“On an early February evening, my best friend and I found ourselves boarding a Dreamliner 787 aircraft bound for Norway. Escaping the frigid February blues of New York City to venture through the Arctic circle for a week? I mean, why not? And if we were going to travel north, we might as well go all the way up to the arctic capital, Tromsø. It may seem counter-intuitive, but if there is anything my time in Norway taught me, it was to lean into those cold weather conditions and embrace a koselig way of life.

So what exactly does the Norwegian word koselig mean? Well, the direct English translation means “cozy” but the meaning is much deeper. A koselig lifestyle embraces winter with that warm and fuzzy feeling, a sense of community, friendship, family, and respect for the little things in life. It can be as simple as making a cup of tea after an especially chilly day or enjoying dinner with friends by candlelight. It just so happened that in Tromsø we were enjoying that cup of tea after an afternoon of feeding reindeer, or under the dancing northern lights or on the top of a cliff after snowshoe hiking with an adventurous group of new friends. All of these were moments that I will never forget. And guess what? With a new-found koselig appreciation, those arctic temperatures didn’t bother me (too much).”

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