Why Hygge Should Be More Than A Trend

Though there are many ways to describe hygge, we see it simply as the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Friends. Family. Graciousness. Contentment. Good feelings. A warm glow. Certainly, hygge is intrinsic to the Danish lifestyle, but this feeling of well-being, so deeply satisfying and cozy, is something we all experience, each in our own way. 

Skagen

I feel blessed in so many ways that I often find myself thinking “what would my life be like without all of different these people in it?” Growing up in a small town in Canada, my mother and three of my grandparents were all foreigners. I think this influenced me to both crave exploring the world myself and cultivate relationships from people of varied backgrounds.

My sister-in-law is Danish and I accept this does NOT make me an expert on the cultural word of the moment, hygge (pronounced “HUE-gah”) , it DOES mean I have watched, learned and embraced what she has shown me over the last 12 years. She presented me last year with a book on hygge and I’d like to take a few moments to discuss why this Danish custom, in so many ways, should be how we embrace life and not just a passing trend.

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Swiss-infused hygge with a slice of Bündner Nusstorte, a roaring fire and a cup of tea in my husband’s London 2012 mug! (for the Bündner Nusstorte recipe link click here)

Hygge began to noticeably gain non-Danish popularity a few winters ago. A quick search on Pinterest will garner thousands of results, normally photos of a warm winter scene with hot drinks, animals, soft lighting and books. With its focus on a cosy and present lifestyle, I can see why people have begun to gravitate towards it. Well-being is something we often overlook to a fault in our modern, busy lives. We are always plugged in, switched on and overly stimulated.  We take our coffees to go, eat in our cars and read books on screens (OK, full disclosure, I do this too even when I’m in hygge-mode).  All this rushing but for what purpose? Is it making us happier? When do we make time for ourselves? To nourish our souls and bodies as they should be?

Hygge is not so much a word as it is actions and feelings: switch off your phone, put comfortable and cozy clothing on, light some candles, light a fire, grab a blanket and book and relax.  We need to take time for ourselves to reconnect with our deep emotions and push out the intrusions of daily life. Take a moment to sit and truly enjoy a hot drink with a piece of cake or pastry without guilt.

If you still struggle with what hygge would mean for you, think of it as taking time to not only ignore push notifications, but to not receive any in the first place.  Why do we feel guilty when we switch off our phones?  Why must we make dramatic announcements about how we are leaving social media to be happier? We should be able to do these things without explanation. That is hygge to me.

We should all thank the Danish for putting into writing the very thing we all need to be doing!

Now go turn your phone off and put the kettle on!

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit:  Fotolia – Alena Ozerova, Jennifer Hart

Thank you, Women in Travel Summit 2017

Despite the jet-lag settling in, I wanted to take 2 minutes to say thank you to the wonderful creators and ladies behind the 2017 Women in Travel Summit. The summit, organised by Wanderful, ‘is the premier event for women travel influencers and industry members.’ Held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, attendees were treated to inspiring luncheon speeches, panels, presentations and heaps of fun! I truly enjoyed my experience meeting other travel influencers, writers and industry members in this female-positive environment.

I spent the days networking, learning and discussing various writing projects, including the anthology I was in Once Upon An Expat. Along the way, I made friends and discussed future writing partnerships. Thank you to the organisers, attendees and all the presenters. See you in Québec City at WITS 2018?

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Photo credit: Women in Travel Summit by Wanderful, Jennifer Hart

 

 

Giveaway: Once Upon An Expat – WINNERS Contacted

Winners of the contest have been contacted. Please check your email to see if you were one of the lucky ones! If not, I am sorry. Copies are available on Amazon in print and Kindle format. Happy summer reading, everyone!!!

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Are you an expat? Traveller? Curious about expat life? Want to read about travelling the world from the comfort of your living room? Then you would absolutely love the anthology Once Upon An Expat …

Source: Giveaway: Once Upon An Expat

Giveaway: Once Upon An Expat

Are you an expat? Traveller? Curious about expat life? Want to read about travelling the world from the comfort of your living room? Then you would absolutely love the anthology Once Upon An Expat that I have a published section in! Written from the heart from real women living around the world, the book will make you laugh, cry and make you want to search online for your next travel adventure!
So, how can you possibly get your hands on a copy? Well, you’re in luck. Both Kindle and paperback version are available here on Amazon.

OR! *drum roll please* you could participate in this contest to win a copy signed by yours truly. Contest is open to participants around the world.

How to enter:
Leave a comment below on this post or email me via the form below and a random draw will take place Sunday 26th of June. Check your mailbox Monday morning and you could be the lucky winner!

Good luck and happy travels!

A World of Stories

There are so many reasons I am proud to be part of this anthology. The biggest reason of all has been making more expat friends around the world. We are the sisterhood of women carving out lives that don’t have a conventional flow. We make it work where we can and laugh and cry together when we can’t. From a fellow co-author…

Margo Catts

A few months after I arrived in Saudi Arabia, I found myself at dinner with a group of teachers. You know, school teachers. Ladies that taught English at Saudi girls’ schools. Old maid school teachers.

Roz (Monsters, Inc.)You got that picture squarely in mind?

Good. Now flush it. Whatever scars you still carry from that time you walked into the teachers’ lounge as a child (teachers? relaxing? aghhh!), it’s time to forget about them. These ladies were cool.

I am now firmly convinced that a memo went around when I was in high school, inviting interested students to come learn how to live an exotic, independent, globe-trotting life, and I missed it. I was never aware that there was more than one path available to humans. High school. College. Job. Maybe marriage. House. Family. The things responsible people do.

These ladies, though, got the memo and went to the meeting. These…

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Once Upon An Expat: Book RELEASE Day!

How exciting!! It is book release day for all of us involved in the amazing project, Once Upon An Expat. I want to personally thank, from the bottom of my heart, Lisa Webb from Canadian Expat Mom for spearheading this project and bringing together women from around the world to share stories with. We have laughed together, cried together and 99% of us have never even met. Something magical took place with the creation of this book and I’m bursting with pride to be a part of it!

So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to Amazon and order your copy today!

Pre-Order Your Kindle Copy TODAY!

  Well isn’t that just the most exciting news you’ve heard all day? I know it is for me! Once Upon an Expat is a collaboration of stories from like minded global souls, who have experienced first hand, what it’s…

Source: Pre-Order Your Kindle Copy TODAY!