Is Finland the Most Underrated Digital Nomad Destination?
Is the world’s happiest country also the most underrated digital nomad destination?
In November 2021, I bought a flight from JFK to Helsinki 12 hours before it departed. This was about as spontaneous as decisions get.
Introverted Culture = Productivity
I was sitting my hotel lobby eating breakfast, and noticed that the hotel worker was delicately taking away the dirty plates, making sure that they didn’t clang together. He would calmly sort the silverware to not make a noise. American cafe workers seem unnecessarily aggressive, dragging chairs across the floor to clean them. Finnish cafes are truly quiet, and you see everyone speaking softly, except the occasional tourists.
I saw the tram line in Helsinki go past me outside the window, yet it did not make a noise. And all the commuters were walking in silence on this cold November morning. No cars ever honked.
Everything Works 100% of the Time
Nothing in my hotels were ever broken or out of order. Not a single un-dusted corner or stain in sight. If you stay in a budget hotel in the U.S, the furniture will be dented and the carpet may be stained. In my travels, there was usually at least one thing wrong with the room, from sewer gas coming out of the shower drains in Mexico to a broken shower head.
Clean Air / Clean Tap Water
If you grew up drinking tap water, you forget how good this privilege is, until it is taken away from you. I drink a ton of water. Buying bottled water, and then having your apartment full of empty water bottles feels wasteful. The worst is when you are thirsty in the middle of the night, and have to go walk to a convenience store at 2 AM.
The transactional conversations digital nomads have can wear a lonely traveller down. Everything seems like it starts with a “where are you from..how long are you traveling for?” And then you meet the dreaded travelers that are overcritical of their home countries. In all the digital nomad hotspots, I was bombarded with smalltalk. The Finnish hate smalltalk as much as I do, and I appreciated having meaningful conversations all the time.