As a 19-year-old, I visited my Finnish wife (then girlfriend) and her family for the first time in Helsinki. And during that trip ten years ago, my mother-in-law asked me, “What do you like most about Finland?”
I told her I loved its simplicity. But instead of nodding approvingly, my mother-in-law’s eyebrows rose. She looked terribly offended; I assured her that I wasn’t criticising the people. This Nordic country, I explained, impressed me with its abundance of simple treasures. With saunas; summer cottages; “baby boxes” full of supplies for new parents; and Everyman’s Right, which gives everyone permission to roam the forests and countryside; Finland is a nation where people know how to live well by living simply.
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