A Great Way to Enjoy Nature: Finnish Summer Cottage Life
June 01, 2021
We Finns see ourselves as people who still live very close to nature and like to spend time in natural settings walking, hiking, swimming, fishing, picking wild berries or just spending time at our cottages. These cottages or cabins are typically very modest and can be situated in the middle of nowhere in a forest, by a lake or sea, because the whole idea is to immerse oneself in silence and relaxation.
To have a cottage or cabin to which escape to in search for silence and peace of mind, is a dream for many families and they are available to almost all the population. Just think about it, you are in the middle of nowhere and able to turn towards nature with all your senses. You gaze to the lake with your eyes, your feet touch the ground, your hands touch the water when you swim, wood when you warm up the saunas, berries, mushrooms and fishes when you look for and prepare meals… The cottage life is all about going back to the roots and enjoy simple pleasures like cooking fresh fish on open fire, taking a swim in the lake after wooden-heated sauna or picking berries. Not to mention how often do you fall asleep to the sound of silence.
Heading off to cottages or cabins is a deeply rooted tradition among Finns especially when celebrating midsummer and the six weeks following the midsummer fest. If you get an invitation to stay at a Finnish cottage, remember to wear comfortable hiking shoes, bring a survival kit as the help may be far away. And be prepared sometimes there's no electricity, running water, and the loo is usually outside the cottage. The cottages usually have a decent temporary living space, but often with only a small sleeping corner, so you might need to sleep on the floor, on a wooden sofa bed or in a tent. Remember also to bring a waterproof jacket and loose garments as the weather can be unpredictable and the evenings can be filled with stinging mosquitos that don’t carry dangerous diseases as in the tropics, but their bites can be nasty. In short, it's best to ask your host what kind of place it is, what kind of utilities they have, and what do you need to bring.
When you get past your first cottage experience, you will start to appreciate the simple Finnish way of cottage life and notice that spending time in nature is a great way to fill up your body and mind with energy and creativity. And as the summer in Finland is very short, Finns are eager to spend every minute outdoors: enjoying the closeness to nature.
Welcome to Finland to breathe the outdoors.
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