At Home on the Globe / Latvia / Travel

Getting “Gezellig” in Riga


Blustery wind, overcast skies, and driving rain welcomed us to Latvia. Our bus from Tallinn, Estonia trundled through stands of golden quaking aspen, then skirted Baltic Sea shores where the waves pummeled the sand beside dense pine forests. This country felt very different.

When we stepped off the bus in Riga, an icy blast reminded us that winter is just around the corner for these folks. And that means just one thing …It’s time to get gezellig.

Gezellig (pronounced heh-SELL-ick) is a marvelous concept we learned when we lived in Amsterdam. It’s one of those words that’s tough to translate – there is no direct English equivalent. But once you experience it … and embrace it … gezellig will stay with you forever.

“Gezellig: A perfect example of untranslatability is seen in the Dutch language. Literally, it means cozy, quaint, or nice, but can also connote time spent with loved ones, seeing a friend after a long absence, or general togetherness.” –Wikipedia


When the weather turns nasty it’s time to bring home fresh flowers and favorite foods to share with special people in the evening. The folks in the Netherlands always have sparkling clean windows, and when they light the candles in the evening, their homes twinkle with a cozy glow. It’s magical. So that’s what we’re doing tonight all snuggled up in our little Riga apartment. Candles, daisies, and a nice Merlot. Life is good. Tomorrow we’ll brave the weather and go exploring.


I suspect you’ve been doing this all along. Now you have a new word for it. So go home and get gezellig!


What do you think? We'd love to know!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s