This cabin in the northern Sweden archipelago is shrouded in mystery – photographer Felix Odell won’t say exactly where it is, and a story he shot for Monocle magazine doesn’t identify it, either. But that’s exactly how it should be, because this Scandinavian shelter can stand in for all summer retreats, symbolizing refuge and serving to fuel dreams of escape without being grounded in any one place.

Monocle put it perfectly:

As the boat pulls away, taking with it your last contact with the outside world, the transformation to island hermit is complete. Though you can see other islands from the shore, each occupied by a single house, there’s an unspoken agreement between the archipelago community that privacy here is everything – it’s not a time for dropping in, unannounced, at the next-door jetty or peering through binoculars to see what the neighbors are cooking on their barbecue. It’s a time for being truly insular and embracing the isolation…

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There’s something wonderfully illicit about being the only people on an island. Time takes on a new dimension and hours melt by, punctuated only by long meals and the setting of the sun. Living so close to nature you soon succumb to a rather primeval code of humant conduct. There’s little need to get dressed, in fact there’s an animal urge to walk around naked and days start with a bracing dunk in the water off the jetty, followed by a hot shower outdoors in the ethereal morning sunlight.

It really puts you there, doesn’t it, wherever there might happen to be for you?

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Photographer: Felix Odell

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Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.


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Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.