Inspiration

The family that lives above the Arctic Circle... in a glass bubble

Some people have crazy dreams. Some choose to realize them, then have a crazy life...

The Heart Followers : The family that lives above the Arctic Circle... in a glass bubble

Benjamin and Ingrid Marie Hertefølger have decided to realize the impossible to embrace the lifestyle of their dreams. After having built a unique all-natural house completely covered by a glass dome on a plot of land in Norway, they've started their incredible journey into sustainable living. It may all seem like some sort of hippie day dream, but it’s fascinating!

Meet the Hertefølger, a Norwegian family of six who is truly living on their own terms...


The Hertefølger - a life philosophy

Hertefølger –Norwegian for “heart followers”– wasn’t always their family name, but they changed it few years ago to reflect their life philosophy. “We have only listened to ourselves and what we wanted to do, we went all in”, said Ingrid. “It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, there will always be someone who disagrees and who thinks what I do is wrong,” the mother of four adds.

"I believe that the recipe for failure is to try making everybody happy, because it’s not possible.” So instead of worrying about what people may think, the Heart Followers just follow their hearts.

The aim of this adventure is for Benjamin and Ingrid to offer their four children a great childhood and to give them the insight they need to manage life on Earth. Instead of spending their time in front of a computer or at a mall, the Hertefølger's kids swing in hammocks, play in the garden, do yoga sessions under sunset, watch Aurora borealis or roam the surrounding forests in search of mythical creatures -the daughter swears she saw a fairy. They surely will grow up with a deep sense of appreciation for nature.

cosy living in a glass bubble above the Arctic Circle

The Hertefølgers always knew they wanted to live in an eco-home made of only natural materials -the challenge was to adapt it to the harsh weather conditions of the Arctic Circle. Indeed, life in the Arctic isn't only snowy landscapes, elves in the forest and Santa's secret atelier. It's a constant battle with extreme weather conditions, especially when you live in such a remote place as Sandhorney Island, in north Norway.

The family managed to beat all the odds and organize a cosy living in a three-story cob house wrapped in a glass dome. It withstands the heavy snowfalls and strong winds, maintains a uniform temperature throughout the year and reduces ultraviolet radiation while acting as a greenhouse for the organic vegetable and fruit garden. How cool is that : they somehow manage to grow apples, cherries, plums, apricots, kiwis, grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs and melons in an area that doesn't see the sunlight for three months a year!

We may not all be able to build our domed natural house in the Arctic Circle –which Norwegian magazine The Nordic Page reports cost the Hertefølger $490,500 to build– but you have to admit their story is an inspirational one. Make sure to watch The Heart Followers documentary below, you won’t regret it!

Traveling from Alaska to Argentina... on the coolest school bus!

Traveling from Alaska to Argentina... on the coolest school bus!

They've named their adventure Expedition Happiness -and we've got no trouble figuring out why. If nowadays, converting a bus into a mobile home is nothing new, these two took the concept to the next level.

[On the road to happiness] Minimalism : when less is more

We spend half our life working to earn money, so we can spend our free time spending that money on things we don't need. Things that end up make us feel suffocated. Rooted. Imprisoned. Imagine if tomorrow you were to wake up owning just a few things -only the things you really need and love. It’s kind of exhilarating, isn’t it? Can living with less make you happier? 

Minimalism : When Less is More

At some point between our six months road trip in New Zealand and our life being constantly on the road, long-term travel has turned us into minimalists. Or so we thought. Since we settled down in Hong Kong, we've started to accumulate a bunch of crap we don't need. Last year, I stumbled upon Marie Kondo's brilliant book "The life changing magic of tidying up" and started to declutter following her mantra : keep only the items that spark joy. And it felt INCREDIBLE. So good I decided to take it to the next level. That's when I discovered that documentary about the important things... [photos ©TheMinimalists]

Can living with less really make you happier? Let's talk minimalism!


minimalism: the recipe to happiness?

Adopting a minimalist lifestyle is as simple as it sounds. It's a zen-living where you own less materials and objects, only to focus on LIVING life. We often create attachments to inanimate objects, making them seem like they represent something big -when they don't. We think the more we have, the happier we'll be. 

The truth is, living with only the bare essentials does not provide only superficial benefits such as the pleasure of a tidy home, it also lead to a more fundamental shift. Getting rid of the clutter in your life creates more opportunities for you to pursue your passions. For me, that means traveling, running, creating more and consuming less. Attachment to too many things create clutter and can block our freedom to do whatever we want, whereas minimalism helps us start new projects.

Minimalism: When Less is More

My experience : living out of a backpack for years

Living out of a backpack changes you. First, there's the packing situation -it always feels extreeemely difficult the first time, letting go so many things. How could I throw this away? And what if I need that one day? Then you realize what really matters. After six months on the road with only a few outfits, a tiny computer, my notebook, camera and watercolors, I didn't miss the things I left behind. Actually, I didn't care at all. Life was suddenly so easy. It felt right being so light, free from any clutter. 

I thought coming back home and retrieve all my belongings would make me feel happy. To soon realize it didn't. If my stuff was a reflection of life, my life seemed to be filled with junk. Thus began the purge...

the purge : less is more!

It's crazy how sometimes you think accumulating things makes you happy, when actually, getting rid of possessions brings you a lightness and joy that's hard to name. I'm not saying you should throw away everything you own. In fact, I love Marie Kondo's philosophy: only keep things that bring you JOY. Because that's what life is about, isn't it? The pursuit of happiness.

Once the clutter is done, try not to give a meaning to possessions anymore, learn to avoid excess and adopt the 'one in, one out' rule. 

about the important things -by the minimalists

Here's the trailer of a brilliant documentary examining many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less. - The film is now available online.

Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution
— The Minimalists

Meeting with Krystle Wright [INSPIRING TRAVELER+ARTIST]

Meeting with Krystle Wright [INSPIRING TRAVELER+ARTIST]

Krystle has traveled the world shooting extreme sports. She has now chosen a nomadic lifestyle, moving seamlessly from adventure to adventure, documenting the places and the people along the way with stunning photography. The artist enjoys being cut off from civilization and immersed in adventure for weeks. “In a past life, I used to have that thing called a home…” says Krystle.

10 Inspiring Travelers To Follow on Instagram in 2016

10 Inspiring Travelers To Follow on Instagram in 2016

When I'm not traveling, there's one thing I LOVE to do: getting inspired by travelers from other parts of the world. Some really know how to create a beautiful compact digital postcard from their adventures. Let these 10 inspiring Instagram accounts inspire you to plan your next trip right now!

The Thousand Year Journey [INSPIRING TRAVELER]

The Thousand Year Journey  [INSPIRING TRAVELER]

To all those who have been asking me why - this question I can hardly find words to answer to. To all those who can't understand why in the hell would I leave everything behind, including people I love the most, to go on a solo road trip. And why this trip never ended.

Jedidiah Jenkins quit a job he loved to ride his bicycle from Oregon to the southern tip of Patagonia, alone with himself. Friend and filmmaker Kenny Laubbacher joined him to ask him the question: WHY?

Jenkins' answer is poignant. The Thousand Year Journey is a sublime paean to travel & adventure. To LIFE.