The Magic of the Faroe Islands: A Lesson in Faith

Posted by in Ambassador, Deuter USA Blog Posts

“You’re going where on holiday?,” asked friends and family before a weekend adventure to the Faroe Islands.  “What’s even there? Why wouldn’t you go someplace more popular, like Spain?”

Looking at a map of the Faroe Islands

Upon stepping off the plane, it’s clear this is not your average “tourist” destination. The Faroe Islands are one of the only countries in the world without a McDonalds. All 18 islands sit roughly equidistant from Iceland and Norway, and can be traversed with relative ease – whether by boat, by tunnel or by helicopter.

Not your typical tourist destination

What surprised us most was the charming diversity of the place, despite being so infrequently visited or spoken of by others. Only 49,000 people live in the Faroes, but there are 77 different ethnicities populating the 540 square miles of land. Similarly, while no native trees exist in the Faroes, many are brought in from similar terrains, like Alaska, adding to the strange feeling of familiarity and diversity despite its remoteness.

A group of four people in front of a lighthouse on the Faroe Islands.

Puffin-to-people ratio

Driving through the capital city of Torshavn, you see only a handful of traffic lights on the islands.  There are no prisons, very few stores, even fewer restaurants and bars, and you are never more than three miles from the ocean no matter where you are. Fishing culture is very prominent, which is no surprise considering it makes up 97% of industry on the islands.  Consuming salmon at every meal becomes a way of life.

Everywhere you look, there are sheep. In fact, you quickly begin to notice that there are twice as many sheep as there are people. And just when you wrap your head around that fact, you’re confronted with the idea that there are one hundred times as many puffins as people. That’s right…5 million puffins reside in the Faroe Islands. Talk about a truly wild place.A woman looks out over the dramatic sea cliffs of the Faroe Islands.

Five minutes in the Faroe Islands

It’s a slow pace of life in the Faroes, which forces you to slow down and enjoy every bit about it.

The Faroese commonly say, “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.”  The weather patterns in the Faroe Islands are just as unpredictable and surprising as everything else we learned upon our visit.

I admit to almost letting the unpredictable weather get the best of me as I aspired to see all of the beauty and capture the shots I had dreamt of for months leading up to the trip.  It was tempting to let it discourage us from partaking in many of the hikes because, I thought, “why go, if all of the sights are coated in thick layers of fog?”

The author, Laura Lisowski, with her trusty Deuter Gröden 32 looks out over a bay in the Faroe Islands.

The author, Laura Lisowski, with her trusty Deuter Gröden 32 looks out over a bay in the Faroe Islands.

Take it on faith

But in the words of Duane Chapman: “Faith is the substance of hope – of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” And faith indeed is what ultimately allowed us to embrace the unpredictability of this magical place and let it show us what it was, rather than what we wanted it to be.  It did not disappoint.

About Laura Lisowski

Laura Lisowski

Laura isn’t a traditional outdoor enthusiast like you read about in magazines. A 2009 University of Notre Dame graduate originally from Seattle, Washington, she works as a global sales executive in the financial world by day. Evenings and weekends, she’s a mountain dweller and outdoor warrior. Laura re-ignited her love for the outdoors when she moved to sunny, adventure-filled California in 2009. She spent five years living and working in San Francisco, trekking in every West Coast National park she could find. In early 2016, she accepted an opportunity to spend some time in her company’s London office. Now in the UK, Laura recently, she started The365Adventure snapchat channel, a channel taken over by one adventurer a day, 365 days a year. The purpose is to allow curious individuals to share their stories, discover, and inspire/get inspired by fellow enthusiasts. When not in the office or coordinating social media efforts, Laura can be found on a lake, scrambling up a mountain, or training for her next international marathon. Laura believes that the passion for the outdoors and ability to participate should not be restricted to hardcore enthusiasts, but should also be fully accessible and welcoming to the urban adventurer. It’s because of this that Laura is extremely passionate about connecting globally conscious adventurers and brands to one another through what they all have in common: love for the outdoors and the planet on which we live.