Some might say the long, dark, cold winters could make us depressed. On the contrary, they don’t appear to decrease our happiness quotient, at all. One of our many compensations is seeing the Northern Lights dance across the sky!
Some might hold a mistaken belief that living in Norway is so very expensive. But, Norway’s welfare model is reassuring to us Norwegians; the low level of income inequality secures a relatively high minimum wage, and our tax level secures a high-functioning state -and society model, with generous and effective social welfare benefits for all, as well as low levels of crime and corruption. In fact, the discovery of oil in the North Sea in the 1960s, resulted in the world's most extraordinary ethical savings plan which cares for the entire population today, and in the future. We have high levels of trust, autonomy and freedom, feel less vulnerable to economic insecurity, and as a result, our feeling of well-being is boosted.
Norway is prosperous, as a nation and as a people and we value the beauty and impact of design. The extensive investments made in architecture and the design in public spaces over the last few years are evidence of that. But, in Norway – we also have something called “Cabin Culture”. For hundreds of years, we’ve treasured our get-away cottages and cabins, where we unplug, enjoy the scenery, and connect with loved ones. In fact, every 6th family in Norway has access to their own private cabin. And more than half of all the cabins in Norway are in locations without visible neighbours. It’s a clear statement of how much we value our rich, natural landscapes which vary from mountains to fjords, and from coastlines to forests. When the Corona-pandemic hit our globe, what did Norwegians do? They withdrew to their cabins. And as our society has modernised, we seem to have collectively gained an awareness of the major role the natural environment plays in our happiness. Living close to nature, through Norway’s four very different seasons, encourages a wide range of physical activities and social interactions. Without a doubt, we believe it contributes to happier living.
The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action. They measure aspects of both economic, social and environmental development. Countries are ranked based on progress towards achieving these goals. Of 193 UN member states, Norway has always ranked in the top ten across the globe. Social Development Goals protect the core of what we love; and therefore, the results we reap from the efforts we place in achieving sustainable development, increase our well-being and our happiness.
Sustainability has different meanings. For us, as a company, it's about minimising our footprint and maximising our positive impact, no matter where our journeys take us. We strive for an economic model that is attuned to nature and culture. A high ranking on the SDG goals represents a major achievement, but we still have work to do. Our team and partners are committed to making even more sustainable choices. By connecting our clients with our favourite people, we hope that our journeys will lead to mind-opening conversations and inspire positive changes in our travellers’ home countries all over the world. And, in doing so, we believe we can help even more people to live happier lives.
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Since moving to Norway from the UK in 2016, Danny has truly learned to appreciate Norway as the land of 'kos' - a truly special, yet intangible concept.
We all strive to find new meaning in the new normal and for Danny travelling slow is the perfect way to take stock, embrace 'kos' and appreciate what is around him.