4 Reasons Why Norway is the Best Country on Earth
4 Reasons Why Norway is the Best Country on Earth
First off, let's get something straight, we don't say "best country on Earth" lightly.
However, with it's perfect mix of people, seasons, attractions, beauty and culture, Oslo might just take the prize over all the major cities other tourists flock to.
Scandinavia has a certain feeling to it, a feeling I have felt nowhere else on Earth. I don't want to say its purely attributed to the fact that the countries up there - Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland - seem to just "get it", but it might actually be that simple.
There comes a point in everyones life, traveler or otherwise, when you start to look around you when you're on the road and think "hmm, could I live here?" While that might happen the first time you go to Amsterdam when you're 18 with the lads or when you stumble out of a full moon party in Thailand and say "I'm totally f@$%ing moving here!" - at a certain point everyone wants to find their place in the world.
Growing up in the US, it was pounded into my brain that America was the best country on Earth and anyone thinking otherwise was a terrorist. I'm lucky to say I've been able to escape into the world and discover quite the opposite - and that there are far less terrorists than Fox News led me to believe.
Ok, let's get back on track. The simple fact is that Norwegians just seem to do life a bit better than everyone else. You'd swear they have a magic manual, but its really quite simple - not sure how the rest of us got so off track.
1 - The Natural Beauty
Few countries on Earth have the downright stunning natural beauty that Norway does - and unlike most capital cities, you will fall in love with the land the second you step foot in Oslo. We woke up bright and early, stuffed our faces at the amazing "Super Breakfast" at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia and headed out for a day of adventure to work off all the delicious bacon we'd eaten.
** Check out our complete hotel review HERE **
Five minutes later and we were on the water, surrounded by beautiful blue skies, green fields, old wooden boats and ancient castles - in the middle of the city!
Head outside of Oslo and you'll disappear into the past, into a world you thought was reserved for fantasy movies - the stuff of dreams.
From mountains, to fjords, beautiful likes, to cliffs, the midnight sun, northern lights, I mean seriously, what more could you want?
2 - The People
The people of a country are usually commented on first by any traveler, whether good or bad, but the people of Norway seem to have a smile on their faces that is so deep and genuine that just seeing a stranger smile can feel like taking a much needed deep breath - real "faith in humanity" type stuff.
Anne and I tend to be the types of travelers who throw out the maps, ditch the guide books and just get lost. On our recent trip we averaged over 10k walking a day, over nearly a month. In somewhere like New York City you might not feel as comfortable asking strangers and shop keepers for directions, but in Norway we looked for any excuse to speak with locals.
3. The Food
If you've ever traveled before you'll most likely have developed a deep passion for trying local foods almost as soon as you arrive in a new country. Arriving in Bangkok - bring me to the street food. New to Italy - show me the most hidden hole in the wall spot. You get the idea.
However, most holidays leave you feeling like human garbage when you get back home, because no matter how delicious the food is it makes you'll weigh 10kg more when you get home!
What makes Norway so different? They're food is naturally organic, because they never lost track of what is important and their food has remained the same - healthy and hearty - for centuries. Dark, grainy breads, thick hearty and healthy soups, light fish, colorful veggies - eat all you want, its both delicious and good for you!
FUN FACT! Guess who introduced the Japanese to salmon in sushi? Thats right, thank Norway.
The food will give you the energy to explore, zero guilt and you'll feel fantastic - all while being reminded of the way food should make you feel. Like we said, truly back to basics.
4. The Seasons
Ok, I know this might not be unique to Norway, or Europe for that matter, but living in Dubai we absolutely crave the seasons. No, "hot", "hotter" and "holy sh&! I'm melting!" are not seasons. There is a certain smell in the air during the autumn, a silence in the show during the winter and a freshness to a clear summer breeze that Norway has we simply don't get in Dubai.
You get the best of all worlds. Endless summer days filled with friends and laughter outdoors, fishing, hiking, adventuring. Winter nights are full of hot cocoa, sitting by the fire and viewing the northern lights nearly whenever you want. Those first few days of spring bring life back into your soul after a long winter and those first leaves turning in September remind you of the natural cycle of things.
Maybe others wouldn't comment on the love of the seasons as we do, but having lived in perpetual summer for the better part of the last 15 year in Los Angeles, Thailand and Dubai, I can't think of anything better than a warm sweater, a bowl of fish soup and some good friends - all of which we found in abundance in Norway - or dream of finding some day.
So there you have it, our reasons why Norway is the best country in the world - agree? disagree? Let us know and we'll tell you why you're wrong!