My Most Adventurous Trip Yet: I’m Going to Finland! (Brr)

I’ve been sitting here patiently in DC, saving money, working on my cooking skills, celebrating Christmas. It’s been fun but I can’t lie, I am restless. The open road is calling to me… I even miss wearing a backpack, if you can believe it.

Thankfully I won’t be sitting still for much longer! I leave Feb 10 on a new, kind of terrifying adventure. My first trip of the year is somewhere surprising, even to me: Finland!

 Finland? In February???

Yup. Not just Helsinki either. Helsinki is practically tropical compared to where I’m headed: Finnish Lapland. I’ll be spending time in two very northern towns: Inari and Saariselkä, both in the Inari region. I’ll be over 1000 km north of Helsinki and 300 km NORTH of the arctic circle. Yup. I’m literally going to the arctic.

In February. I won’t lie, I am mega-intimidate, particularly when I read things like “sub-zero temperatures” and “frozen eyelashes.” I mean, I get pretty chilly here in DC and it hasn’t even snowed here this winter. I can’t even really wrap my mind around the february weather forecast:



Nonetheless I’ve been assured that February is a great time to visit northern Scandinavia. I’m excited to see what I will find. One convincing argument? The Northern Lights:

What Will you be Doing in Finland?

Mike and I will both fly into Helsinki. After a couple of days exploring the capital, he’ll head west and I’ll be headed way way way north. To the Arctic Circle (still sinking in). My trip is culture-themed, so I’ll get to dig into the unique world of northern Finland, known for it’s Sami culture and proximity to Russia. Up on top of the world I’ll get to do some really fun stuff like visit a reindeer farm, motor sledging on a frozen lake and panning for gold. I’ll also hopefully get to eat some interesting local specialties (I already know I like reindeer meat).

I’ll be doing some other things too, that you guys will get to vote on! Make sure you’re following my facebook  if you want a hand in that action. You’ll also be able to follow along with the hashtag #VisitFinland on instagram and twitter.

After Finland, Mike and I will be sticking around Europe for a few more weeks, I’ll let you know more about our plans in a future post. I think this is the perfect trip to kick off 2013, a year that hopefully will be full of life-changing adventure!

What is Navigate Media Group?

I’ll be visiting Finland as a guest of Visit Finland, in conjunction with Navigate Media Group. Navigate is a new business that we’ve formed along with 7 other great travel bloggers. Our idea is that together we are stronger than any one blogger, and we hope to leverage the group into doing more exciting projects. Basically we are trying to move forward on a more professional level, which is good because I do enjoy eating and paying those student loan bills.

This trip will be Mike and my first with the group, and I’m really excited to see where it takes us.

As a reader you probably don’t need to be too concerned with the workings of NMG, other then hopefully it means I’ll hopefully have more exciting content and adventures to share. I will, as always, try to be as transparent with you guys as possible.

I Need Your Help

I think we can all agree that I’m definitely out of my element here. I’ve never been to Scandinavia and I’ve definitely never been anywhere this cold! So I’m turning to you guys.

Have you ever been to Finland? Do you have any tips for me? What should I do/see/eat?

What about traveling in extreme weather, any tips there? I’ve got my long underwear all ready to go, but packing is going to be a whole other problem entirely.

 Have you ever been to Finland?

All photos by Visit Finland.

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22 thoughts on “My Most Adventurous Trip Yet: I’m Going to Finland! (Brr)”

  1. So excited for you! I drove through that area when I was out there – but didn’t spend a lot of time. I know that I loved learning about the Sami – looking forward to hearing all about the trip (and seeing lots of pictures!!)

  2. I am so excited for you! This is the type of trip I am hoping to do next year. I am so excited to hear how it goes.

    PS- Husky dog sledding!

  3. That looks great! My grandparents always travelled to Scandinavia and I remember them having lots of Finnish designs in the house, such as hats and carpets. (Your clothing image reminded me of that!) They even had a pair of these wooden ‘ski’s’ that you bind under your shoes to walk in the show, I always liked them so much. Hope you have a great trip, must be fantastic!

  4. I was in Finland last February. I have friends there and they took me to Levi (in the North) to go skiing. It was wonderful! COLD but wonderful. I was coming from Kenya, so it was incredibly cold. Pack LOTS of long underwear/thermals and scarves. We did both husky and reindeer safaris which were wonderful. Have a good trip!

  5. I’ve always wanted to see the Northern Lights and I’m very jealous, your itinerary looks incredible! I hope you survive the cold and have an amazing time, I look forward to seeing the photos 🙂

  6. Those temps look the same as the temps here every day right now! Don’t worry I don’t think you will freeze!
    Those Northern lights look AMAZING and the panning for gold sounds really cool too! Have a wicked time! 🙂

  7. I’ve lived in Finland for 5 months (Jan-May) back in 2007, in a tiny town just south of Tampere. Finland is great this time of the year and Laplan surely be beautiful! There’re so many exciting winter activities you can do that I’m sure you’ll love your stay there! If you have a chance visit also Tampere – it’s such an interesting city where all the factories in the center now serve as museums, theatres, cafes etc. If there’s anything I can help you with feel free to ask!

      1. It’s a laid-back city so you’ll just enjoy its industrial atmosphere with all the cafes etc. I found Moomins museum really cute. And there’s a really nice watchtower, Pyynikin, it gives you really great views over city and lakes around it. if I think of some more I’ll let you know!

  8. Hey! I worked in Saariselkä for the Christmas season for the past 2 years for a UK holiday company, so if you have any questions I know the resort very well and would be happy to recommend hotels or places to eat etc. I absolutely adore Saariselka, such a magical place! It is cold, but we used to wear thermal onesies that really helped to keep warm, and just layer up loads. My favourite things to do there are husky riding and cross-country skiing (they have great tracks here!). I would really recommend Lapland Safaris as a company, and they do great Snowmobile excursions. Be sure to visit Jaeger Bar (more commonly known as Terrenpesa) and have the Paprika fries in Moussi Grill! My favourite!!

    Have an amazing time! Saariselkä is literally one of my favourite places having lived there for a couple of months now! 🙂

    1. Hey! I was planning my trip to Finland in Feb 2018. I am confused between Yllas or Saariselka…. I am not sure which place or where to stay and all… Could you please hell. Really really appreciate it. Thank you soo muchh 🙂 Niharika

  9. Oh this trip sounds fantastic – could be because I’m in desperate need of some snowy wonderland time. I wish I could give you some tips on Finland, but I have yet to go there.

    As far as packing for crazy cold weather goes – I love those little handwarmer/footwarmer packs you can find at ski/snowboard shops. I’ve occasionally even warmed them up and then thrown them in my bed for 30 minutes before I planned to go to sleep. They’re great for warming up cold boots in the morning too.

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