What do you like about Finland?
The people and the nature. The people are really friendly, smiling and very generous. The wilderness here is so peaceful and the perfect place to just escape from the world. I don't read any news so I have no idea what is going on - and I like it that way - nothing to worry about and a sense of freedom that you cannot get at home.
Describe a typical day at Nellim or Muotka
I have great fun in the snow and under the Northern Lights. A typical day for me would be to wake up in the morning and prepare for my groups day time activity, be it snowmobiling, reindeer day, snowshoeing etc. Then time for a quick breakfast before spending the day outside in this beautiful country. When I return I would check all of the rooms, prepare the programmes and make everything spic and span for the new arrivals. I will chat to the clients to hear about their day and listen to countless amusing Husky stories. After dinner would be my welcoming of the new guests and kitting them all out with suits and boots ready for their activities which typically start the morning after their arrival. Then it's time to prepare and have an evening activity under the dancing lights, and return around 12pm with some very happy clients, ready for a sauna and bed!
What is your favourite winter activity?
I particularly enjoy the reindeer day as it involves so much. Driving snowmobiles, visiting and learning about the reindeer which are fascinating animals. Ice-fishing is included on this day as well as an outside lunch, a trip to the Russian border and also the beautiful church. The variety is what makes it the best for me.
Which month is your favourite?
March, because you have beautiful sunshine during the day which reflects off the snow and makes everything look even more stunning, and then it is still dark at night to see the Northern Lights during the night.
What’s your favourite client memory of the season?
I would say lying in the middle of Lake Inari with some Aurora Zone clients flat on our back and just watching the Northern Lights which were putting on an amazing display. We didn't know where to look because the lights were everywhere and it was just a very special moment.
What advice would you give to anyone considering an Aurora Zone holiday?
Nellim and Muotka have a fantastic Northern Light record, but you should always come with an open mind. Have no expectations of seeing the Northern Lights - they are the only thing that nobody can control. If you see them, what a fantastic bonus, but if not hopefully you have had enough fun and created some special memories on the trip that it won't matter too much. Also dress in natural materials not synthetic - wool is by far the best.
Credit: Anthony Oberlin