When we reached Finland for our 12 day trip in the January of 2016, we were asked this one constant question by all our hosts and guides wherever we went. Why Finland? How did you decide you should come freeze your ass off in Finland In January? Well, here goes why!
We (Me and my husband, Shilp) have been thinking of exploring Europe for quite some time now. It has been a particularly hard trip to find time for. Its not like you can just go exploring a whole continent with full time jobs and family commitments.
Last time we started planning the Europe trip was in 2014 Dec, we planned to take 3 weeks off in the summer of 2015. That got cancelled pretty fast when we both decided to move jobs and cities in March. It seemed we will have to wait for next summer and frankly that was way too long to wait. So i started searching about doing the trip in the winter instead.
My initial plan was to do Italy and Paris in the winter, which started to crumble around me when I enquired and found out lots of places are closed for winter, and there is no point in visiting the Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre at that time. Only three weeks wasted!
My next google stop was Australia – New Zealand, which soon crashed and burned when I learnt that its the highest tourist season with school summer vacation in Australia. (I have a kind of phobia of huge touristy crowds doing touristy things, not to mention the peak in the prices that come along with the crowds.) I have been known to plan trips to the best of places in the lowest of seasons. Once, we ended up being the only guests of an awesome hotel in Gangtok and getting fully personalised service at dirt cheap costs 😀
After this, I randomly started googling for off beat things to do and places to visit in the winter season in northern hemisphere when i landed on the watch Aurora Borealis page of the visitFinland website and spent an entire evening on it. And from there the idea began to form.
I discussed with Shilp and since we both have had “watch northern lights” on our bucket lists ever since we came to know of the existence of this phenomenon, we decided, it might be worthwhile to try our luck. I got further encouragement from one of my friends who lives in Finland and another one who had been there the previous winter to celebrate her birthday. A chance to meet overseas friends, who you haven’t met for several years, is never one to be given up on.
And thus the idea was born 🙂