List: Packing for Finland is different than packing for Hawaii

I’m in Finland this week, so I wrote this post last week, when I should have been packing for this trip. Look for an update once I’m back. I’ll probably write it instead of unpacking.

The last time I went on vacation, it was to a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific, and the weather forecast was in the mid-70s for the entire 10 days. I struggle with consistency, so this time, I’m heading to northern Finland, where the temperature is unlikely to creep above the single digits.

Packing for this trip was a little different.

  • No swimsuit required. Finnish Lapland in February is not a beach destination. Finns are big on saunas, but everything I’ve read assures me that it would be weird of me to wear a swimsuit there. I didn’t pack a swimsuit, so I really hope this is the case. Birthday suit it is.
  • Swapping out swim fins for skis. Again, no plans to get in the water, unless it’s in a survival suit while I’m aboard the Polar Explorer Icebreaker. (I am SO EXCITED about this.) Our Nordic skis, however, are along for the ride. Will the airline lose them? Will I turn around too quickly and knock someone out with them as I lug them through the airport?! Only time will tell.
  • So, so, so many layers. We’re headed to the home of Santa Claus, where reindeer prance around with frozen snotsicles hanging from their furry nostrils. February is the coldest month of the year. My long underwear game is strong.

A few things, however, remained the same. Okay, one thing: I left packing until the absolute last possible second. Good thing I learned a few phrases in Finnish, so I can ask the locals where to find all the things I’ve inevitably forgotten.


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