It’s slowly starting to show the minus-sign on the thermometer in the mornings, and it’s getting darker and darker outside. For people coming to Norway for the first time, they often wonder how Norwegians actually cope with the long, dark winters. How do you manage to stay positive when it’s dark when you go to work – and dark when you go home? Here are some tips from experienced Norwegians on how to prepare yourself for a trip to the North.
1. Enjoy the sunlight when it’s there. After a few days, you realize that you need to make the most of the sunlight when you have it, because when it gets dark it gets REALLY dark. This means going out to get some light on your face during the day, every day. If you don’t think that it’s appropriate to leave work to stand outside gazing towards the sky, just pretend to be a smoker. 😉
2. Enjoy the benefits of the darkness! Let’s face it, when it’s dark there are plenty of advantages – you can watch TV with no sunlight ruining your vision, you can make hot cocoa and eat chocolate and not feel guilty about not being outside. Norwegians actually have a tendency to feel like they HAVE to be outside when the weather is really nice – so why not behave like them and enjoy the indoors when you have the chance?
3. The fact that it’s dark is actually the main reason why you might be able to see the magnificent Northern Lights many places in Norway during the winter. So we should be thankful for it! If you have the chance, get dressed and go outside to see if you can find the lights that dance in the sky above you.
4. Speaking of getting dressed… The key to a happy Norwegian is actually how we dress to avoid the cold. This means good winter shoes, several layers of clothes, something to cover your head and fingers and last but not least: wool. It’s about a million times better to be warm when it’s dark than to be both freezing and trapped in the darkness at the same time.
5. And the last tip: enjoy the dark season together with other people! Experiences are better when we share them, especially whilst travelling and getting to know another country. When you travel, you meet new cultures and people and hopefully get new views on both yourself and others. Is there any better way of doing this than to stay in hostels along your way? Here you meet other travelers from all over the world and get the chance to make new friends whilst making the most of your travel budget. Book your winter stay at hihostels.no
If you choose to travel in Norway during the dark season and follow the tips above, we believe you will have experiences you will never forget. God tur!
Article written by Ragna Skøien
Cover picture taken by Markus Trienke