The art of being cosy
The Danish philosophy of hygge invites you to truly relax by revelling in good company, natural fibres and nature-bound locales. Here’s how you can transform your travel experience from stress case to snuggle bunny
Embrace travel during the winter months with 7 tips to stay 'hygge'
It’s the perfect way to spend a chilly winter’s evening: snuggled up around the campfire, feeling oh-so cosy and warm and swapping yarns with a few favourite friends. There’s something delicious in your mug, a soft glow from the fire, and a distinct feeling of contentment amongst your happy crowd.
If you didn’t already know it, this version of the best winter’s night possible is classic hygge — the distinctly Danish philosophy for living that has the internet in a buzz. Pronounced ‘hoo-gah’, hygge roughly translates as the art of cosiness, and it’s all about relaxing in one happy, shared, indulgent moment.
To cultivate hygge, the Danish believe that you need to make time for activities and rituals that connect you with others, indulge your senses and make you feel peaceful and content. It’s a recipe for ‘cosiness of the soul’ and you can feel it with friends or even on your own.
As a traveller, you might experience hygge as you are casting a line on a windswept beach at dawn, taking a slow walk or practicing yoga. You could snuggle up with a good book in a favourite, candle-lit nook, and you can definitely experience hygge while stirring a pot of a rich hot chocolate or toasting the perfect marshmallow over glowing hot coals.
In essence, anything that can help you to feel relaxed, calm and at ease, has hygge at its core.
HYGGE ON THE ROAD
There are some delightful elements to hygge that can be easily incorporated into the caravan lifestyle as well.
For starters, Danes ignite their work and home spaces with soft, warming light. Think natural, unscented candles over harsh electric lights, or Earth-friendly (and fire
safe) solar lights. You could place a tea light candle inside half a juiced orange for a soft, safe glow that won’t burn down the caravan, or step outside and pull your camp chair a little closer to a good campfire.
Textiles are another important element of cultivating hygge so wrap yourself with soft, warming fabrics this winter. Blankets, beanies, bedding and clothes can all be hygge and the Danish insist on natural fibres first. That means wool, cotton, silk and bamboo over synthetics, and earthy materials — wood, clay and porcelain — over plastic, steel and glass.
Plants are especially hygge, which makes bushwalking the perfect way to ground yourself, especially when you pull on a hand-knitted woollen jumper and pack a thermos of indulgent hot chocolate or perhaps sweet, milky tea.
The very best part of hygge relates to eating, because to embrace hygge means to take regular mini-breaks from your healthy eating regime and treat yourself with the right kind of sweetness to make you smile. Lots of things that begin with the letter C feature here: chocolate, coffee, cake, cookies … you get the idea?
Recent studies have proven that feeling a deep connection with others is the real key to happiness — not wealth or good health or some other kind of sporting or work success. Ultimately, scientists say, it’s the quality of our relationships with others that makes us smile, so indulge in a little hygge with your tribe this winter.
“Pronounced ‘hoo-gah’, hygge roughly translates as the art of cosiness, and it’s all about relaxing in one
happy, shared, indulgent moment”