Re-establishment of the feeling of groundedness

 The past year has been a happy one for me. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot without burning myself out. Pretty much the opposite – I’ve taken better care of my mental and physical health than ever. A lot has happened since I arrived back home from Hong Kong 14 months ago. I remember how rootless I felt, not having a home or a clue of my future plans in terms of studies and work.
What I did have, was a bunch of loved ones I had missed during the time away. I needed time surrounded by these people to feel grounded again. Then, one by one, things started to fall into place. I landed a job that excited me every day. I learned more than I ever would at classes. The best part though was that I could maximise my time with wifey as colleagues, before she would head to new adventures for the Fall.
Fall, then, was time of studying, working and working out. Day flowing by with routines – which usually makes me feel anxious, but what I had missed in Hong Kong. Also the feeling of accomplishing small but meaningful goals makes you feel good. Spring was time of true self discovery for me. I was lucky to travel three times to Barcelona with Satu, and besides truly falling for the city, I learned a lot about myself. For me, traveling really is the best way to get to know yourself. I also managed to shift my studies towards psychology, which I loved after 5 years of business studies. Also, for the first time in my life, I integrated working out into my daily life. And there’s no going back, being physically active simply is a major part of well being for me.
A lot has happened in a year’s time. I’ve built a life that is comfortable and filled with nurturing relationships which I love, but not that exciting. And excitement is what keeps me feel alive. Seeing new places, meeting new people, hearing new stories. Being inspired. It is time to go and do something new again.
My destination: Cape Town & Stellenbosch, South Africa. My final year as a student will take place in Stellenbosch university as a MBA exchange student. At the moment I’m sitting at Istanbul airport, waiting for my connecting flight to my destination. Feeling: excitement. My wish for being inspired started in the plane already as I sat next to a gentleman who has worked literally all over the world as a consultant and diplomat for the past 25 years. I decided that I want to have as many stories as he does at that age
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I still remember this first meal with wifey at Sushibar + Wine
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Summer Fridays spent at Lonna island
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Catching up over high tea at The Cadogan with my Londoners Henni & Anne and Amanda’s surprise visit from Aberdeen
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Weekends at Hanko
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This cutie visited from down under ❤
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Our beautiful office building
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The perfect holiday at get together with my girls from London & Uppsala
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Getting this girl back from Shanghai ❤
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Elektro music brunch in Barcelona
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Beautiful Helsinki Summer nights
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High on hill sprints and Helsinki skyline
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Nightless nights
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My never-ending project
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Witnessing the tying of the most inspiring love story
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Next time from South Africa xxx

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. 🙂

 

Never knew Fall could be this good

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Time continues to fly by quicker than ever. Tuesday we had another National holiday, of which we naturally made the most out of, spending the day at the beach. Emily and I discovered another beautiful little beach village, Pui O in Lantau. Again I was amazed by how much these surroundings reminded me of the isolated areas in Thailand or Bali. Even the climate is a lot more humid than in the city. We spent the day visioning potential business ideas, which hopefully one day we turn to actual business. I have noticed how strongly changing the environment from familiar surroundings to new places is in correlation with the flow of ideas.

For a Finn, I can not but feel grateful for the current climate. Fall has arrived to Hong Kong which can now be clearly sensed. The humidity is gone and instead, the weather is mild yet warm.  Shortly, I can easily say I have never in my pass enjoyed any climate as much as I do now.

At last dinner back home my mom said: “Remember that moving to a new place is followed by three phases. First, you’re excited about everything. Then, you get home sick. After recovering from this, you start to enjoy it again”.  Although mom referred the time period to being many months, I somehow feel I already experienced all three phases. After the first week of excitement, I could not avoid but starting to compare Hong Kong to New York as well as Helsinki, and deeply missing them both. The feeling of being isolated from my close ones was also strong. Now, I cannot but wonder why I was feeling down. This city is amazing and it feels so strongly like home that it will be really hard to ever leave this place. I love to explore areas and find the ones for you. I think I’ve now found mine here. I now know that when I’m feeling anxious or stressed out, I head to the hippie yet peaceful streets of Sheung Wan. Hiking to the peak once in a week is already a routine I would not give up of. The list goes on. I think I’ll now head to pick up couple of Mana’s raw chocolate truffles…