August 13, 2015
As usual, the summer has really flown by, and I’m sure most of us are wishing that it would just continue on (although parents with school-aged children may disagree)!
Most of us are finishing up the last of our summer holidays (and already looking forward to next year’s trip, only 365 days to go!). I hate to say it, but autumn is right around the corner. In fact, I’ve already begun to see Halloween decorations out for sale. I’m sure you agree with me when I say that there is no need to rush these last few precious weeks of summer!
I know that many Scandinavians (and most of Europe) are just finishing up their holiday as well (albeit they get much more vacation time than us Americans). Many Danes are currently bidding farvel to the beautiful countryside and picturesque views they had from their vacation homes in places like North Jutland, and the islands of Rømø and Fanø, eastern Funen, Falster and Bornholm.
Perhaps some are just coming back home from a Højskole, folk high school associated with Danish philosopher, poet, and educational thinker N.F.S Grundtvig (1783-1872), and typically geared toward 18-24 year-olds to increase their general and academic insight and skills and to enhance the ability and desire to take responsibility for their own life.
As it would appear, Danes obviously have a firm understanding of what a healthy work-life balance means, which just may play a role in their well-known happiness factor.
There are many reasons why Danes are known as some of the happiest people in the world. Even though this year they have slipped to the #3 spot in the World Happiness Report after Switzerland and Iceland, but I’m sure they’re still happy with that!
Danes average about 6 weeks of paid vacation per year. With schools off for summer break, many European and Scandinavian businesses shut down for a period of time, which makes taking a vacation much easier to do. Our American work culture makes it difficult for most of us to even use all of our vacation time each year (on average 41% of Americans don’t use vacation time), which pales in comparison to much of Europe.
So, while you’ve still got a bit of summer left get out and enjoy a nice holiday! Or, at the very least, enjoy a wonderful “staycation” and practice this important Danish summer phrase:
“Hvor er det hyggeligt!” (Rough translation: Isn’t this cozy? We’re having such a nice time!)
Do you have a favorite place to vacation?
Speaking of vacation (or ‘staycation’) enter this month’s giveaway to win some fantastic summer reading from Danish author Hans Christian Andersen!!