The Simple Life in Finland

Saunas and Silence by Trevor Corson
The Atlantic, April 2009

"On the drive to my first Mökki, the roads twisted through green fields of barley and rye and stunning yellow swaths of rapeseed. Sturdy red farmhouses and barns were scattered across the countryside. We arrived at a lake, and there in the woods was a very small, very charming cabin. My friends unloaded our supply of drinking water—which, in accordance with Mökki tradition, consisted primarily of beer—and built a fire to heat the sauna. Someone pointed out the rowboat at the shoreline, noting that a rowboat and a sauna were the only two pieces of equipment necessary for Mökki living."

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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