We Finns love our summer cottages! Even though vacation homes come with different sizes and amenities, in Finland they are all referred as summer cottages.
Thus, when you are heading to a summer cottage, you don’t know without asking if it is a beach log mansion or a cabin without electricity. What is in common with all cottages is that they are definitely surrounded by nature and require TLC. The question of today is therefore:
Why to have a summer cottage when you could rent it and escape all the chores?
Let me answer that with a story. One of the biggest epiphanies in my life was when I read the wise words of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He proposes that the most joy and happiness you get from doing things which are both pleasurable and useful. That really resonated with me. I was so excited that I found so simple words to the feeling in my head and heart. That sentence became my guideline. I have applied it abundantly to everything with many happy results.
Going back to the original question of why enduring all the efforts of having a summer cottage, I think many Finns are profoundly aware of the same logic I had to read about to comprehend. Chopping wood, logging for own use, raking leaves, cutting saplings and all those other chores at the summer cottage are pleasurable because you are connecting with the nature and useful because you are taking care of the land and your family. That’s how simple the answer it.