Hunting a ‘good life’: young lifestyle migrants in Finnish Lapland

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This article focuses on young lifestyle migrants in Arctic Finland, individuals who can be described as active agents of their own fate in having made a conscious choice to move to a place they consider worth living in. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research, the study brings to light newcomers’ motivations for migrating to a geographically remote area and discusses structural conditions that support the process of moving to Finnish Lapland. The search for personal wellbeing and a desire to construct “authentic” lifestyles in rural environments emerged as driving factors for young people who consider moving to the Arctic. While access to nature and nature-based leisure activities proved to be the most attractive feature of the region, opportunities to work in the tourism industry, well-connected transport infrastructures and educational opportunities also figured significantly in the migrants’ decisions. Social media channels play a pivotal role as a platform promoting their lifestyle. In engaging regularly with young people who have moved to the Arctic, where they pursue their chosen lifestyle in a harsh climate with high living costs, the research challenges the prevailing argument in the lifestyle migration debate whereby middle-class people move to places with lower living costs and sunny climates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-156
Number of pages18
JournalPolar Geography
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2023

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 504017 Cultural anthropology


  • Lifestyle Migrants
  • Arctic Youth
  • Wellbeing
  • Finnish Lapland
  • Arctic immigration
  • lifestyle migration
  • Arctic youth
  • youth well-being

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