It would take more than a novel to describe the life of Linda Olsson. The Swedish-born, New Zealand-based writer, who studied law and went on to work in banking, has led what some would call a peripatetic existence since leaving Sweden in 1986 with her family, intending to live in Nairobi for three years. Several...

Nobody comes to Tromsø expecting a city, but it’s likely that few people are prepared for just how vast and varied the area of northern Norway is.  With a population of 70,000, the capital of the Arctic is a shining jewel of a town that shimmers when the aurora borealis weaves its way through the skies in winter, and...

In the brief few days before the summer tourist season officially begins, the port town of Hanko on Finland’s south coast, three hours by train from Helsinki, is just as quiet as it is in winter. A population of a little over nine thousand goes a long way to ensuring that all is sleepy and still; certainly, it is...

It’s a bright Saturday morning in Stockholm and the sound of squealing children radiates through the air like the summer sun. You don’t need to be a parent to know that a squeal is far different from a scream, and it is sheer delight and excitement that spills from the mouths of these youngsters who are lucky enough...

If you haven’t heard of Trapped, (or Ófærð in Icelandic) then don’t worry: it’s more than likely on its way to you already. The new Icelandic crime series has screened on the BBC, in France and distribution rights have now been sold to the US. Yep, it seems like our hunger for The Killing is far from...

You might know Van Badham as a writer from The Guardian, or maybe you’ve seen one of her numerous plays performed around the world. Failing that, you may also remember her as the woman responsible for that eye roll when she went head to head with a former politician who really doesn’t deserve to be named here. As for...

Back in 1996, when I was a child growing up in rural New South Wales, an alien from outer-space came crashing down on earth and her name was Bjork. Like a lot of people, my friend and I quickly became fixated by her single, ‘It’s oh-so Quiet’, maybe because we developed good taste in music at any early age, but...

Sunshine in Bergen is not something to be taken lightly. As any Scandinavian knows, the winters have a stranglehold on the lives of those in the north, which is softened only in some parts by the beauty that is the aurora borealis (northern lights). And, as any Scandinavian knows, summer does not always mean a...

Magnus Meyer has something most of us will never get. The 21-year-old lives in Aarhus, the second-largest city in the happiest country in the world. Out of all the 45 joyous cities that make up Denmark, Aarhus is the happiest of happy, making it onto Reader’s Digest’s top four list. According to the Reader’s Digest...

There’s a farm in Iceland that could be any farm in Iceland: snow-capped fjords, an endless expanse of land that only shrinks away any sign of human life, and of course, sheep. The only difference here is that the wire fence separating one farm from another may as well be the Berlin Wall for all the distance between...