In the middle of nowhere you will find a magical place. A place like no other place you have seen and yet, still familiar somehow inside of your mind.

A place where you don’t have everything you want and yet, you feel as if you don’t need anything else in the world. A place where magic and technology become one as they keep you protected from the harsh cold of the outside world.

A place where the impossible is just a mental block and where everything can happen. But of course, you have to be alive in order for that to come true, speaking of which…

How to avoid dying in the Winter if you’re Mexican and Handsome

“I cannot feel my fingers. I cannot feel my knees. I cannot feel my b…” I said before my friend Marysia stopped me. “Alright, too much information, dude. I told you that you didn’t come prepared for the winter!!!”

Truth to be told, I thought that a warm winter jacket and some solid boots was all I needed to survive the harsh cold winter of Lapland. I mean, if the ancient Europeans managed to do it without the technology we have today, how hard could it be?

Aren’t human bodies just naturally resilient to both heat and cold? Back in Mexico, people usually start to panic and stay home once the temperature hits 10 Degrees Celsius (we call it Mexothermia over there). Here, it was actually minus 30 Degrees Celsius. Oh-Oh.

Husky Selfie Hell Yeah

Husky Selfie Hell Yeah

The Reindeer bonfire

The reindeer bonfire. Can you believe that reindeer meat is really tasty?

In our first night at Lapland, Mother Nature dared me to survive for two weeks and the natural response was to stare at her in the starry sky and shout: “Challenge accepted”.

Two weeks after, Marysia and I were at our last stop of our journey: The region of Salla, advertised as being in the middle of nowhere. We were almost at the end of the finish line and yet, there was an air of uncertainty and fear about the complete situation.

“This is where I’ll die in mysterious circumstances and nobody will ever suspect my Polish travel companion, right?” I asked Marysia. “Maybe” she replied.

To this day, I still don’t know if she was joking or not.

Eyes are the window to the soul

Eyes are the window to the soul

Sunrise at Lapland

A rare sunrise at Lapland

All about Salla, that magical place in the middle of nowhere

Despite its marketing slogan, Salla is very well connected to other regions of Lapland. And just because it’s in the middle of nowhere that means that we were disconnected form the outside world since at our little yellow cabin in the woods we had more facilities and perks than at the Arctic Resort that is located a few hours north of Salla.

Fast Wi-Fi, sauna inside our cabins and a supermarket that can be easily reached by local bus. Can life get any more perfect? Trust me, it did. To celebrate Marysia’s birthday we were invited by the Salla Tourism Board to take part in epic winter activities to fulfill our Winter Bucketlist.

Besides the now-classic Reindeer and Husky Safaris, I had the opportunity to drive a snowmobile…from the passenger seat. Seriously, I need to get my driving license as soon as possible!

However, the best activity of the day by far was the incredible Reindeer Racing which despite its name it’s not about racing against reindeer but it’s actually an hybrid sport where you put on a pair of ski, grab a rope connected to the reindeer and you let Rudolph drag you along in a circular track.

Suffice to say, I fell a couple of times. Be sure to check Marysia’s birthday article for some epic fail photos of me lying dead on the floor!

A big thank you to all of the companies that sponsored us during our adventure in Salla such as: Arctic Circle Safaris and Kiela Restaurant (Snowmobile and dinner), PAN Village (Accommodation in boutique yellow cabins), Salla Ski Resort (Downhill Skiing), Revontuli Spa (Swimming pools, spa, sauna and dinner) and the Salla Reindeer Park (Husky Safaris, Reindeer Racing, Sauna in the Wilderness, Northern Lights Reindeer expedition, dinner at the starry hut and much more).

Last but not least, don’t forget to use our Booking.com Affiliate Link of Wonders for making hotel reservations.

Same price for you and a small pocket money commission for this website of yours.

Sweet deal, uh?

Snowmobiles in the middle of Nowhere

Snowmobiles in the middle of Nowhere

Inside the Yellow Cabin of the Woods

Inside the Yellow Cabin of the Woods

BONUS: The story of how I became the Lord of the Four Winds

Ever since I was a little boy, I always had a deep emotional connection with Mother Nature and the forces of the wind. Some experts say that it is because I was born in the midst of a thunderstorm while others (specially my psychologist) claims that it’s just because I’m medically insane.

Whatever the case might be, the moment I arrived to Finland, I started to commute more and more with the Mother Nature and I instantly started to empathize with the Sami culture (read more about them here).

You see, we indigenous people of the world share a special bond with the Nature that “civilized” people will never understand and it was during these conversations with the Sami that they accepted me as one of their own.

The Man of Winter

The Lord of the Four Winds

The white fluffiness of the snow in Lapland

That magical place in the middle of nowhere.

“You are now an honorary member of the Sami. Wear your colors proudly and start your quest to heal the world” the shaman told to me.

I would be lying if I say that I recall exactly what happened after that night in the ceremony but suffice to say, next morning I woke up inside of my cabin with a big smile on my face.

That was the unique charm of this magical place in the middle of nowhere. A place of isolation and hope. A place of nature and technology. A place where humans become Gods.

What’s your special place in the middle of nowhere? Would you like to visit Salla? Share your thoughts and let me know what you think!

Lappish Dinner at the Starry Hut

Lappish Dinner at the Starry Hut

Disclaimer: This article was brought to you in collaboration with Visit Salla. Next time you visit Salla, be sure to stop by at the Tourist Information office to know all about the current cultural events that you can enjoy in this wonderful place. Until next time, my friends!

Things to do and see in Salla Finland Lapland

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22 Responses

  1. Andrea

    Sometimes, we are all unprepared for the realities of travelling in the winter months (this coming from a Canadian)! Really enjoyed the bonus story. I can relate to the fact that it is in Mother Nature that I feel most myself. Glad you enjoyed Lapland and survived the frigid temperatures!

  2. Carol Colborn

    Wow how cool is that what you are doing? I love the color yellow so yellow cabins in the middle of all that snow would be like water in the middle of the desert, for me! Thanks for this peek.

  3. Aileen

    Haha, awesome post Raphael! You got me smiling with the winter thing–I had the exact same thoughts. I’ve lived in a tropical country for almost all of my life so I was like “Meh, winter! Piece of cake!” But. It. Was. Not. :))) Learned it the hard way.

    Anyhow, great post! Would love to be in this ‘middle of nowhere’. It looks lovely!

  4. Vanessa

    Being an Ottawa local and being used to -40 degrees Celsius windchill temperature, we still complain about the cold. But one secret that I will share to you and to those who would soon be traveling to a cold place like Salla is that never disregard your feet. Nothing is more miserable as wet, cold feet. So bring a lot of pair of wool socks. It’ll make a lot of difference. Great post Raphael! Another fun to read blog.

  5. Rechito

    I’m heading to Alaska in 10 days and I hope I have the right gear, the longest I’ve spent in cold weather is a day in the local mountains here in southern California. I love that sunrise photo!

  6. Howard @ Backroad Planet

    I am not Mexican, although I lived in Guadalajara for a year when I was in eighth grade and speak fluent Spanish, but I am a 5th-generation Florida Cracker. Hailing from the Sunshine State, I guess that qualifies me as a native of the warmer climes. Still, I am intrigued by the polar and sub-polar regions, and I love winter. Your recent posts have been a treat to read accompanied by the lovely photographs. Thanks, Raphael!

    • Raphael Alexander Zoren

      Thanks Howard, I’m glad you liked the photos! Shooting in the snow it’s kind of hard since the blues overcome the whites most of the time!!! Getting white snow on camera is a big feat! :o

  7. Alli

    I can empathize with that ultra cold weather! It’s hit -38 here in Toronto a couple times this winter so far. Looks like the chilliness was well worth it anyhow! Love the husky selfie!

  8. Bailey K.

    I’m from Texas, so the cold is hard for me, too, even though I love all the cold-weather activities. I’d love to visit the Scandinavian countries. Looks like you had so much fun!

  9. Carina

    I love to read your stories about your adventures in Finland! It makes me feel like I made the right decision with moving here. Can’t wait to explore all these places myself!