It’s a Wednesday early in June and I travel down south for a few hours until I reach Furudal where I am to host my very first workshop together with Visit Dalarna. Mireille and Willem pick me up and when we arrive they immediately make me feel right at home at Näsets Marcusgård, their farm in the forests of Dalarna. After having a lovely dinner and great conversations with my hosts I feel tired after a long day and so I get situated in my little cabin and sleep soundly through the night.
In the morning I wake early to nothing except the sound of birds and the warm sun shining in through the big windows. I drink a few cups of coffee while reading and just enjoying the peace and quiet of cabin life in the forests of Dalarna.
The Extreme Wilderness Cabin
Willem and Mireille call this cabin Oddis Öga, since it’s such an oddity. It’s actual name is The Fuselage and it’s designed and built by Tree Tents – an English company that really seem to care about nature. Each structure is built with materials that are responsibly and locally sourced, 100% recyclable and of the highest quality. They also make sure to install their cabins without affecting the nature around them, and they are designed in a way that makes it easy to repair any part if it gets broken, instead of having to take down the entire structure.
They have also committed to a zero waste policy which means that they work hard to turn their off-cuts and left over quality materials from the manufacturing process into functional, hard-wearing camping products such as backpacks, axes, cups, camping stools and much more.
“We believe there is nothing like the power of the outdoors to recharge and rejuvenate. We are woodland warriors passionate about sharing authentic experiences and enabling adventure that doesn’t cost the earth. Like our own well-being, our woodlands need to be protected and this ethos drives everything we do from strategy to installation.”
Staying here I feel my energy being recharged, and I feel like I am one with nature. I feel sheltered but at the same time like I am working, living and sleeping right amongst the trees and the birds with no walls separating me from them.
Mireille and Willem are from Holland and have been here for five years now, and they’ve created a wonderful atmosphere here. Besides their two Tree Tent designed cabins they have two big barns with plenty of beds, a great kitchen area and a lovely space to work in and host workshops, have a work conference or gather friends and family during a wedding feast.
They’ve shared all their meals with me and over dinner we’ve engaged in lovely, inspiring conversations. They are incredibly driven and seem to care so much about the town and it’s community here. Their energy is amazing! I just love meeting new people that share my passion for nature, for exploring the world and that get the same energy and inspiration from meeting new people. We talk about cultures and travel, the outdoor trend, what inspires us and what we want to do to teach and inspire others. They have many ideas, so do I, and we laugh and say we’ll write them down in an “idea book” and save them for later.
I walk through the forest leading to my cabin to get some time to relax, sort my thoughts and work on my workshop. I sip on a cold, local beer from Oppigårds out on the porch of my little cabin – swatting away at the mosquitoes and listening to the sound of birds, the soundtrack of this place.
In the evening on June 6, Swedens National Day, Mireille takes me to one of her favourite spots. We drive on gravel roads through the forest while the setting sun cast it’s golden light through the trees. We park the car and walk through a beautiful forest that open up to an amazing place full of old summer cabins.
After exiting the forest I am met by fields of grass, old wooden cabins and fences, wildflowers everywhere and big firs and pines hinting that a magnificent view can be found behind them. We walk through it all and I am in awe, constantly saying things like “magical” and “it’s so beautiful here”, to which Mireille only says “I know”.
We talk about exploring where you live, and how sad we think it is that so many of us do not know our own backyard and all the wonders we have just around the corner. People work too much and too hard to save up money and travel far away when wonderful experiences are to be found just outside the door.
As we talk we’ve been walking through the fields and amongst the houses, continuing up towards the top of this mountain. As we reach it an old wooden watchtower stands there, a dark silhouette against the evening sky.
I climb it and one of the best sunsets of my life greets me.
The wind plays with my hair as the golden sun warms my skin. I lean against the railing and just breathe as I take it all in. No matter where I turn my gaze, all I see is forests, hills and lakes. No cities or roads. No light pollution. Only wilderness.
Sweden is an amazing, beautiful country and I am so god damn happy to live here. Grateful that we have the freedom to roam. When I am spending time in our nature I feel rich and alive. Energized and inspired.
I couldn’t stop talking after this, my heart was racing and I felt incredibly inspired. I babbled about all kinds of things when we got back and stood talking with Willem in the kitchen. It’s like I was intoxicated, high from the experience. There’s no way I can go to bed now, so I have another beer and sit down to write this and work on my images until it’s way past midnight.
To think that all it took was a 15 minute car ride and a short hike to the top. I keep saying this, but we do not need to travel far to experience magic. Close by adventures is what I live for and what I want to work with, to show others. Here I find myself and my passion again, what I feel I am meant to do and what I want to pursue.
Thank you Mireille and Willem. For the laughter and inspiration. For sharing this beautiful place with me and making me feel at home. And for inviting me to come back. Trust me, I will.
Live slow and stay wild! – Rania