Finland is going to pay for 10 people to visit the European country and attend a masterclass in happiness.
This month, Finland was dubbed the world’s happiest nation for the sixth consecutive year in the annual World Happiness Report.
“A question we often get is: ‘How are you so happy?’ We believe Finnish happiness stems from a close relationship with nature and our down-to-earth lifestyle. It’s not some mystical state, but a skill that can be learned and shared,” Heli Jimenez of Business Finland said.
To that end, Finland’s tourism board is now looking for 10 people from across the world who will bring to the country for free to help unlock their “inner Finn”.
The lucky 10 will attend a four-day “masterclass of happiness” course at the Kuru Resort in the Finnish Lakeland region in June (Finland’s summer). Applications close this weekend on April 2.
“Finland is full of immersive experiences among nature. Our energising forests, charming lakes, and vibrant archipelago landscapes are all perfect places to relax, unwind and get in touch with your inner happiness,” Ms Jimenez said.
“Now we want to help people find and master that Finnish state of mind.
“We’ve chosen the best coaches, one of the most breathtaking resorts in Finland, and a time in the early summer amid the beautiful Finnish nature for our masterclass.
“We feel it’s a really unique opportunity to discover something wonderful and valuable. Anyone curious should definitely apply.”
The application involves a sign-up form and a social media challenge. You can apply individually or with a friend or partner.
If selected, your travel will be covered and you will stay in an exclusive private villa in a resort that is specifically designed with fragrances, sounds and materials to help guests relax. The lakeside resort is located in a pine forest.
You won’t find a television in your room as the resort promotes a “digital detox” but there will be access to Wi-Fi. And each villa has its own spa and sauna.
As for the course, there are four themes – nature crafts, food for the soul and body, exercise in forests and lakes, calming sounds and music – and the Finnish way of life in general. Finnish experts work as your personal coaches.
The course will be held at the resort from June 12 to 15, with 10 chosen participants from around the world arriving on June 11 and leaving on June 16.
The list of happiest nations in the World Happiness Report – that Finland continues to take out the top spot on – is largely based on Gallup World Poll evaluations on matters such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity and corruption.
“Citizens of Finland’s strong feelings of communal support and mutual trust” were factors in helping the country navigate the Covid-19 pandemic and again grab the top spot, authors of the study wrote.
“Additionally, Finlanders felt strongly that they were free to make their own choices, and showed minimal suspicion of government corruption. Both of these factors are strong contributors to overall happiness,” the report continued.
Denmark, Iceland, Israel and the Netherlands rounded out the top five for 2023. New Zealand ranked 10th and Australia came in 12th.