Norway is beautiful. However, a recent trip to the fjords has opened our eyes to the fact that there are many more great fantastic facets of this country that we love. The air is clean, the crime rate is low and people everywhere are happy and friendly.
Life in any country has its ups and downs but there are some great aspects of living in Norway that we feel could be adopted here. This article will not just make you want to go on holiday to Norway but will make you seriously consider moving there.
One of the coolest things we learnt during our trip is that Norwegians are so proud of their nature that they want to share it with everyone. Allemannsrett is the name of a country-wide law that translates to mean ‘all men’s right’. It allows anyone (foreign visitor or travelling native) to camp and hike wherever they like and enjoy the breathtaking surroundings. Obviously, there are a few restrictions protecting private property but, in general, the outdoors is there to be explored.
The same law governs natural food sources, meaning you are free to fish and forage wherever you like and take anything you procure home to eat. This even extends to holidaymakers who arrive for fishing trips and then return to their own country with the catch.
Many people like to have a moan about the state of Britain’s roads and the toll charges required to drive on some of them, but it seems Norway has a different attitude to its infrastructure. To start with, tunnels are needed in many remote areas to cut through the mountains and provide faster routes. There is typically a toll placed on these but as soon as the money spent on creating the roads and tunnels is recouped, the charges are lifted.
Efforts are also made to help really remote communities to stay connected to the road network. Regular ferries are on-hand to take you where cars cannot travel and we even saw small sections of houses that had their own private tunnel which gave them immediate access to the highway.
Tax is another thing that we love to grumble about in the UK, but Norwegians arguably have more to complain about. Personal taxes are high, but this is balanced by great employee benefits (paternity leave, paid holiday etc.) and a number of tax breaks offered by the state.
Back in 2014, inheritance tax was scrapped, but many of the other incentives relate to transport. Norway has the highest number of electric cars per capita in the world thanks to appealing tax breaks and benefits such as free parking. Plus, you are free to adapt any car by removing the rear seats and thus save significant amounts on your road tax. Vehicle owners that have taken advantage of this can be clearly identified by the green registration plates on their cars.
If you would like to see the fjords, or any part of Norway, for yourself, talk to the TravelQuest team about planning your next trip. We have travel agents in Woodbridge and Ipswich but you can also call us on 0800 021 3237.