Recently I traveled to Finland…
Well, that’s the start of a sentence I didn’t think I’d be typing out anytime soon. But I did. I went to Finland recently and it was beauty-f*cking-full. There was snow everywhere, people nowhere and wifi reception …somewhere but I couldn’t find it. It was an experience.
We stayed in a clear glass igloo the first night we were there which was a totally unique, wholly cool and only slightly claustrophobic experience. The igloos are designed so that you can have an unobstructed view of the Aurora Borealis. V cool! In theory. However, we instantly realized after checking into our resort that we were visiting Finland in the off-season. When other people and the Aurora B itself are harder to come by. Oops. I’ve never been one for doing much research before I travel, and this trip probably could have used some research. että‚ on elämä! (Apparently that’s how you say ‘such is life’ in Finnish)
After pretending not to hear each other take dumps in our modest but mighty dome, we talked to the reception desk and got upgraded to one of the resort’s brand new igloo/cabin hybrids.
I mean, SH*T GAHD DAMN. I took this photo as we were walking out the door to leave for the airport, so our scum trail doesn’t totally do it justice, but you get the gist. It was incredibly cool. It was an actual log cabin with a half dome attached to the front for direct Aurora B access. Equip with a wood burning fireplace for attempted hot dog roasting, a small bunk bed for attempted youth reconnecting and a sauna for authentic Finnish assimilating. Finland loves their saunas. Apparently there are more saunas than cars in Finland. I support this country’s priorities.
My lack of prep for this vacation didn’t allow me to fully grasp the true absence of wifi we’d be presented with over the course of our stay. There was a small signal directly next to the reception desk in the main building, about a 15 min walk from our cabin, and that was it. After the initial shock of not being able to communicate the detachment from the internet and social media was WONDERFUL. We spent the four days we were there playing infinite rounds of dominos, building fires, playing boggle, trying to find restaurants that might still be open off-season, making smores, playing chess, dog sledding and accepting our completely f*cked up sleep schedule.
Because we were staying so close to the north pole the sun set at about midnight every night and rose around 3 or 4am. That mixed with jet lag meant we ended up accidentally falling asleep around 3 or 4pm each day til about 9 or 10pm each night. And the daylight looked exactly the same. What a fun mindf*ck! We held out hope that the Aurora might show up each night, and we saw very faint green traces of it one night, but that AB is is a fickle lady. It’s like waiting for me to show up for a hot yoga class. It’a a lost cause.
All in all the vacation was a delightful, unintentional digital detox. Thank you Finland, for your breathtaking landscape, your disorienting endless daylight and your brilliant (and hugely appreciated) attempts to communicate with us english. Yes, your accents may have sounded like that computer program we all used in middle school that read any pervy, dumb thing we typed into it out loud, but you’re better than me! I know zero Finnish and every time I tried to say or read anything I sounded like Siri’s dumb, stoned step sister. I appreciate all of it!
If you ever get the chance to visit a Aurora Borealis adjacent destination I’d suggest going anytime December through March for your best chances to see the Northern Lights. Also maybe do some research? Or don’t!
This post is now Finnished,