It’s been 13 weeks since I left Finland. I’ve been meaning to write more about my time in Scandinavia, but I’ve been pushing it off, kind of in denial that I’m not there anymore.. I wrote this post a few days after I left & I’m just now posting it. If you’ve been wanting to hear a little more about what Finland was like for me, here it is 🙂
Two days ago I said goodbye to you, Finland, and I’ve never missed anything more than now.
It was love at first sight for me. From the first week in Helsinki with my amazing exchange group to the next 5 weeks with my Finnish family and friends, everything was magic. Every moment, every adventure, every conversation with someone was so special to me. Finland, you taught me some things that I never would’ve realized if I hadn’t stepped out of my country for a few weeks. You taught me about the world and you taught me about myself and you strengthened my dreams to travel even more.
Your forests and your birch trees, your abandoned buildings built for adventures, your rivers and lakes… No paycheck will ever make my heart happy like being in the forest or laying in the fields.Your dark-less nights, the old cities & castles, the cafes and coffee. Waking up at 6 or 7 most mornings to bike and adventure for hours with my Finnish best friend, and then more adventures after dinner.
Being a part of a complete family again, walking the dogs with my host sisters, having talks about life with my host mom, listening to my host dad play guitar, just sitting all together for dinner every night; it’s the little things.
The past 4 years of my life haven’t been easy, but who’s has? Divorces, moves, a period of depression, school & college stress… I’ve pulled through the best I can and have come to appreciate everything that has happened because it has made me tougher. Our worst experiences make us stronger. And they teach us to look for the light in things, because you can’t experience the highest parts of life without experiencing the lowest.
Finland was exactly what I needed. Being away from the superficial nature of the US for a while is something that I can’t even explain. Since I’ve been back I’ve felt so much more free to do what I want, wear what I want, say what I want and hang out with who I want without fear of being judged. Meeting so many people from all different countries gave me a new perspective that I will never forget. If you ever get the chance to go to Finland, please go. Go to Hämeenkoski , go to Helsinki. Spend your time outside and spend it with people who make you excited to be alive.
I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I do know I will be back, Finland. Whether it’s taking a gap year and traveling, becoming an au pair for a while, or possibly going to university there, this isn’t goodbye. It was love at first sight, at last sight, and every sight.
Moi moi for now Suomi
xo Little Bird