Contest: Summer in Finland

Win a free trip to the happiest country in the world

Finland is full of great food, amazing accommodations and breathtaking nature (more than 70% of the country is covered with forest!). Besides, it’s just been named the happiest country for the second year in a row, according to the United Nations World Happiness Report 2019. Now the country has found another way to allow the rest of the world to experience its happiness – it´s called “Rent a Finn”.

The export of Finnish happiness comes from the hands of Visit Finland, the national tourism organization, through a contest that will choose international guests for a nature-based 3-day summer holidays. All for free.

Welcome to Rent a Finn

The idea is that locals can host foreigners to learn from their Finnish way-of-life, which includes a deep connection to nature. “Our secret is in our nature, very literally. When others go to therapy, Finns put on a pair of rubber boots and head to the woods”, Visit Finland states.

Eight ordinary Finns will be the “happiness guides” and share their connection to nature with the contest’s winners.

Laura and Joni, for example, look forward to taking their guest(s) along on one of their weekend trips to Finnish nature. If you are the chosen one, your holidays with them will include trekking, swimming, cooking outdoors and sleeping in a tent or wilderness hut in Lapland.

Or you can choose Petri, a physiotherapist and nature lover who lives with his wife Sini and their dog Ruu in a small village called Mathildedal in Southwest Finland. Their home is in the middle of a national park next to the Baltic Sea.

How to apply for Rent a Finn

To participate in the contest, film a three-minute video where you describe yourself, your connection to nature, and your goals for visiting Finland, and fill out the application form on the website. Winners will travel to Finland this summer for three days, with dates varying by host. All travel and accommodation expenses will be paid by Visit Finland, but keep in mind that you will be filmed throughout your visit. The applications deadline is April 14th.

To first determine whether or not you’re in need of a relaxing getaway to Finland, be sure to take their balance test.

Finland in a nutshell

Finland is a country in Northern Europe with parts of it in the Arctic Circle. It borders the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland. It is located between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. Finland is a Nordic country and is partially considered a Scandinavian country. Its capital is Helsinki.

Finland’s origins go far in the past: 9.000 BC when the last ice age ended. Its population is around 5.52 million people (around 1.4 million live in the Greater Helsinki), and the majority of the population is concentrated in the Southern region. The Northern is in the Arctic Circle.

From the late 13th century, Finland gradually became an integral part of the Swedish Empire through the Northern Crusades. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, and the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office.

Finland became independent following the Russian Revolution in 1917. The year after the country was drowned into a civil war, and ended established as a republic.  During World War II, the Soviet Union tried to occupy Finland, and while it lost parts of its territory, it remained independent.  

Finland industrialized after the 1950s and rapidly developed an advanced economy. The country became known as having an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

Finland is a top performer in education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development.

Want to know more about Finland history. Check this cool animated video.