In the last year I’ve had many ‘pinch me’ blogger moments, but none as exciting as when an email landed in my inbox with the subject line: Visit Finland Bachelor-Inspired Trip. I remember I was walking outside and I literally almost dropped my phone. Was this real life?
Real it was and before I knew it, I found myself on a Finnair flight with my girl Carly and some new aquaintances that quickly (and I mean within hours) became amazing friends. Last week Carly, Mackenzie, Jenn, Dana, Blake, Ashley and I spent six nights and seven days traversing across Lapland, aka the northern region of Finland, experiencing all the activities, hotels and restaurants featured on this season of ABC’s The Bachelor.
We were hosted by Visit Finland who planned the most fun-filled girls’ trip where we really got to immerse ourselves in Finnish culture. From ice dips and saunas, to cross-country skiing and dog-sledding, Finland has no shortage of adventure and excitement. I couldn’t be more grateful that I was given the opportunity to experience it all with such a great group!
So let’s start from the beginning. We all met at JFK and from there boarded a 8.5 hour overnight Finnair A350 flight to Helsinki, Finland. Right off the bat we were really spoiled. Guys, we flew business class!!! I’ve only ever flown economy so this was a real treat for me. I’m talking a reclining flat bed seat, massaging chairs, a full entertainment system and champagne in crystal glasses. I’ve never been able to fall asleep on a plane and I was really nervous that I wouldn’t get any rest on the flight, but the bed solved it all. I thankfully passed out after pretty damn good steak dinner. Now THIS is how you travel.
Upon arriving in Helsinki, we boarded a short and sweet flight north to the village of Saariselkä. Remember Vanessa and Raven’s fantasy suite episodes? Well this is the place where they were filmed. For the next two days we got to call Lapland Hotel Riekonlinna home, where we all stayed in our own vacation-style apartments.
A literal cold shoulder– you can find my top here.
Our itinerary had been planned out to a t and I was off on my first of many Lapland Safaris excursions before I could even unpack my bags. In 48 hours we got to cross-country ski (much harder than it looks), snowshoe, take a reindeer-drawn sleigh ride at a Lappish reindeer farm, go dogsledding and play with husky puppies and to finish it all off, sled on an actual plastic saucer down a mountain. Many of these activities could’ve been out of my childhood dreams, though my hometown sledding hills weren’t nearly as exciting.
One of the coolest aspects of our time in Saariselkä was getting to interact with the guides and hotel staff who helped coordinate the activities and moments featured on the show. Since we literally were doing all the same things and staying at the same places, many of the guides had personal stories and anecdotes to share from when the cast and crew of The Bachelor had been in town. They were pretty tight-lipped about any gossip, but boy did we try and pull it out of them!
One of my favorite moments in Saariselkä was when we had drinks at the same pub as Raven and Nick. Remember where they threw darts? That was the place! Though for the life of me I couldn’t find a dart board anywhere… Surrounding the pub there are lots of cute souvenir shops that we couldn’t resist popping into and that infamous rainbow fence you saw in this post last week.
Leaving Saariselkä was bittersweet, but not for long because we soon found ourselves in another magical Lapland city featured on the show. I have so many more photos (and even funnier stories to share) so stay tuned for part 2 of my Bachelor In Finland recap coming later this week.