“We must take adventures in order to know where we truly belong.”

 

Caution: This text is all about my love towards Finland, if you do not wish to know more then please skip this post. ūüėȬ†¬†Though I wish everyone can feel similar pride about their country.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.22.50Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.22.28Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.21.57

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.21.30Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.21.10Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.21.01Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.20.04Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.19.37Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.18.01Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.17.42Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.16.23Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.16.08Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.15.50Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.15.07Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.14.49Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.14.35Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.14.14Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.13.27Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.12.29Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.12.06Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.11.48Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.11.17Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 17.11.00

 

These stunning photos are from wifey¬†Satu’s¬†instagram archives. Despite traveling around the world, she¬†always sees the greatest beauty at home and knows how to capture it.¬†

 

For long, I had a attitude problem towards the Finnish language. So different from any other, isolating us from rest of Scandinavia and Western cultures, also making it more challenging for us to learn foreign languages and vice versa. Bla bla. Here, I have started to enjoy having our ‘secret’ language. Watching the reactions of others when I record and listen to whatsapp voice messages is amusing. PJ always told me that Finnish¬†sounds like singing. Can’t be too bad then.¬†¬†I also enjoy the fact that I can write notes to my notebook that no one here would understand. ūüėČ

 
The world is so connected today. It feels like it becomes smaller and smaller the more you travel, meeting a total stranger and so often turning out that you know same people. ¬†I personally think the six degrees of separation theory has become much less. Thus, belonging to such a small community, having our own unique language, space, ways of doing things and traits is really comforting. I wouldn’t change it for anything, to be a Finn, having a home base there. I love that we are only 6 million people. I never thought about it this way before moving abroad, but we are unique, exotic. Finland is a huge mystery to most people in the world, yet a fascinating one.

 

Our nationality is valuable in concrete terms as well. I have got this feeling endless amount of times during the past years, both at home and abroad. I will never forget how incredible amount of effort we had to do in order to obtain a chinese visa in Hong Kong for my friends from other countries, and how easily they gave me one. Just like that, without asking any further questions, just because I was a Finnish citizen. In these kinds of situations I realise how valuable my passport is. I aim to not become attached to possessions, and I can honestly say that I do consider my passport my most valuable belonging. It is my identity, and the stamps and visas only build up on this.

 
Even more have I learned to appreciate our country. Yes, it is cold and dark there for a slightly too long period. Thus I encourage everyone to travel. Last year, a four day escape to Barcelona just before Christmas made miracles for me, and the rest of Winter was easy to handle again. Time or money are no excuses, the employers will understand and even a destination like Barcelona is a totally different story regarding the amount of light and warmth.

But only thinking about the good sides makes me smile.¬†Our nature is stunning, there’s no way around it. I’m sure everyone has their favourite places and activities. I personally find my mom’s hometown Punkaharju one of the most beautiful places in the world with its crystal water and narrow eskers.¬†There our huge, international family will always reunite¬†for summer celebrations. Levi will always have a special place in our family’s heart. Also thinking about flow festival, Hanko weekends and Tahko getaways make my heart beat faster. Helsinki is the dearest for me, I simply love exploring and wondering down my favourite streets. Cycling from Arkadiankatu to Mestaritalo in Punavuori every morning for months and seeing how the seasons change… Being in Cape Town now, unable to cycle anywhere but instead having to uber or drive everywhere, these rides have now become a great memory. I know how much I’ll appreciate my bike and being able to cycle across my home city again next Spring. It’s all about the little things. ¬†And yet there is still so much too, at least for me. I am inspired by my sister and some friends who have packed their bags and traveled to North instead of always escaping to the South. Exploring Northern Finland, doing a Summer road trip and doing a proper summer weekend in Turku are high on my bucket list.

 
I can only speak for myself, but the more I travel, the more I learn to see the beauty of my own country. I could continue talking about this topic forever, but I’ll stop it here for now.

Wishing an inspiring and beautiful week for you ‚̧

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter of superlatives

IMG_1059

IMG_0904

IMG_0902

IMG_1054

IMG_1062

The fact that you’re friends are spread around the world has its pros too. You certainly appreciate the luxury of spending time with them when you rarely get the chance. No harm either that often it involves an exciting city or special celebration. For us, it was Chamonix this time – the coziest village in the heart of French Alps, near Switzerland, surrounded by the most impressive mountains such as Mount Blanc. My favourite Londoner Anne’s boyfriend lives there and was willing to let us use his place during his travels. And so we reunited in this stunningly beautiful location with Anne coming from London, Amanda from Uppsala and myself from Helsinki.

IMG_0768_2 IMG_0787

I had no trouble adopting this French Swiss lifestyle. Ski, afteski, eat, sleep, repeat. We ate cheese on every meal, with red wine of course. The chocolate is better than anywhere before (I remember eating Swiss chocolate in Hong Kong which I now realise to have melted and refreeze most likely several times). The mountains surround you 360 degrees.

IMG_0863 IMG_0883

What makes a holiday even better is meeting new people. We shared the place with Anne’s boyfriend’s roommate and her girlfriend, a lovely Swedish couple. Rebecca gave a gig in a local restaurant, playing many of my favourite songs. That girl has got an amazing voice. We spent time with these two guys, who also hosted us a raclette night, leaving us feeling grateful for the hospitality. I love to hear people’s stories and history, and these guys definitely have inspiring ones. B has lived all around the US, then Africa, Russia, now in Geneva & Chamonix, constantly traveling around the world for his job.

IMG_0891 IMG_0895 IMG_0893IMG_0897 IMG_0900

I don’t know how to even begin to describe the skiing experience itself. The first day was condition-wise demanding as the visibility was at times zero. I still enjoyed every moment. Skiing really to me is the best form of meditation. The second day, then, was by no doubt one of the most beautiful day of my life. Skiing in these stunningly beautiful mountains, with friends, clear and sunny sky, warmth, fresh air, slopes in perfect condition. You truly forget all worries and concentrate enjoying every bit of the moment. I hope that the photos will transmit at least a tiny bit of the beauty of these days.

IMG_0912 IMG_0931 IMG_1049 IMG_0938 IMG_0948 IMG_0954 IMG_0961 IMG_0964 IMG_0973 IMG_0976 IMG_0987 IMG_0988 IMG_0992 IMG_1003 IMG_1011 IMG_1014 IMG_1015 IMG_1043 IMG_1044

Once again, I am convinced that nothing in this world¬†makes you richer than traveling and the luxury of taking adventures with the ones whose company you enjoy the most. Meeting new people on the way, being inspired by their stories and creating new ones. Thank you girls and new friends for a memorable holiday <3. Like I kept repeating myself to the girls as I simply couldn’t help myself: “I’m very satisfied.” Take adventures people!

IMG_1066IMG_1123-3

IMG_0821

IMG_1100

Edit: Coming back home was not that bad after all. It’s SUNNY. ‚̧

Embracing the mind and body at Tahko

IMG_3946 IMG_3936  IMG_3912 IMG_3894 IMG_3882 IMG_3875 IMG_3950 IMG_3864 IMG_3826 IMG_3838 IMG_3834

I can’t think of a better long Winter weekend than escaping the city to the North. Flexible student life allowed Satu and myself to leave the city on Thursday to Tahko. There we met up with the rest of the crew – Satu’s dad and best childhood friend. Our Tahko vacations have definitely changed since part years. Then it was all about partying and some skiing, now it is quite the opposite. Relaxation, healthy food and being active is the best way to spend your days.

The weekend was full of winter activities; hitting the slopes, running with Ringo, and even hitting the gym. Accompanied with daily sauna, healthy food and great company. On Sunday we did a snow mobile safari tour around Tahko hill – being surrounded by just the first was so beautiful and peaceful. We had a great dinner at Ukko Tahko. My sweet potato coconut ginger soup was unbelievable good, as I already knew from last visit. This restaurant is a great option for great food. Lunch we ate at Pehku – again, delicious borscht soup – I highly recommend! Our delicious menu at home:

– zucchini avocado pasta

– raclette with a bunch of vegetables

– chicken filled peppers and sweet potato chips

Now back in the city – time for some heavy studying this Spring ūüėČ