Finland was recently named the world’s happiest country for the second year running after topping the United Nation’s 2019 World Happiness Report, which ranked 156 countries by assessing factors like life expectancy, social support and corruption.
But rather than merely bragging about the impressive accolade, Finland has decided to give something back to the rest of the world, having offered free summer vacations to the cheery nation.
A sign in front of a restaurant in Helsinki tells passers-by to ‘have a nice day’. Credit: PA
The new campaign, called Rent a Finn, has been launched by Visit Finland. Keen to get people to enjoy the happiness that Finland has to offer, the country is giving away free, three-day holidays, where guests will get to stay with locals.
Eight Finnish host families were chosen from across the country, who will become local tour guides – or ‘Happiness Guides’.
You can even browse the potential hosts on offer, including Lakeland-based Timo, nature-lover Petri, and Linda and Niko – who live in the middle of the Baltic Sea with their chihuahua, Helmi.
A press release from Visit Finland states: “Finns are opening their homes and lives and welcoming visitors to experience how to reconnect with nature. Finnish nature with a local guide is the perfect way to find your calm.
You’ll get to say with ‘Happiness Guides’. Credit: PA
“The Happiness Guides will host travellers for three summer days and introduce them to Finnish nature through their own activities.
“Experiences can be anything from visiting a national park to spending a weekend fishing at a real summer cottage, berry picking in the wilderness, enjoying a proper Finnish sauna – basically all the things that we Finns love to do in nature and what makes Finland the happiest country in the world.”
Joonas Halla, PR and media manager, added: “We wanted to have ordinary Finns that wanted to tell an authentic story and show the beautiful nature of Finland to their guests.”
Helsinki, Finland. Credit: PA
Fancy applying? Stupid question, I know.
To be in with chance of securing a free jaunt to Finland, you’ll have to tell the country about yourself in a short video, and talk about your connection to nature and why you’d want to go to Finland.
You then have to fill out a form on the Rent a Finn website, attaching the video.
Visit Finland will then reach out to the visitors they’ve chosen.
Sounds easy enough – although you don’t have long, as applications are only open from now until 14 April.
Featured Image Credit: PA