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Scandinavia In The Sun

Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 8 June 2021 | 0 Comments

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8 June 2021

Scandinavian countries could teach the rest of the world about simple contentment, such is their natural ability to tap into a high quality of life, where the pace is slow, daily interactions meaningful and each moment is there to be enjoyed

Little wonder that Scandinavians are drawn to the chilled-put, relaxed vibe of the sun-drenched Caribbean - and are the envy of the world because they have the life-work balance right. Scandinavians build in proper time to slow down, spend time with others and take regular vacations - not just a break that gives them time off to quickly recharge before getting back into the thick of things, buta purposeful vacationthat reconnects them withthe essence of life. 

Each year, a group of happiness experts from around the globe rank 156 countries based on happiness levels - and the Scandinavian countries always rank at the top. One key reason is the amount of paid vacation time most Scandinavians receive, which is almost triple that of America. Celebrities from Sweden, Denmark and Norway, as well as Iceland and Greenland, have a long-established love affairith the Caribbean region, from pop gods anreality TV stars to actors, super models and world-class sports icons. 

When Lost In Translation actor  Scarlett Johansson needed to escape the media hubbub afterwards marriage break-up her sanctuary was Jamaica. After booking flight tickets for the girlfriends she leaned on during her split from Ryan Reynolds, Scarlett soaked up the low-key, easy pace of the beach well away from the paparazzi’s prying eyes - proving sunshine is the best medicine for heartbreak. Though Johansson was born in New York City, her father Karsten Olaf Johansson is a Danish born architect. Johansson also has Swedish roots as her paternal grandfather, Ejner Johansson, an art historian, screenwriter, and film director, own father was born in Sweden. 

As one of Sweden’s most instantly recognisable actors, StellanSkarsgåris a star of theatre, Hollywood and TV with over thirty years appearing in big name productions includingThe Hunt for Red October (1990), Good Will Hunting (1997), Ronin (1998), Exorcist: The Beginning(2004) andPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest(2006),Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007),  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and sci-fi epicDune (2021). In recent years he has reached a whole new audience as Bill Anderson in Mamma Mia! (2008) and sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018). Anderson, who has eight children, fell in love with the Caribbean region during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, in which he portrayed Bootstrap Bill Turner. Anderson also voiced the character in the At World's End video game, which he said “really impressed his kids.”

She is so beloved by the Cayman Islands, that Danish sports champ Caroline Wozniackiwas made an “honorary Caymanian” as a professional tennis player and one-time Grand Slam champion. Wozniackiwas an official ambassador for The Residences at Seafire in the Cayman Islands and famously visits played the first ever fly-board rally in the world there during request visits during which Wozniackiproclaimed the islands as second home.Caroline and her husband David have a luxuryholiday home on Grand Cayman, and have been photographed across the Caribbean during her sizzling sportswear shoots for Sports Illustrated. The couple chose Barbados for their honeymoon in 2019. 

The Caribbean welcomedAnnika Sörenstam, one of the best golf players of all time, at the Casa de Campo Resort & Villas in 2021 while she enjoyed a short vacation with her family in the Dominican Republic. The Swedish pro golfer also did not hesitate to choose one of Pete Dyes designs at the # 1 resort in the Caribbean, the beautiful and challenging iconic Teeth of the Dog to play a few rounds of golf. renstam has contributed greatly to the development of womens golf in the world and was one of the fundamental pillars for golfs return to the Olympics after more than 100 years. In the Dominican Republic she spoke about the work she does through her foundation to encourage women, from all socio-economic backgrounds to pick up a golf cluband give it a try. 

In the lyrics of one of his hauntingly beautiful songs, Morten Harket- the chisel-cheeked lead singer of Norwegian pop band Aha describes abstract loneliness using the Caribbean Sea: 

But as long as your hero's in the movies

And the turtle is safe in the Caribbean Sea

While the power of nations set the rules

Still there is no one lying next to me 

As a touring pop star in the 1980s Harket was rarely in his home country, Norway. He travelled constantly, looping the globe in several directions and enjoyed R&R time in the Caribbean, where he could fade into obscurity on the beach. 

Defying critics of the show who claimed her fame would be short lived, Astrid S came 5th in the Norwegian version of reality TV show Pop Idol but has since outshone all other competitors in the 2013 TV2 show. Today she continues to enjoy success as a Norwegian singer and songwriter from Berkåk and divides her time between Scandinavia and North America, including Jamaica where she is signed to Island Records. For sixty years, Island Records has been at the forefront of all the musical moments that mattered, and become a byword for artistic integrity and innovation, staying true to its long-established independent ethos by signing mavericks and game-changers who have altered the course of music in Britain, Jamaica, America and beyond. Though still in her early 20s, Astrid S, short for Astrid Smeplass, is the voice behind “Hurt So Good” — a song that charted in 21 countries worldwide on iTunes and has reached over 120M streams on Spotify. She has collaborated withMatoma, Avicii, The Vamps, even laying vocals for Shawn Mendes’ “Air” and “Hey HeyHey,” one of the tracks on Katy Perry’s latest album release. 

Danish actor and producer, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is probably most recognisable as Jaime Lannister from the hit HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones for eight seasons, though he graduated from the Danish National School of Performing Arts in Copenhagen and received his first major film role in Nightwatch in 1994, a critical and commercial success in Denmark. He has since starred in various films in Europe and North America, including Gods of Egypt, The Other Woman and 1,000 Times Good Night. Today, aside of acting, producing and screenwriting, Nikolaj spends a significant part of year as a UN Goodwill Ambassador. His role with the UN focuses on raising awareness and support for the Sustainable Development Goals, and a universal call to action to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change. Nikolaj is passionate about the threat from deforestation of the world’s rainforest regions across South and Central America, and the Caribbean. 

Born Gitte Nielsen in Rødovre, Denmark, Brigitte Nielsen is a Danish actress, model, singer, and reality television personality. She is also known for her statuesque 6ft figure, striking physique and marriage to Sylvester Stallone, with whom she starred in the 1986 film Cobra. Her varied career has included TV, movies, playboy shoots and winning Germany’s version of “I’m a Celebrity …. Get Me Out Of Here!” in 2012 and crowned  "Jungle Queen". Nielsen has been married five times and has four sons and one daughter. Nielsen lives with her current husband Mattia Dessì(aged 43) in Palm Springs and in 2018, she gave birth to a daughter, Frida, at the age of 54. The family enjoyed a baby moon vacation on the Caribbean island of St Lucia. 

Danish supermodel, photographer, clothing designed, beauty Queen and former Victoria’s  Secret Angel, Helena Christensenwas one of the most popular “faces” during the 1990s, becoming one of the most highly paid models of her time. Christensen travelled the world, holidaying with supermodel pals in the Caribbean, when she wasn’t gracing magazine covers including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and W, and in fashion campaigns including Revlon, Chanel, Versace, Lanvin, Prada, Sonia Rykiel, Hermes, Valentinoand Karl Lagerfeld. Christensen, along with Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer, were known as "The Magnificent Seven". Today, aged 53, she is mum to son Lingus and splits her time between Copenhagen and North America. Christensen continued to travel extensively and often finds herself on both sides of the camera, especially in Jamaica where she works with resort Sensatoriand has designed a clothing range inspired by Caribbean culture and landscapes.