Slowing Down in Sykkylven: Four Days in the Sunnmøre Alps

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When we planned our year of adventure, one of our biggest goals was to embrace a slower pace. We had both been committed to full-time jobs, hectic schedules, and busy city living (which we absolutely loved!) But we yearned to take a break, so we were eager to visit a place where we could relax, disconnect, and spend time in nature.

Sykkylven seemed like just the place for this. A small town an hour southeast of Alesund, Sykkylven is part of the Sunnmore region and is surrounded by a beautiful alpine mountain range. From here you can explore these mountains, narrow fjords, blue glaciers, salmon rivers, and fertile valleys. Sykkylven also has several ski slopes, making it a popular winter destination for visitors.

We spent our days experiencing the many natural attractions of the area as well as relaxing indoors. We arrived midday and drove up a gravel path that led to many log cabins. None were clearly marked and no one seemed to be home, so we peeked in windows until we found an interior that matched the Airbnb listing we’d seen online. After finding our cottage, we dropped our luggage and looked around, wondering what to do next. We are conditioned to constantly move around, think about the next activity, and see what’s going on around us. But in this remote, disconnected village we had no rush or reason do do much of anything.

Surrounded by a quiet lake, dirt roads and hiking paths, free roaming sheep, and being a twenty minute drive from the nearest internet connection, we quickly emptied our pockets, turned off our phones, and put on our sneakers and sweatshirts. During our four days here we ran in the woods, read books on the porch, did yoga on the deck, and canoed across the lake. We journaled about our experiences and reflected on what we’ve learned so far from this adventure. We sipped wine and cooked some of our favorite meals from home. We built fires in the fire place every evening and ate dinner by candle light. We played scrabble, went hiking, and slept in until we weren’t tired anymore.

We didn’t check our email or read the news or post on social media. We tried not to look at the clock or pay attention to time at all. We didn’t make future travel plans or check our bank accounts. We simply existed in the moment. As we left, we both agreed that we should do this more often, and we hope to find more places where we can over the next few months.

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