Europe is blessed with more than 40 beautiful countries and each one of them is unique in terms of history, landscape, art and culture. Russia and Finland are two such wonderful gems.
While Finland offers some of the most distinct natural phenomenon like the Northern Lights and spectacular fjords, Russia is known for its picturesque vistas, historical cities and some of the world’s best literature and art works.
Both Finland and Russia share a natural border with easy accessibility, which makes it very convenient for travelers wanting to cover both countries in one trip.
If you’re thinking of visiting both Finland and Russia, the following are the main highlights you shouldn’t miss on your first trip.
Ever since same-sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands in 2001 (props to the Netherlands for always being at the front of progressive change), the legalization of same-sex marriage has snowballed throughout the world.
28 countries (26 with another two pending) now legally recognize the right for same sex couples to marry, so if you’re part of the LGBTQI community, and want to travel, live overseas, or plan a destination wedding, these countries will recognize your right.
More than 760 million people now live in countries where same-sex marriage is legal, and I encourage all travelers to support those countries at the forefront of equality and recognition of human rights. I also have one thing to say to my own country, in a slogan they coined: Australia, where the bloody hell are you?
Europe is one of the best places in the world to experience art and culture, and the continent’s expansive history has created a very diverse cultural experience.
The next time you visit Europe, spend time taking in museums, galleries, music venues, and events. If you plan to visit the following cultural cities of Europe, you won’t be disappointed. The following are just a few experiences you should add to your cultural bucketlist.
Southern Finland is a unique and somewhat magical destination, made up of 40,000 islands and islets scattered over a fascinating archipelago, a vibrant European capital city, colourful Scandinavian wooden houses, and thousands of lakes and dense forests.
It is a destination on the rise with a lot to offer, especially in terms of untouched arctic and subarctic nature. Though Southern Finland isn’t just vast expanses of pristine wilderness. “Vibrant cities offer a cutting-edge urban space with world-renowned design and music scenes. There is a spectacular ensemble of modern and stately architecture, and island restaurants” serving Nordic gastronomy.
The summer months see endless days, replaced by the northern lights during winter. Though regardless of the season, the following southern destinations should feature on your Finnish adventure this year!
There are many, many reasons you should purchase health insurance when traveling abroad, the most obvious being to protect yourself in the case of an emergency, though some countries are beginning to require health coverage as a mandatory condition of entry, meaning travelers no longer have the choice to travel without a plan.
Expat hubs around the world are beginning to require mandatory health insurance before issuing a visa, and more and more countries are deciding to refuse entry without it. Many travelers don’t realize that without the correct insurance, they could be turned away from the destination they are visiting before they make it past airport arrivals.
The following countries are among those jumping on the trend of making health insurance mandatory for those wishing to travel or live overseas.
Located above the Arctic Circle (from the “capital city” Rovaniemi in the south all the way up to Utsjoki in the north), Finnish Lapland is an exotic region in northern Finland sculpted by round-shaped rugged mountains (tunturi), extensive pine forests (taiga), treeless flat lands (tundra), pristine lakes and rivers with gold nuggets.
Lapland is a unique destination which casts a powerful spell. Offering a wide array of activities for any nature lover, and with a certain sense of magic in the air, travelers visit for the midnight sun, the Sámi peoples, the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) and roaming reindeer.
This is as close as reality gets for those who dream of a winter wonderland, and even with four very distinct seasons, contrasts are a key factor in the allure here; where 24-hour sunlight in the summer replaces the dark winter days, and the hustle and bustle of towns and ski resorts is just minutes away from the peace and quiet of the wild wilderness.
One of the world’s most dazzling natural phenomenons, few travel experiences can top witnessing the Northern Lights. Also known as Aurora Borealis, this is mother nature’s most impressive light show, and something almost every traveler has at the top of their bucketlist.
Though you may not have to travel as remotely as you think in order to catch a glimpse. While most of the following destinations are close to the Arctic, you can often expect sightings as far south as the United Kingdom, or, if you’re in the southern hemisphere, catch the equally as impressive Southern Lights in Australia instead.
It’s important to note that there is no exact science to seeing the Northern Lights, and that there’s never any guarantee. Though from the northernmost fjords of Norway to the snow-enveloped wilderness of Alaska, here are some of your best bets.