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Why everything you think you know about Finland might be wrong

July 22nd, 2014 Posted by Blog
When was the last time you stepped outside Kehä III and really met some people? Original photo.

I have to confess I haven’t spoken much Finnish since my summer holidays from gymnastics coaching started, so I challenged myself to speak Finnish for the weekend. Over the two days, I met and interacted with lots of strangers, as well as people I know quite well, or had met briefly before. What I noticed was a little unexpected, namely: there’s a big difference between city and country-side culture. This shouldn’t come as a big shock, but I think as a foreigner I am as guilty as the next person of blobbing groups of people together.


Can learning a language really change your personality?

July 15th, 2014 Posted by Blog

Can learning a language really change your personality? I think so. But the funny thing is, it does so naturally. So that we don’t notice, unless we’re paying really close attention. Blink and you’ll miss it. I had never noticed this before a couple weeks ago.


Take the day off #kesämeininki

July 8th, 2014 Posted by Life
seurasaari handstand

It’s July.
The weather has been freaking awesome and you deserve to enjoy it. Take a break from whatever you think you need to be doing and head outside: Kick a ball around, call some friends, have a picnic; or just grab a book and go soak up the sun.


Smiling for all the wrong reasons

July 1st, 2014 Posted by Blog
smiling for the wrong reasons screenshot

When moving abroad, you quickly notice some differences in how people interact from strangers to family. In my case, I noticed that I was the only person smiling at strangers on the street in Tampere, Finland, whereas I’d never even questioned why everyone smiled at each other in Canada. I made a decision in 2010 to change my ways and adapt, but a couple weeks ago, I decided to revisit that decision from a new perspective.


Feeling at home with strangers: polyglot gathering Berlin.

June 24th, 2014 Posted by Blog
chris irina

In January, I came across an interesting event going down in Berlin in June and I thought I’d register: a Polyglot Gathering in Berlin. For people who have a passion for and speak many different languages, that sounded like a fun way to nerd out on some grammar talks. Well the event is over, and I can tell you I got a lot more than I bargained for. I’m struggling to find the words to explain it all but if you’ve been on exchange, you might recognize this as a mini-exchange…


How to overcome fear of nudity in the sauna

June 17th, 2014 Posted by Blog
2013-08-13 15.40.56

Juhannus is coming up so I figured many of you may be headed to mökki about this time, and as always, nudity is part of the experience. As much as I would’ve liked to have been raised in a nudity-friendly culture, I wasn’t. And changing this mindset has not been easy…


How do you see yourself?

June 10th, 2014 Posted by Blog
foreign, expat, immigrant or none of the above

Foreigner, immigrant, resident, alien, newcomer, stranger, non-Finn, [insert your nationality here], visitor, tourist, expat, minority, migrant, settler, floater, exchange student, finnophile, English speaker, international student, asylum seeker, refugee, outsider, gypsy, wanderer, outlander, nomad, new kid on the block: all words for people who don’t belong.

But what happens when none of these words seem to fit quite right?


When Quitting Feels Amazing.

June 3rd, 2014 Posted by Blog
book pile1

I have a confession to make…


Chance or choice: how do you come alive?

May 20th, 2014 Posted by Blog
Our neighbourhood's street festival this past weekend.

Summer seems to be rearing its head and Finland is really starting to come alive. I’m not just talking about weather here – people are outside! Avid people watchers have loads to ogle as millions take to the streets: dogs, couples, families, hipsters and fashionistas in throngs – all out enjoying the sunshine.

City life is quite shockingly unrecognizable.


What to remember when life becomes all about you

May 13th, 2014 Posted by Blog
no man is an island

We’ve all been there – stress, uncertainty, confusion – it doesn’t always take much but we manage to get lost in our heads and complain to anyone who will listen, while closing our eyes to the rest of the world. In today’s post I share one of my favourite quotes and explain why it’ll easily remind you to take your head out of your own butt (in a nice way 🙂 ).


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