LISTEN: Norwegian concept of frifluftsliv offers insight to coping with pandemic

gasline trail
Skiing on the Gasline Trail in Chugach State Park. (Paul Twardock)

There’s a Norwegian term for deliberately embracing time spent outside, for both the mental and physical benefits.

It’s frifluftsliv (pronounced FREE-loofts-leev), something Alaskans will find familiar, in spirit if not in name. And some say it’s a way to cope with the many limitations on life during a pandemic.

One of them is Andy Meyer, a professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Washington, recently featured in a Seattle Times article about friluftsliv. Meyer says it’s a deeply rooted part of Norwegian culture, but it can be — or should be — for everyone.


If you or your community have a term for a similar concept, please let us know, we’d love to hear about it. Email us at

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Casey Grove is the host of Alaska News Nightly and a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media with an emphasis on crime and courts. Reach him at

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