking, skiing (the last chance of the season), breathing in some fresh air and making the most of one of the first spring picnics the year has to offer.
How will you get some hyttelivet into your life? Or maybe you already have some and haven't even realised it...
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