As a Dutchman, I may feel closer to the Scandinavians than any other European people. They speak perfect English, they have great taste in fashion, architecture and furniture, and their sense of humor matches ours.

What makes them unique, though, is how they embrace the seasons. It may be the fact that the days are so ridiculously short in winter, while every day seems bathed in sunlight in summer. It’s no surprise they celebrate Midsommar, the festival of light, on the longest day of the year here.

The other reason might be that nature is just so wild here, that it’s impossible not to feel in awe. The intimidating Norwegian fjords, the immense forests in southern Sweden, the lakes… It makes me aware of how we should be a bit more careful with the few bits of wilderness we have left in our own little country.