Our new favorite travel trend.
When it comes to travel trends, there are certain buzzwords that tend to elicit a knee-jerk reaction. Last year, we couldn’t seem to escape the grips of hygge. The Danish term for coziness, hygge was endorsed wholeheartedly by lifestyle hotels and trendsetters the world over and everything from cozy socks to those itchy wool sweaters everyone got in Iceland were in high demand. While hygge’s not necessarily going anywhere (who doesn’t love to be cozy when they’re on vacay?), this year, a new Scandinavian word has emerged, and this time it’s from Sweden. Allow us to introduce you to lagom.
As the story goes, lagom (pronounced lah-gom) is believed to derive from Viking times and was used as a measurement for knowing how much mead one should drink from the horn that was being passed around in a circle of friends. It was as much a metaphor for moderation that has been passed on through the generations and today, it’s a belief system that is applied to just about everything in Swedish culture.
Not to be confused as a trend or passing phase, Lagom is a distinctly Swedish ethos that when loosely translated means “not too much, not too little.” In other words, it’s about moderation and balance. But it’s so much more than that. “When it comes to travel it’s about getting back to basics and connecting with who and what’s around you,” said Niki Brantmark, author of the book Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living A Balanced, Happy Life. “It doesn’t have to be lavish or extravagant, it can be as simple as getting in your car and going on a road trip or camping with a few close friends.”
So no matter where you choose to go in the world or how you decide to find your sense of balance, from a road trip through Badlands National Park in South Dakota to an eco-friendly surf camp in Costa Rica, here are 10 places where you can reconnect with yourself, your friends, and your surroundings in the most lagom way possible this year.
An Eco-Friendly Lodge
WHERE: Swedish Lapland
A former logging cabin turned eco-friendly wilderness retreat, Loggers Lodge is a rustic locale set deep within the forest, and save for the running river nearby, it’s completely enshrouded by nature. In keeping with the Swedish aesthetic of seamlessly matching minimalism with high-end design, at the center of the lodge a glassed encased fireplace keeps the space well heated. Don’t miss the wood-fired sauna or the chance to get up close and personal with the reindeer that roam the property.
WHERE: Marfa, Texas
Set on 21-acres on the outskirts of Marfa, Texas, El Cosmico is a boutique campsite comprised of restored vintage trailers, Sioux-style tepees, and yurts. The campsite offers a unique experience to get back in touch with yourself and your surroundings. With access to several communal common spaces like a hammock grove, an outdoor kitchen, and a dining area as well as a community lounge, popular activities range from stargazing and biking to exploring the artistic community of Marfa.
Nestled along a remote lakeside in Southern Norway, Canvas Hotel consists of nine Mongolian-style yurts that are designed for mountain bikers and nature lovers alike. While there’s no electricity or running water available here, the hotel features a sauna yurt, which is a perfect way to soak in the remote Norwegian wilderness.
Under Canvas Zion
Bordering Zion National Park and nestled beside the majestic red rocks, Under Canvas Zion is a 196-acre safari-inspired glamping resort and a great place to center your balance. Enjoy breakfast at the on-site restaurant before setting off with friends for a day of hiking, mountain climbing, and canyoneering. Of course, it wouldn’t be glamping without an in-tent massage, which is also available upon request.
One of the most breathtaking regions in North America, the Pacific Northwest is easily one of the most majestic places when it comes to all things natural beauty. Located along the Columbia River near the border of Washington and Oregon, the Treehouses at Skamania Lodge are nestled within the Douglas firs pines. The interior design of the rooms perfectly reflects the lodges peaceful surroundings.
Sylvan Lake Lodge
WHERE: South Dakota
One of the most breathtaking states in the continental U.S., South Dakota is home to some of the country’s most captivating and rugged landscapes from Black Hills National Forest and Badlands National Park to Custer State Park. After a day of hiking and buffalo spotting (this is where the buffalo roam, after all) take in the gorgeous scenery along Needles Highway before cozying up with a glass of locally made fruit wine in the Great room at Sylvan Lake Lodge.
After devastating fires swept through Northern California last year, Sonoma and Napa are once again open for business. Beltane Ranch, in the heart of Sonoma County, is a family-owned Victorian style ranch home turned bed and breakfast. Enjoy a picnic on the property, take a stroll through the on-site organic garden, or cozy up by the fireplace. Whatever you do, don’t miss a chance to enjoy a glass of wine as you watch the sunset from the property’s side patio.
137 Pillars House
A far cry from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand strikes the perfect balance between traditional and contemporary when it comes to all things food and lodgings. Gorge on the bounty of amazing northern Thai cuisine, enjoy a Thai massage, hit the local markets, or go for a trek in the jungle. Stay in the elegantly restored 137 Pillars House just west of the Ping river for a chance to really escape it all.
WHERE: Costa Rica
Nothing says connecting with yourself and nature like hitting the surf in Costa Rica. When it comes to surf retreats, there’s certainly no shortage to choose from. Nestled between the tropical rainforest and sandy beaches in Malais, Costa Rica, Pura Vida Adventures offers beachfront rooms and women’s only as well as coed retreats for every level of surfer. Meanwhile on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, Safari Surf School is another all-inclusive program that promises that you’ll wake up to the sound of howler monkeys before waxing your boards and hitting the surf each day.
The Ranch at Rock Creek
Described as a Western adventure ranch meets all-inclusive luxury getaway, The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana offers everything from fly fishing to horseback riding. With a total of 29 rooms to choose from, the property even offers guided treks led by certified master naturalists where you will learn about tracking wildlife, animal migration and habitats, and the local flora, fauna, and geology found in Western Montana.
The Riverside Farm Lodge
In northern Norway, surrounded by beautiful fjords, pastoral farms, and rugged mountains, The Riverside Farm Lodge is designed to give you that home away from home kind of vibe. Guests are invited to meet and mingle with local farmers in the area or go hiking, fly-fishing, or rowing in traditional rowboats. In the winter months, skiing and snowshoeing are popular activities. At night, dinner fireside in the hotel’s smokehouse is the perfect place to unwind.