If you’re feeling stressed, then you have the opportunity to head to Finland for free. For three days this summer, a local host could show you why their country consistently ranks among the happiest in the world. It’s also no secret that Finland is one of the most beautiful places on earth; the landscape features frozen waterfalls, enchanting forests, and sparkling views of the Northern Lights.
Need more reasons to visit Finland? Finns are relaxed and cheerful, enjoying life in a progressive, technologically advanced society, without becoming overly stressed by it. The country believes that this meaningful connection between people and the serenity of nature is one of the greatest keys to happiness. Therefore, to show off why Finns do it best, the country is offering free trips to see for yourself.
Rent a Finn
In an effort to promote the wellness and happiness Visit Finland has teamed up with 8 generous locals for the Rent a Finn contest. Each local will open their homes for three days this summer. Visit Finland will send a select number of people on an all-inclusive trip to the Northern European nation. They’re taking care of your flights, and the locals are taking care of pretty much everything else.
While you’re there, you might learn the true art of the sauna in Helsinki, berry picking on the coast or fishing in Lapland. Perhaps, a little bit of everything. The idea give others “a chance to learn from the best” when it comes to happiness, and teaching them everything there is to know about living like a Finn.
Finland’s ‘Happiness Guides’
The eight-person roster includes people from all walks of life. Here’s a bit about a few of them:
- There’s Esko, mayor of a small town near the Arctic Circle in Lapland. He’ll take you boating and teach you to play mölkky, a Finnish throwing game.
- If you stay with Hanna, an IT professional, you’ll travel to her grandmother’s lakeside home outside Helsinki and pick blueberries, eat traditional pastries, and hang out in the sauna.
- Linda and Niko live on Utö, Finland’s southernmost island in the Baltic Sea with a population around 40. They’ll take you sailing through the archipelago, show you the lighthouse, and camp out on an islet.
- Katja is a yoga teacher who lives in a very idyllic wooden neighbourhood of Helsinki called Käpylä. She’ll show you how to experience nature within the city limits.
You can meet the rest and lean more about them on the campaign website. However, all these hosts share a single goal: to help you rekindle your relationship with the natural world.
“Our secret is in our nature, very literally,” Visit Finland explains. “When others go to therapy, Finns put on a pair of rubber boots and head to the woods.”
In Finnish law, as in other Scandinavian countries, the public has the right to jokamiehenoikeus — the freedom to roam; in natural areas, even on privately owned land, it’s legal for anyone to make temporary use of the land.
If you’re ready to learn the art of happiness and Rent a Finn, you can enter the contest through the campaign’s website. All you need to do is submit a short video, fill out a form, and get a head-start “finding your calm” as you wait for the winners to be announced. The successful applicants will be informed in April and May and the trips will take place this year between June and August.