Home is Where Hämeenkoski is


One week in Hämeenkoski and I’m already wishing I was staying for a year rather than just 6 weeks.

I’m living with a great Finnish family (the Airolas) & their Danish au pair Hans, about an hour north east of Helsinki. I have three little host sisters (Martta, Ella, and Saara), a mom (Merja), a dad (Jussi) and three hairless Peruvian dogs 🙂 Plus an amazing house on the river (uhhhh..? Pinch me!)





Hans and my littlest sister, Saara 🙂 20140628-020613-7573301.jpg


Finland is fantastic, even better than I had expected. Maybe I’m just lucky to have been placed exactly where I am?? (Yes!!!)
Anyways there’s a stereotype I need to clear up about Finland and Finns. It is not quiet and they are not rude or cold! In fact, I’ve met Finns who are more loud, friendly and social than many Americans. Since day 1 I have been dancing, eating, going to parties, laughing, swimming, talking, learning and adventuring; not a moment of boredom. Not what I expected from Finland but I am far from complaining!


Everyone! 🙂 (minus my host parents and one of my sisters)

Not only is my family great, I’ve also met some other pretty fantastic people as well! On my second day here I went with my family to our neighbors sons’ joint graduation and confirmation party. There I met Pali (the grad), Wili (the confirmed), Emma, Karo, Benjam, and more! I also met and spent a lot of time with the au pair Hans’ lovely Finnish girlfriend, Salla. (P.s. They’re leaving in a few days to go on a road trip through Sweden Norway and Denmark.. So jealous!)

So one great thing about being a foreigner is that people are honestly interested in talking to you. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been asked “Why Finland?” Or “Nevada? Where’s that?”. I was worried I would have trouble making Finnish friends, but I’ve been so busy being shown around and hanging out with them and my family. I’ll write more about those adventures later 🙂 I have so much to tell you I don’t even know where to start!!



The point is that I’m happy. I’m happy to be here in this beautiful place. I’m happy with my life and myself and I’m happy that I can genuinely say that.

I feel free.
So grateful ❤


3 thoughts on “Home is Where Hämeenkoski is

  1. Hi Ivy,
    I love reading about your Finnish adventure. I am so happy that you are having such a wonderful time. What a beautiful place you are living in, full of nature (it reminds me of the Pacific Northwest. Sending you my love, Grandma Judi
    PS: We are packed to go camping tomorrow for 5 days in central Oregon


  2. Ivy you have been so blessed to go on this adventure. I love you with all my heart granddaughter.


  3. Brett Hamilton June 29, 2014 — 1:44 am

    Its so wonderful to see you having so much fun sweetie! Drink in every second over there.


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