Norway Island Wants To Ditch The Clock As World's First Time-Free Zone

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

In today's busy, fast-paced, hectic world, we are so "on the clock", with every minutes on our mind every second of the day, from when to eat breakfast, the hours we spend at work and what time we need to go to bed. 

Wouldn't it be nice to live in the moment for once, at least when on vacation?

An island in northern Norway is campaigning to provide just that to travellers.

With the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice starting 21JUN, a Norwegian island in the country's north wants to swap its watches for flower garlands and declare itself the world's first time-free zone.

Sommarøy (which translates to "Summer Island") is located just north of the Arctic Circle, which means the sun doesn't set from 18MAY to 26JUL, a full 69 days.

The flipside is that for three months, the sun doesn't rise at all, so after enduring many a moons throughout the long polar night from NOV to JAN the locals really take advantage of the sunny days that follow, with no regard to conventional timekeeping.

It's not unusual to see children playing soccer or locals mowing their lawns in what we consider "the middle of the night."

Wanting to make it official, islanders gathered at a town hall meeting to sign a petition for a time-free zone and on 13JUN, a representative met with a Member of Parliament to discuss their efforts. 

What they're hoping for is to be free of traditional opening hours and to introduce flexibility in school and working hours.

And it's clear they're serious. When visitors cross the bridge to the island from the mainland, it's not "love locks" hooked on the structure, as those that adorn bridges in Venice and Paris – it's watches, as people prepare for entry to the land of no time.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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