In the first part I explained some stereotypes-facts about Finland and this time, I would like to tell you why Finland became attractive to me in the first place and how I liked it when I moved here.
My love for Finland arose pretty early at the age of 14-15. At these times I was a huge fan of the Finnish Band HIM and casually said that I would move to Finland someday. Back then, of course, it was just a dream and fantasy, but at some point I really wanted to go abroad and even if it would just be for a year to somewhere. However, with the music came the interest for the country itself, its culture and the language.
In the beginning of 2007 I heard about the European Voluntary Service and immediately knew that this is what I want to do, and I was lucky enough that I got the opportunity to actually really go and make my dreams come true.
Prior to my departure in October 2007, I spent a week holidays in Tampere with a friend and we visited Helsinki for one day, and to be honest, I didn’t like it.
NOT AT ALL!
It was a terrible place to me and I started to ask myself, how I will manage to live here for 12 months – that’s such a long time after all!
Well, even after my arrival nothing had changed and Helsinki was weird and odd to me. The busses wouldn’t show the next stop or announce it, and nobody ever told me that I have to hold my hand out to make a bus stop. “What kind of city is that even?” was probably something I have said to myself.
After few months, I started to like Helsinki and I adjusted to the ‘city life’
(note: I grew up on a village with 2300 inhabitants!) and learned to live it with all its disadvantages and especially advantages (having public transport all night during weekends).
One reason why I started to feel at home was because I found friends, which makes everything a bit easier. With time Helsinki became my big love and it really started to feel like home. I remember New Year’s Eve 2007, which I spent with friends at the Senate Square and me crying for over 2 hours, simply because I was so grateful that I was here. I guess this made me realise, I never want to leave again.
All together I have lived here for 5 years (I was away in Spain and Denmark for about 12 months all together) and a I can say that Helsinki is the love of my life. I love living here and it’s definitely what I consider as my home. Living in different countries also showed me that I belong here as I would always returned to Finland because I was home sick – for Finland and not Germany.