No, more like liberating.
Just enjoyed my winter break of 9 short o courses in 11 days. Much more fun for me than it would have been to hack around at a little white ball somewhere.
Ha ha! Well I like staying right here in 'Sweet Home Chicago' and recreating. Congrats on finding so many European O sojourns. But after a few, I found spending all that time going over there and back, plus a week just killing time with other orienteers for the sake of an hour's run, just too boring.
In that same 10-day period, I can supervise improvement to my property, polish off a few tax schedules, play at a couple different golf courses, have a few meals with my friends and wife....and last but not least, get ten nights' of good sleep!
Europe is boring? Maybe you are on to something there, Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says sky is beautiful no matter where you are, just enjoy.
I'm not that enlightened yet. My last European O meet was in Sälen, Sweden for the O-Ringen. I've been to Sälen in the winter, and it is a skier's paradise. Lots of groomed XC trails, a few downhill areas, active lodges, restaurants, discos, nightlife.
But in the summer, nothing was open...not even a bar or restaurant. Just a little 7-11 style grocery store with no alcohol. Great place to enjoy the sky for a week; little else to do.
We went to the Sälen oringen in 2016. There were O-Ringen pubs & restaurants and the lovely long summer twilight in which to visit with O friends. I saw a liquor store, too. You must have gone quite a while ago. There is 'the good life' (of another sort) outside cities!
Well it was Soupbone and me, staying in a cabin with about a dozen junior team members that Boris arranged. Fortunately for Soupbone's gregarious personality, we made friends with a Norwegian couple in the cabin next door. They took pity on us, surrounded by teens, and invited us over for a beer. Spending evenings with them was a lifesaver.
But no. No pubs, no restaurants, and no liquor store. It must have been around 2005 or so. One of the pleasant memories was watching the elite women compete about 10 miles away at Högfjallet. Sari and I had stayed at the hotel there during the winter, and it was like a Las Vegas resort: multiple restaurants, bars on every level, discos late into the night, lounge singers...all contained within a single massive hotel. And XC trails fanning out over the mountains in all directions to small 'stugas' in the woods...little cabins with a fire, waffle service, beers, and hot chocolate. Very cozy destinations in the middle of all that white. Best XC experience I've ever had.
Watching the elite women pick off controls on the opposing hillside was a real thrill, and demonstration of O talent we rarely see in this country. Plus the women were quite pleasant 'eye candy' when they came in after their race and mingled with the crowd. Possibly the most attractive women in all respects, that I've ever seen in person.