Norway: the magical land of fjords, glaciers and mountains is consistently ranked one of the happiest places to live! In fact, it is ranked number 1 in the 2017 UN World Happiness Report! (UK trailing behind at 19…!) From my visit, I got a glimpse into Norwegian life and why that may be! Here are 3 things that I learnt from my adventure in Norway by talking to local people and my own observations.
Spend Time Outdoors
There is definitely an emphasis on enjoying the outdoors and spending time in nature! Despite the sub zero temperatures, the outdoors is incorporated into daily life! Fancy cross country skiing to work or maybe snowshoeing? (I thought my commute was tough!)
I saw plenty of people running,hiking or simply just enjoying the view! My favourite observation is from when we were driving along the coast, there was a guy sitting on his balcony enjoying the ocean view! Sometimes we forget to appreciate the small things In life and these can be right in front of us!
What’s not to like about the spectacular scenery seen across much of Norway? An added bonus is that you stay fit, are healthier and live longer! (One of the highest life expectancy rates globally too!)
Another story I’ll share with you is from the island of Kvaloya. There was a cafe which doubled up as glass ornament shop, they had such an incredible view to wake up to and mainly sold their products online. This struck a chord with me, the internet really has enabled people to live wherever they want and run a business from anywhere!
Don’t Be Materialistic
One of my favourite quotes is ‘collect moments not things.’ It’s true, money doesn’t buy you happiness. Buying the latest gadgets will only give you happiness for a short period of time but you can always look back on experiences!
Norway has a high standard of living and the salaries are pretty good too! However, Norwegian homes are simple yet cozy. They don’t feel the need to splash out on material items and fill their homes with unnecessary stuff! (Personally I love the Scandinavian design and find the houses homely!)
During the weekend, Norwegians often go camping or to cabins in the wilderness without running water and electricity! The idea of going back to basics and spending quality time with friends and family is refreshing!
Another interesting idea is that people aren’t judged by the latest car, biggest house but on their behaviours such as respectfulness and integrity. It’s a completely different way of thinking and it seems to make a much better society!
Work Life Balance
This is so important in the society we live in today! It’s easy to get caught up in the long working days and watch life pass you by. A balance is key to being happy!
In Norway the working hours are typically 8-4pm with people finishing work between 3-4pm. Employees are actively encouraged to spend time with their families or go outdoors! Another norm is that each year during the summer you can take 3 consecutive weeks of annual leave! This is mainly used to go travelling…! (Incredible!) it’s fantastic to see that the work life balance is truly supported and not just mere words.
And there we have it! That’s why I believe Norwegians are the happiest! Maybe if we adopt these values into our own lives, we could lead a happier life too?
Feeling inspired to visit Norway? (Read more about my Norway adventure here!)
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Until next time – where will your next adventure take you?