This natural phenomenon of bright dancing light can be seen in a few places in the Northern Hemisphere, but Norway provides perhaps the best experience, generally between October and March. There are several ways to view these spectacular lights. A visit to the island of Svalbard, Norway will get you right up to the Arctic Circle, and consequently right underneath that big beautiful empty sky and place you in prime position to see these lights in all their glory and vibrancy.
Another great spot in Northern Norway are the Lofoten Islands and even without the Aurora Borealis, this archipelago should be on everyone’s travel list. With incredible sweeping views of the Norwegian Sea and picturesque small fishing villages, a trip to the Lofoten Islands is sure to be something you’ll remember forever.
Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice when you arrive in any of the Scandinavian countries is that you’ll feel like you’re seeing the world as it should be – before massive cities, commercialization and billboards. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find a billboard anywhere. Even in the larger cities like Stockholm or Oslo, nature is not far away. A drive through the countryside of Sweden is full of lush, velvety green grass and rich, bright blue skies. The grass is dotted with yellow flower fields and small bodies of water reflecting the fluffy clouds. Before you know it, you’ll be daydreaming of living in one of the small, rust colored farm houses and whiling away the days in all that is perfect about Scandinavia.
Push yourself further out of town and the rugged and wild landscapes will seem nearly impossible. From hiking through the beautiful fjords of Norway to the absolutely untamed National parks of Sweden — this is the place to really see just how beautiful the world is.
Coffee lovers — listen up
We may all think that the best coffee comes from the equatorial region — Colombia, Costa Rica, Tanzania and Indonesia. Scandinavia in fact, is in the top three consumers of coffee in the world. Coffee is incredibly central to the Scandinavian way of life and is enjoyed throughout the day. And it’s more than just a quick coffee break, in fact the Swedish have given it it’s own name — fika. During a fika break, a cup of coffee is joined with a sweet treat and is an opportunity to catch up with friends and family. A far stretch from our hurried cup of coffee that we take on our car ride to work.
You’ll be hard pressed to travel the world over and find a place so clean. In fact, Sweden is working towards zero waste. That’s right, zero. More than 99% of waste is recycled into one form or another. You’ll find that garbage bins are very accessible and there are a wide variety of bins each time and it’s so simple to separate garbage and recyclables. And more than that — Swedes do separate everything. In fact, chances are if you see a stray piece of garbage on the street, someone will stop to pick it up and place it in the correct bin.