I have always loved being outside, walking in the snow, picking berries in the fall and just enjoying fresh air. I never realized how much my Finnish heritage and culture supported this and how much it is part of us as people. It became clear to me when I moved to the U.S. and my neighbors looked at me funny when I would sit outside on the grass and just enjoy mother nature without having any other purpose :)
While visiting in Finland this month, I came across an article about Finland being the first country to honor and recognize nature as a nationally celebrated entity. The celebration will be year long in 2017 which happens to be Finland's 100 year independence celebration year, I'm sure this is not by accident. National Geographic and other well-known sources and travel medias have named Finland "One of the Best Places to visit in 2017". Partly why the news has made waves internationally is the emphasis on nature and programming centered around nature.
Finns feels that nature is part of our soul- it's where we go to gather strength, inspiration and happiness. It's part of our well-being as a nation and people. There's nothing better than being outside in the woods with fresh air surrounded by pure berries and mushrooms or pure snow in the winter. It makes me grateful to come from a country where old values mix in effortlessly with new modern ideals.
Many of my friends from other countries have been amazed by Finland mainly because of the contrasts. You can stay in the most modern hotel, use the newest technology, see people from all around the world and within 15 minutes you can be standing in the woods, see not a soul and have it be quiet around you. They are also always shocked by the purity of nature. You can pick berries and eat them from your basket or drink the water from a crystal clear pond.
If you are thinking about your next travel destination or just need a place to clear your head, or regroup and connect with nature, consider Finland! I know I'm biased but nothing beats the beauty of the purest land in the world. And I'm sure this helps you understand why we always emphasize and highlight the source of our super berries and medicinal mushroom.
PS: We'll be celebrating the four designated dates with recipes and fun facts so stay tuned. If you want to learn more, visit luonnonpaivat.fi.