This is where I started 4 years ago

Time travel is an unreliable form of transportation. When we look at our pasts, we don’t experience them exactly as we do while remembering them now, from the comfort of the present. But today I wanted to time travel back to 2010 anyway, in light of my birthday having just passed, in order to see what I could piece together from that time.


4 years ago I lived in Tampere.

4 years ago I couldn’t find jobs in English (or French, German, Spanish, Romanian for that matter) to apply to.

4 years ago I was attending a beginner’s Finnish course at Tampereen Työväenopisto.

4 years ago I couldn’t register as living in Finland, despite having lived here for 3 months.

4 years ago I got a shiny yellow bike for my birthday!

4 years ago I had no job, no school placement and very little idea of where I would be 6 months from then.

4 years ago I rode my bike and enjoyed the intermittent sunshine in the park with friends.

4 years ago I believed fitting in meant speaking the language.

4 years ago I would eat my favourite meals with friends at Wok Wok – and we would sit there for entire afternoons!

4 years ago the things I thought I’d understood no longer seemed to apply.

4 years ago I celebrated my birthday with a potluck!

4 years ago I put my faith in time passing and things getting better.

4 years ago the idea of leaving Finland felt like giving up and I was feeling stubborn.

4 years ago the opportunities I’d been promised were nowhere to be found.

4 years ago I was probably smarter than I give myself credit for today 😉

4 years ago I would’ve never told you most of this, but today I feel safe. I feel that I can.


4 years has changed a lot but I have to say, it wasn’t time passing that made the changes, it was me – at my own, very slow pace. The years can be long, or they can pass by in a flash, depending on what you’re doing.

Now I want to hear from you! Leave a comment and let me know: what were 3 things you were doing 4 years ago?



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Hi! I’m Irina.

I’m a multibelonger to Finland, Canada and Romania, without ONE language or culture to call my own – I have several. My intention is to be present where I am and find inner peace and harmony where ever life takes me. I’m embracing the gems of the ongoing cultural and linguistic transition which is my life and hope to inspire others interested in doing the same. Click here to find out more!

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