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Swimming Away from my Comfort Zone in Saariselkä

One of the best things about travelling around Finnish Lapland in summer was the sheer number of unique experiences that were available. Even though much of the region shares a very similar geography — rolling fells covered in dense birch and pine forest broken up by hundreds of lakes, which in turn are dotted with…

Jet Skiing to the Island of Horses

Usually, if someone mentions horseback riding, it brings to mind rolling hills in the country and river crossings at the base of epic mountains; it makes me think of being out on my own in the country. One thing I can categorically say I did not think of, prior to my trip to Rovaniemi this…

Great Ways To Spend Ruka’s Long Summer Days

Lapland is a region that is well known for its winter attractions. From dogsledding to northern lights watching, nearly all of the activities that immediately spring to mind when people think of Finland’s north are only available during the coldest months of the year. As a ski resort, Ruka (located just south of Lapland in…

Exploring Helsinki’s Archipelago by Kayak

The idea of an archipelago in a Nordic country used to bring to mind thoughts of Volvos inching down roads made of ice, red wooden saunas barely peeking out of the snow, and hovercrafting. I guess that’s not surprising, since all of my experiences in the Nordics up until this summer were at the height…

Snorkeling…in the Arctic…in WINTER?!

As I sat on the side of the RIB (rigid inflatable boat), looking up at the snow-coated mountains rising out of the sea all around me, I wondered what in the world I had been thinking. Surely I had experienced a moment of temporary madness when I had signed up to snorkel in the Lofoten…

The Truth Is…Scuba Diving Terrifies Me

Ever since my friends that I studied abroad with got their scuba diving certifications, I’ve wanted to get mine too. Why be relegated to the surface when I could go underwater and explore coral reefs, shipwrecks, and the many other hidden treasures of the ocean? The idea fascinated me, but I kept telling myself that…

Swimming with the Dusky Dolphins of Kaikoura

I stood in my flippers, looking out at the calm sea beyond. Dorsal fins cut through the surface in every direction, but instead of being scared, I couldn’t wait to get into the water. As our boat had motored out into the Pacific Ocean, we’d watched two pods of dusky dolphins come together in front…

Fitzroy Island: An Underwater Paradise

Two years ago, my brother and I visited Fitzroy Island on our trip up to the Great Barrier Reef. We’d heard that it was a beautiful spot to go snorkeling and was much nicer than spending an entire day on a boat on the Outer Reef. It really was a beautiful spot, and a great…

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