“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. 😉  Though I wish everyone can feel similar pride about their country.

 

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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. 😉

 
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 ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer of Helsinki, Hanko & Copenhagen

Memories of last week are the kind I will cherish when away from home again. My thesis project has had to slightly step down in my list of priorities lately, as I want to spend my time left with the people I will most miss. We enjoyed a family dinner at Boat House on a flawless sunny night, being nourished by the food of course but also the sea breeze, sun bath and great company. For me, this was truly luxury. I’m also so happy for my sister who dropped big news; she has founded a company. I believe 100% in their business idea of utilizing wild Finnish herbs. They will produce three great products, for starters, and aim to democratise and spread the use of true Finnish superfood. You make me so proud sis ❤

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We started the weekend early and headed to Tammisaari with a great combo of peeps. We woke up the boat of its winter sleep and took it to Hanko. We enjoyed a meal cooked by the boys (points up guys), followed by a proper sauna session in the seaside sauna. I was the last girl standing which resulted in hearing real man sauna talk with the guys. Something I recommend every girl to experience 😉 Dipping several times to the sea was a cherry on top.

Hanko and Itämerenportti harbor truly is one of my favourite places in Finland to spend the summer. Hope I get to spend many more to come Summers here. Thank you skipper and crew for one of the best 24 hours this year! Skipper knows that I’ve already reserved a spot for next year(s) …

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Beautiful Ekenäs harbour where our adventure took off …

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The next day, it was time for me to head back home to catch a flight to Copenhagen. We celebrated Jenna’s last single days as this beauty is getting married in two short weeks. The hens party was filled with laughter and happiness, and Jenna simply looked like a princess. So proud of you dear 

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Kicking off hen party weekend with poached eggs and fruits at Granola

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Beautiful bride-to-be buying groceries at Torvehallerna for a picnic lunch … Wifes need to know how to host parties, right 😉

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Jenna giving a public Soul Searching Session in Botanical Garden. She was simply amazing.

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The glowing bride to be ❤

Cuddling with wifey

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Dinner of pure pleasure. Cocofo serves surprise four course menus prepared of local and organic ingredients. The mussel soup was simply to die for …

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Fresh brunch at Raw42 before heading back home. The tapas plate is delicious with avocado filled cracker, raw lasagna and thai noodles. With green juice of course.

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Love Joe and the Juice.

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Back to training mode. My dancer’s pose work in progress 😉

This week I kicked off by moving out of my apartment. Luckily my wifey was there again for me, and I get to spend the last days with her. Yesterday it was time to hit our gym and bootcamp session again, after which I couldn’t resist training my dancer’s pose… Though this posture is never finished, I’m quite happy with how it looks like already!

Have a great week lovelies ❤

Eat well, sleep less, work out, party often

The title pretty much captures the essence of my Summer. I can recommend it to anyone 😉 Of course, work is always involved. – however, I’ve noticed that when you truly like what you do, great efficiency can be accomplished in little time.

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Summer nights with sun setting just before midnight …

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Our self-made heavenly Saturday brunch with the girls. It included mimosas with fresh pressed oranges, salmon and blue cheese, coconut pancakes with berries, green smoothie, pomegranate quinoa salad and endless cappuccinos. No better way to start a weekend.

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7 AM bootcamp. Ne better way to kick off a week day 😉

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Perks of working my thesis at the office: long lunches with wifey in the best places in town. Sandro is one our favourites, but definitely not the only one.

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Post feelings after a killer sprint workout.

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Another super night out with the girls.

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Including dinner & cocktails at one of my ultimate favourites in Helsinki, Pastor. Try their slow cooked octopus and salmon del mar for mains. For drink, their house special is a must try.

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Post AM bootcamp, proud face.

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Pizzas at Alfons. Delish.

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Mid summer. Ours included a great group of peeps, reunion with our girls living in Stockholm and London <3, amazing BBQ food, mid night sauna & lake dipping, crazy dancing until the morning, sun bathing at the pier, wondering in the woods… Thank you for everyone involved and the best hosts ❤

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Zen tea moment at Cafe Birgitta with lovely and fresh Pauliina. Perfect relaxation spot in the city.

… Followed by change of company and enjoying hangover burgers at the same spot 😉 So so good! We had partied until the morning at Sarfvik – spontaneous and super fun night in great fresh company.

Time is passing by fast and I’ve committed to making most out every day of the Summer. In few short weeks I’ll be gone from this beautiful home country of mine, starting to build a life in a new place. I love my country but traveling is such a powerful source of feeling alive for me, that I can’t help but feeling perhaps more excited than ever. But first, I have a lot of unfinished business and people to spend time with here. I’m reminding myself everyday to live in the moment, which luckily is not hard right now as we are living the best time of the year in the North.

I wish a beautiful and inspiring week to you ❤

“My spirit is scenic. I encourage you to take the long way when getting to know me.”

I noticed something. Before I shared my photo diaries through photos posted to instagram, now they’re mainly from my snapchat feed. Things (social media channels) clearly change 😉

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The other weekend we decided to escape the city for a night to enjoy the countryside. We headed to Henni’s country home and enjoyed some good girl talk, catching up and the peace and quiet and a raclette dinner. What miracles can just one totally relaxed 24 hours do to your mind. We felt so re-energized the next day.

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Hanging out with my favourite building in Helsinki. Enjoying some mama -time along with the best North African lunch in town at Sandro.

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Bought some roses for my favourite girls and myself. Because we’re worth it 😉

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Great kind of Satur-day.

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Best kind of Saturday night. Date night with my wifey at Pastor.

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Sunday activities: Wedding handcrafting with the bride-to-be and her maid of honours.

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Jenna and I are not afraid to try new sports. It has kind of become our hobby. Pole dancing was so much fun and what a workout!! Talk about a full body workout.

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My new addiction. Luckily not-so-fatal one 😉

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Though my spontaneous and easily bored-getting soul often craves traveling, life back home can be adventurous and exciting too. Simple things can have huge impact. For me it is trying new sports, yoga, meaningful work, being an occasional social buttefly, going out to nature, me-time, deep conversations, reading and studying about my interests, flirting with everything and everyone beautiful around me, is what keeps me feel alive and inspired. Changing routines. Stopping every once in a while to reflect what I’ve experienced and learned. Keeping the energy flowing.

xxx,

S

Christmas break

Dear diary,

It’s my second favourite time of the year (nothing beats Scandinavian July and August but we’re close) and I felt inspired to embrace these great times through writing, for memory refreshment when I’m old ;). Though I tend to blaze my travels and not so much my life back home, I must say that it is Finland and my everyday life, combined with occasional periods abroad that make me happiest. I hope that I will soon be honoured to host my friends from abroad.

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My Fall was an intense period of kicking off my master studies and working in a digital agency. Though working hours occasionally stretched until night and weekends, I never felt exhausted. I, perhaps first time in my life, felt that I am in right place with both my work and studies. Besides mandatory communication courses, I took few advanced marketing courses purely out of interest; I cannot take the credits as part of my study plan, yet I’ll never regret this extra work. Besides learning a lot, I identified some new areas of interests of mine; fashion (marketing, digitization, retail experience, consumer behaviour), for one. On another course, we created a coffee game/app, which we even might eventually develop further. Either way, I’m now confident that I can design an appealing and user friendly app. And let me say that gamification just might be the future of marketing and process management 😉 Anyway, I truly encourage curious people to reach out of their field of expertise for multidisciplinary knowledge.

After an intense Fall, I was lucky to take a long Christmas break. Barcelona with two bffs was a perfect start, followed by cozy Christmas with family. We got the most beautiful snowy and crispy Winter Wonderland for Christmas, which remains as I write this piece. Traditional Boxing Day dancing took place as well of course – we literally danced all night. Now I’m sitting on a train towards Tahko. Ski, relax, great company and some New Year’s partying – our recipe for a perfect last week of Christmas break.

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xxx, S

P.S. Last year this time I was at Bali, finishing three week volunteering work in an organic farm, about to fly off to Bangkok to meet Jenny. We had become friends the previous Summer when we both lived in New York. The short but sweet time together there had convinced us that we’d make a great team in Asia too. We were right and we’ll surely cherish memories of the trip forever. Not many people know how many different vehicles you need to get from Koh Tao, Thailand to El Nido, Philippines. Or how good a glass of cold white wine and steak of fish with mango sauce can taste when arriving to El Nido after 72 hours of traveling. Check our very own trip hashtag #mangomonsteritviidakossa14 in Instagram for travel inspiration. 🙂

 

I <3 Helsinki

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Last weeks in Finland I spent in the best company, enjoying my beloved home city and the best month of the year. The weeks filled up with endless coffee sessions, brunches, power walks, family dinners, drinks at the very same bar Groteski for too many times, the annual crab fest…. One of the tops also was to work at Flow Festival. For the first time, work really didn’t feel like work while I could listen the artist, wonder around the area and catch up with friends. I also got to live on some of my favorite streets in Helsinki, first enjoying hospitality of dear Assi <3, after which spending some time just by myself. The last picture is just hours before departure, last goodbyes before the ones said to family…. Even though I’ve had the opportunity to live in my favorite city in the world, NYC, and now in Hong Kong, I love to call Helsinki my home. Traveling is the best way to appreciate the time actually spent there.

Not to get too sentimental, next time I’ll post about the Hong Kong life. Even though browsing pictures from Finland makes me miss the moments spent there, I could not be happier here. I guess you have to step out of the comfort zone to experience how exciting life can be.