My Finnair app is my best friend right now because every time I log on that beautiful app it tells me how many days I have to wait until I get to stand on Finnish soil again, oh may I add, after a short 3 hour straight flight to Finland. Oh yes, Finnair I love you.

Hello!

After a kind reminder from a friend I am here again, probably for the last time this school year, updating this blog with another meaningless thought after another. As previously noted my Finnair app tells me that today I only have to endure four more days, check in in two days which is basically being on the flight. SO EXCITED.

My upcoming days are pretty packed and mental, tomorrow is my last day of studying because on Monday I have two exams: One at 12 and one at 6 pm. And on Tuesday I have another exam at 6 pm and after that I am done with year 2, I am more than half-way through my degree and I am only 12 hours away from hopping in a cab that'll take me to the airport. At 3:25pm (local time) I will be landing in Finland on Wednesday for the whole summer, for three long months surrounded by friends, family, cars, boats, work, after-works, nature and Padva. Ahh life.

Today however those things do not really affect me, I have been in the apartment since Thursday studying away and seeing how everybody else are having fun on social media, or how they are getting done with school or celebrating life and it has made me sad and bitter, jealous. So yes, the bitterness has been on high levels and quite understandably at a hight today on the count of it being Saturday and apparently the first day of amazing weather in Finland. Lucky ducks! But fear not I am used to that whilst being here and a sure sign that I will be in Finland soon is that the next 2 weeks are completely full of parties, hang outs, work, spring cleaning and other shenanigans! Ah to have a busy life again!!

So my time is coming, take comfort in that as you feel sorry for me. (Really don't, I've put myself in this situation)

This may come as a surprise but the past week or so I have been kinda okay with being here and it is solemnly based on weather. Finland has had snow, snow and even more snow whilst we've been having full-on sunshine, no wind and weather up to 20-25°C, soooo kinda on the better end of that at least! Oh and on the matter of full-disclosure I have even burnt myself (fy fy fy) and gotten a bit of a base tan going on! YAY.

Other than that I realised today, after finishing yet another tv-series, that I have gone through so many tv-series lately. Because when I take a break from studying I need to stimulate myself without thinking and that is where the tv-series enter the picture... but unfortunately The Office ended two weeks ago (after re-watching it for the 5th time) so I was in need of finding new series. So I've been on the hunt and quite accidentally gone through a couple of shows on the way there.

I started watching Riverdale on Netflix and went through that in less than a week, it was okay high-school-murder drama with a little bit of ginger (I KNOW) eye-candy to look at when it got boring. Unfortunately there is only one season of it as it just started so I am at a standstill with that right now.

I also started watching #girlboss on Netflix a couple of days ago and I am now through the first and only season of that one too... It was okay but the actor as the main character is not really in my taste so I have been cringe-watching it for the past days. Oh well.

Miranda, a silly BBC comedy, was suggested to me on Netflix so I gave it a shot and had it on when I was cooking or doing other stuff and because of the fact that not all seasons are on N. I am now through that one too... Gah.

One new show that I also started this past two weeks of binging is a show that I am completely scared of, intrigued with and in a state of constantly wanting more. (sounds like I am talking about something else hahahahaha) (sorry mom) The Handmaid's Tale! It is set in this dystopian future where America is a big ol' cult fixated on having babies and reproduction because so many people had died and there is a shortage of babies. Anyways it is so interesting and a future that, with the current state of American affairs, doesn't seem to crazy at all. On top of it being interesting the quality and the acting in the show is top-notch. Can't wait for the next episode!

I think there are no more shows that I have gone through in the past two weeks, well I have been re-watching episodes of Friends, Gilmore Girls, That 70's Show and The OC at the same time but that's when I have no idea of what to watch.


I think it is quite obvious that I have not done much this past week. Really, nothing except apparently becoming a tv-series critique. Oh and watch ice-hockey but I am not happy about it so I don't want to talk about it. One of those off years again...

Oh well I am off to continue some studying on human rights.

Toodeloo!

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A big, defining, part of my childhood are road trips. From my very first summer on this planet and onwards we used to go on road trips every summer with the family. We packed ourselves into our old Chevrolet Starcraft Van (well it wasn't old in the beginning) and packed the trunk with our tent and our 'road trip box'. The road trip box still exists and is a big wooden box that had everything you needed for a road trip; roadside table, chairs, forks, knives, plates, bottle opener etc. Once that was in the trunk it was go time!

The trips varied every year usually with one country or specific sight as a heading, however the heading was not as important as the trip there. This was a time before GPS's so the way there was figured out through reading maps, driving on small country side roads and exploring. We usually had a rule of trying to stay off big high ways to take more smaller and scenic routes instead. Throughout our lives we grew up in cars, it was just the way it was, we had to ride the car to get places, to get to Padva, to go on road trips, or if we wanted to hang out with Dad as he was delivering boats. So having us kids in the car on a several thousand kilometer long road trips wasn't as bad as it sounds, we were used to it.

Now that I am old I am eternally grateful that I was 15 years old before I flew for the first time and that my parents decided to show their kids an amazing way of traveling. I constantly plan road trips in my head now, how many days, where to stop, what roads to drive, where to go and with whom. Driving down a highway, music blasting, amazing nature around you and with people you love in the car is my idea of perfection.

Last summer me and my friends from Switzerland and France went on a road trip through Norway and Sweden (all the pictures in this blog post are from that trip) and it was so much fun. This summer - hopefully - another road trip to Northern Norway will happen with somebody else. This is an appreciation post to parents, to road trips and to my childhood for being so incredibly perfect.

'The road goes ever on and on' as Bilbo Baggins sang.

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Hi.

Last time I was in Finland (over Easter so not long ago) someone won the Eurojackpot which is a big lottery that - apparently - spans over more than one country. Anyways, the person that won won 86 million euros, 86! Ever since then I have not been able to stop thinking about what one does with an amount of money like that, so naturally I have been daydreaming of winning that amount of money myself and what I would do. This has been weirdly cathartic and a real insight in a shift in my life, okay I need to explain this better.

I have noticed a shift in what I see for myself, where I see myself and what I value as important in my life... It is a bit like what I talked about in my last post where I noted that for the first time I felt like going back to Finland is the best thing that could happen to me. When I have been daydreaming about winning that amount of money I have ultimately thought of investing it in an apartment in Finland and renovating, updating and fixing up my summer cottage in Finland, oh and obviously buying a couple of cars (some things haven't changed hehe). Whereas before I would have dreamt of buying a lavish and luxurious apartment in NYC overlooking Central Park, now I want a wooden cabin in the vast forests of Oregon or somewhere in Canada overlooking nothing but the green oasis in front of me. Ah serenity.

Another shift in my mindset that I have noticed to when thinking about this is that when it comes to what type of job I would want to have even with that amount of money the only thing that comes to mind is starting up some kind of business in and/or somewhere around my hoods in Finland. Anything from a clothing store to a cute summer cafe in Bromarf. Somehow I have moved away from a lavish career in a bustling metropolis to owning my own 'something' and trying to keep the small town where I am from alive. Especially when thinking of having that amount of money a job that someone else would benefit more from seemed redundant and almost unfair, with that type of money I could create jobs and create a future for small town living. Ahh, if only I had one that money ey?

I don't know if you guys find it as interesting as me but I really do notice a lot of changes in myself, my mindset, my goals and my future lately and I find it really interesting. It is not just interesting to notice but to work for and to try to accomplish. I feel as if I have been so focused on leaving and starting fresh and re-vamping my life that I had lost sight of what it is or was that I actually wanted apart from leaving. As if leaving was the main part and whatever followed was secondary, this incidentally would explain why I feel that not many of my life choices since finishing school have been that beneficial or properly thought through. Now you are thinking, 'well in hindsight many ideas don't seem as great as they seemed then', that is true and one of my mottos in life is that I should never regret anything because at one point it was exactly what I wanted and it's true.

However, in order to grow and make yourself happier you have to figure out what could be changed in your life and what brings you joy and for me nature (especially vast, deep forests) gives me tremendous happiness, as does slow living in Finland and currently a dream of helping to keep the small towns alive too. Interesting huh?

No matter what I still have a year of studying left before I can pursue these dreams and maybe that is a good thing so that I have to do some soul searching for another year before I set course for my next adventure in life. I am however very excited to do so because as of right now I feel content with the new changes that I note in my mindset and the new goals I see for my future.... with or without the 86 million euros haha.

Anyways these were some midnight thoughts of mine which I felt were important for future me to be able to access!

ttyl,

Lina

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Hello everybody, good morning from me and probably good day for you...

Today is day of essays, the last one that needs to be done before I leave for America and even though it is only 1000 words and a 'blog post' aka. not a proper essay I seem to have such a hump to get over to even manage to start it. I am desperately trying to pump myself up with the knowledge of it being the last thing that has to be done before I can start thinking of nothing else but cleaning and packing and getting ready for vacay! (Got a bit motivated now but I am going to use that motivation to write this blog post instead hehe... You are so very welcome!)

I actually felt very inspired to share a bit of my emotional journey today, with emotional I do not mean how I have been feeling today but rather my own personal and emotional growth that I have noticed these past months. I think it is amazing to be able to notice such things and to look back and reflect. Right? Let's start with some background information.

The year is 2012. This was the year that I came back to Finland in July after a year in America that changed me in ways I cannot even begin to explain, it was simply amazing and one of the best years in my life. So naturally coming back to Finland was a bit of a drag, I did not handle it as well as I could have or I think I didn't know that I would have such a hard time readjusting to Finland as I did. Anyways anybody that knew me that year or the year after knew that my plan was to, when I had chance, leave Finland to go back abroad and reclaim that person that I was in America and so I did. After graduating and working for a bit I set off to Australia, now Australia did not work out for me I kind of fell head first and did not know how to get up again. It was a short visit but the first time a return to Finland seemed like the best thing in the world.

Australia did not scare me straight or kill my enthusiasm to leave Finland to reinvent myself, I still thought that Finland was too small, too narrow, too black&white for me to be able to ever live there full-time and feel content. So I headed to Ireland for college. Well this is where it takes a turn. Where I feel my own personal growth started and where I felt I grew up a bit.

(Take a break from reading, sip some coffee and listen to this. A piano is one of the most beautiful instruments if you ask me)

So back to Ireland, I cannot pin point an exact point in time that this change took place and perhaps it slowly did but sometime last year, when 2015 became 2016, I started realising how important Finland is to me. Do not get me wrong it has always been important because of family and friends but always seemed as a place I go back to for holidays and the summer months, never a place I thought I would want to call home base as an adult.

In Ireland I have always felt older than I did in Finland before I left, perhaps because most of the people I study with are 2-3 years younger than me and with different goals in life which is by no means a negative thing just a thing that differs us. I also realise that studying is not something I particularly like, I do not mind writing essays and I find some things very interesting to hear of or read about but I do not like a students life, I would rather work full time and read on the side to learn these things. That is my personal opinion and how I feel of studying as a whole, I like working and I would rather do that and I am very much aware that it probably stems from working full time for almost a year before I started studying.

All of these previously mentioned things in Ireland have altered me, my way of thinking and my plans for the future. This fall and now the beginning of this year has been occupied by thoughts of the future and which (to my amazement) for the first time since 2012 are set in a Nordic environment. It is not all due to Ireland and my dislike of being here but also changing situations in Finland; my niece and nephew that I miss seeing growing up, my best friends little baby, my friends establishing there lives and goals there. This past year my ties to Finland have grown even more and become even more permanent, I no longer dream of a luxurious apartment on the upper east side and busy NYC life actually I do but not as my permanent base.

I, Lina Lindqvist, for the first time since before America, before adulthood, before I even thought of the future, have a longing and a dream of establishing my home base in the Nordics close to family and friends and living in a system that fully functions and works.

I realise my friends and family might not think of this as being a big thing I have been boasting my love for Finland a lot lately, but it hasn't always been like that and I ,up until just over a year ago, thought that maybe when I am old and wrinkly I might want to establish a base in the Nordic but never before that... How things have changed. I would also like to add that to me this is a happy occasion, a happy and mature thought that I am so glad that I have reached. I finally feel as if I have a slight heading of what I would like to do or even be in the future. I feel very content with realising this and with also being able to analyse it and understand it fully.

I don't know if this is a coming out letter to the world "Yes world it is true, I am Nordic and I love it" or if I needed to write these words and formulate these thoughts for myself to understand what I want. In any way I am happy, content and looking forward to my future whatever it may hold. (as long as it is away from Ireland hehe...) (jk jk)

Baii!

Ps. On top of all of this thought of the future and where to live I have gotten very into homes, houses and decoration lately which is a very new thing for me as it has not really interested me before. Here too the Scandinavian foresty look and wooden houses are filling my Pinterest. The future looks exciting children!

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Per request, TWO whole people in one week actually, I am back at it again with the witty blogging! Unfortunately to mine and yours dismay I have pretty much nothing new to come with. I keep saying that to mom every time she calls too, there is literally nothing new to tell because Ireland is a limbo-stand-still-time-warp where nothing really happens, at least not for me.

The past two weekends before this one were at least fun, the first one my sister and her fiancé came to visit me for a nice and intensive 48 hours. We went to the Guinness Storehouse tour and learnt about the beer and drank (2 sips) a bit of Guinness just to come to the conclusion that it is rather disgusting. However no harm no foul we made up for the nasty Guinness by drinking way too many cocktails at Hard Rock Cafe and eating good food, all and all money well spent! Last weekend I had a friend come to visit and even though the weather was absolute shite the whole weekend we had fun roaming around TK Maxx (yes I introduced him to the joy of life), a little bit of Dublin sightseeing and a lot of laughter. Yay!

Unfortunately the walking around in the rain took its toll on me seeing as I have been sick for the past week, barely leaving the apartment and mainly laying in bed watching Shameless and Downton Abbey. (Yes I know a good mixture innit?)

This upcoming week however has some fun in its forecast, because I get to write essays! No I'm only joking, well not really I have to write essays and I am a bit stressed out over that because on Friday I will be sitting on plane flying over the Atlantic to US and A ! More precisely New York City for 5 days with Mommy and then Poultney for the remaining 12 days and also that with Mommy dearest! YAY!

To your left you will see a map of whereabouts in NYC me and mom will reside, Arlo Hudson Square a nice little hipstery hotel in downtown NYC, very exciting to get to stay at a hotel and not a hostel when traveling. (student life you know)

To the right is a picture of me the last time I visited NYC, back in lovely spring 2012. I look so young and skinny. Ah how nice. Anyways I am hella excited to go there and to get to see the city the I love the most, it really is my favourite big city. My request of mother was that we visit the Met one day and that we go to a jazz club, other than that I just want to stroll around and breath in that New York City vibe that cannot be found anywhere else. ahh, I can't wait!

After our days breathing in NYC we will take a completely different turn and take the good ol' (really it's stuck in the 1920s) Amtrak Train all the way to Vermont. In Vermont I do not have much planned except visiting all the dogs and seeing all the people!! With mommy with me it will be a bit different as I will travel around showing her all the things that I love but that'll be just as much fun. Oh and on top of just loving life in Poultney we will definitely do some TJ Maxx runs, hehe. Mother leaves two days before me so I get a day of my own in Poultney and that will be spent at my friends house warming party that she so smartly decided to have when I was in America, YAY!! So that night will be a blur of people, kegs and a good old American house party. AH I CANNOT WAIT.

Okay now I pumped myself up for this coming week and the two weeks following that, thanks me! Oh and on top of all this fun-ness, a mere week after I come back from America I am going to Finland for 12 days. *HEART EYES MOTHERFUCKER* It really is fun central from this Friday and for a whole month, YAY.

Toodles!

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On Tuesday last week I captured this picture somewhere between Finland and Denmark, however, I did not know it turned out this good because I was sobbing uncontrollably. Yes, that I did. I blame 2 hours of sleep, a fairly perfect Christmas break and the bursting of the care free bubble I was in.

Now a week in on Semester 2 and life back in Ireland and I have not cried since, well not sobbed like I did that day. Admittedly it was very hard saying good bye to Finland and leaving everything and everybody but I also think it was good for me. Good to start doing something with my life other than going to lunch and on dates. I suppose being an adult is realising that the good times have to end for new ones to start at some point. *Personal Growth right here ladies and gents*

Christmas Break in Finland consisted of an absolutely amazing New Years Eve Gala with a whopping 65 people, a couple of delicious brunches, many selfies, a tattoo, a couple of nights out, many nights in cozying up to someone and a general sense of bliss of being at home.

However, back here in Ireland I have taken a more active role in my own life. That means a plan of studying, eating and exercising oh and also trying to be less negative towards this place. To keep my spirits up I have many things to look forward too this spring, here is a comprehensive list:

1. Ida & Jamie are coming to visit me: 19-20.02 12 DAYS

2. B. is visiting Dublin for the first time: 24-27.02 18 DAYS

3. Me and Mom are meeting up in my favourite city: NYC for 5 nights and then heading to Vermont for another 7 nights, I am so excited to go back! 10-27.03 32 DAYS

4. I am going to Finland for Easter: 07-18.04 60 DAYS

So as you all can see a lot of fun and traveling lies ahead, always good to work hard and to have something to look forward too!

On top of all of this fun there is one more thing (at least) to look forward too, however this one is not until this fall but it is such a joyous occasion and something new for me and my family that it is exciting as hell! In November the Lindqvist clan is flying to the Dominican Republic for my sisters wedding, I am so excited for the wedding, the place, the all inclusive (!!) hotel and the warmth. Ah, can't wait!

All and all I am pretty content, happy and in a good mood right now. 2017 has started in the best way ever and I hope it continues in that way too and as I look at all the things I have coming up it seems to not be that impossible. Yay!

Guten Nacht,

Lina

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Hello!

Every year I do a list over my year, and it is the same list every year with slight variation in the answers. Ready for next one? Yuuup!

2016

1. Did you do something this year that you haven't done before?

Yeah, as per usual new things happen all the time! I went on a roadtrip to Norway on my own, sans parents that is, I drank alcohol legally in The States... Okay, I cannot think of anything else? Apparently this year was pretty much similar to every other year lately. But it is the middle year, with that I mean the middle of my studies and such so it is kinda meh.

2. Did anybody you know have a baby?

Yes!! My sister had her second baby in September, a little baby girl and just two days before that one of my oldest and closest friends had a little baby girl too!

3. Did somebody close to you die?

Unfortunately yes, someone close to me and especially close to one of my friends. It was a rough start to the summer, a rough time for all involved.

4. Which countries did you visit this year?

Finland - As much as possible and as often as possible

Sweden - As a part of my roadtrip

Norway - As a part of my roadtrip

Ireland - More than I would hope but yes

USA - I finally went back home to Poultney after three years! It was glorious.

UK - To see the sister and her mister

The Netherlands - A fun filled Halloween with France, Switzerland and Finland represented in Amsterdam

5. Is there something you've been missing in 2016 that you want to have in 2017?

Hmm, a hard question. This year has been under a lot of turmoil at some points and then at some points at a complete stand still. I wish for a more balanced 2017, a less of an emotional rollercoaster.

6. What day/date will you always remember?

Ah a hard one again, Padvastock this year was amazing and made a very good comeback but I think that just like last year New Years Eve this year takes the price! We had a Gala with 60 of our closest friends, a sit town three course dinner, dancing, fireworks, champagne showers and many rounds of laughter. It was a long night, a fun night and the perfect start to 2017.

7. What's the best thing that has happened to you during this year?

Hmm, a lot of things related to my exchange year happened this year. My host parents made their first (ever!!) trip to Europe and it was amazing to finally be able to show them a little bit of Finland and have them as my guests for once. On top of that both of my host sisters from America came to Finland for a whopping 17 days and it had been 2 long years since the last time I saw them, even though seeing them felt like nothing had changed! Lastly, I went back to America last spring after 3 years and it was amazing. All I did was hang out with people, eat good food, hung out in Walmart and TJ-Maxx and enjoyed every second of being in the country I love so much. So I would say the best things last year were those connected to America somehow.

8. Biggest mistake?

Hmm... Spending too much money as always? I really am the worst. No but I think one of the problems last year was that Finland and my summer here was just absolutely top notch and my return to Ireland was very uncertain as I had no place to live and had to live in a hostel the first week back so it laid the grounds for my fairly negative feelings towards Ireland this past fall which carried on throughout the semester... I still feel the same but could try and make a better effort to actually make something out of my remaining year and a half there.

9. Best thing you bought?

Hmm... A roundtrip to New York for 330€ ?? (SO CHEAP YA'LL, OH AND IT'S STRAIGHT FLIGHTS NO LAYOVERS) ... I also had a good shopping year like clothes wise, I bought a pair of shoes, albeit a bit expensive but the first shoes ever that I haven't gotten blisters from so...

10. What did you spend the most money on?

School. Rent. Food. The usual and the worst things to spend money on. I mean especially school and rent, food is okay to spend money on hehe.

11. What made you really happy?

The 3 F's. Friends, Family and Finland.

Friends: I know I have said this before but I will continue saying it: MY friends really are the best of the best, all of them from around everywhere. I mean my host sisters that I see every now and then but feel equally close too every time we fight over who gets shotgun. My Finland friends that just know me from the inside out and that really know how to make a party better than best + all the new friends that I have made and that have come to mean a great deal to me.

Family: We don't see each other all under the same roof that often but when we do it's fun and especially now that we have two mini-versions of my oldest sister that makes every minute exciting.

Finland: Where I find the other two F's, where I can drive (<33333), where I feel adult, where I get to work, where I know everything inside and out and where I can spend my summers in paradise.

12. Have you been sick or gotten injured?

Not really no, I had something in my foot in the beginning of the summer and I actually had to go to the hospital (first time ever in Finland) but that passed in like a couple of days and that was it.

13. What songs or artist will make you think of 2016?

Beyonce - Lemonade without doubt, I blasted it all spring and all summer. Bohemian Rhapsody will make me think of Padvastock 2016. All Zara Larsson songs and a strange amount of Foo Fighters.

14. Is there something you wish you would have spent more time on?

Umm, spending less money? Going to more lectures? But then again actually what is the point of me going there when the lecturers have been bad and the subject boring and bullshittable ? I really had the most boring modules this past semester. What else, more time on working out as always?

15. How was your Christmas Eve?

Quieter than normal, less people that is, but followed the same patterns as always which is EXACTLY how it is supposed to be and the way I love it. The food was amazing and the presents were amazing and it was christmasy even though the weather was absolute shite.

16. Did you fall in love?

:)

17. What was the best TV-show?

Ahh easy! SKAM!!!!!!!!! This Norwegian show about teenage kids, like literally they are born in -99 or -97 or smth, and it is like Skins it follows one person each season and it is just so damn relatable. Way more relatable because it is set in a Nordic setting where you are used to all the things they do and they way things are set up and it is just made so effing good. Did I mention that literally everyone in Finland has seen it and bonds over it at the club? So funny!

18. Best book you read this year?

This year I finally (yes finally) started reading the Lord of The Rings... I know I know... But I tried before and it was just too hard in English, the language was just too hard to understand so it never amounted to anything but now I am on it and even though I am not in a reading period right now I am getting through them slowly and they are obviously amazingly good. Other than that I really haven't read any books this past year.

19. Biggest musical discovery?

Hmm this is tricky. Gotta go check Spotify real quick. Hmm hard to tell actually. Calum Scott and his rendition of When We Were Young and Dancing On My Own have been played to death this year so I'd say maybe him? Otherwise there's been pretty much the same as before, no new discovery per say.

20. Did you wish for something you didn't get?

Nah not really, I got more than I wished for this year and I am very grateful.

21. The best movie of the year?

The Revenant was amazing. The Big Short was also really really good and something I found super interesting. The Jungle Book reboot was super duper good! However no movie has really blown me away however this year I am hoping for The Beauty and The Beast to be good and especially Dunkirk, can't wait for another Christopher Nolan miracle!

22. What did you do on your birthday?

The weather was pretty bad so all we did was eat good food with the family and go for drinks to Ekenäs in the night with my friends and my host sisters that were visiting at the time. A bit sad because usually my birthday has excellent weather and that means boating but not this year... Oh well, can't always win aye?

23. Best people you met?

Even though I live in Ireland I actually have made new friends in Finland which has been fun, unexpected and exciting!

24. How would you describe your style?

Classy some days. Skatery most days. Oh and a washed out Ralph Lauren t-shirt and shorts when I hang out at home, actually what I am wearing right now... hehe.

25. What made you feel good?

Friends. Family. My Car. America. Finland. Finnish food. Music. Padva. Oh and this past fall I have been more happy about myself than I have before, I've felt more strong and sure of what I wanted than before which is good. Yay!

26. Which celebrity did you want the most?

Umm William from Skam (jag vet lammkött men ändå), Tom Hardy, Leonardo Dicaprio, you know the usual.

27. Who did you miss?

When not in Finland I missed Finland, friends, family and my car A LOT and all the time. When not in America, as always, I missed Poultney my friends there and all the dogs.

28. Anything you could've done better?

School? Essays? Exams? Work outs? Positivity when away from Finland?

29. How's next year going to differ from this year?

Hmm... No idea actually, as of right now it looks pretty much the same as before, it is still the middle year (middle of school) so it just kinda doesn't imply anything new in the near future. However, there are things that may or may not happen that could make this year a very good year.

30. Resolutions?

Work out more, as usual. Save more, as usual. Eat less bad things, as usual.

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Good evening, I realised as I was getting ready to hit the hay for the day that tonight may be the last night I have some time to do that last one of the summer months; AUGUST. This one isn't hard to write about and isn't hard to find pictures for, however it is fairly hard to put into words how awesome this month was.

It is safe to say that the other months had their fair share of sad news and negativity which probably contributed to the 'goodness' of this last summer month which was a joy from beginning to end.

I started my month with my seasonal over night stay at my Godparents to catch up, eat well, drink too much and just generally spend some time together. I have done it every 'season' that I have been home since I left Finland, it is a nice tradition. On top of that I spent my days in Padva and swam as much as I could because well why not?

August 5th marks the start of the epic:ness of August. My long lost and lovely host-sisters from America, one from France and the other from Switzerland, made their first ever visit to Finland! They stayed in Finland for 17 days and we managed to get quite a lot of things packed into that period of time. Simultaneously as they were there for their first weekend my sister had visitors from, Sweden, Britain, Denmark and from around Finland (if I remember correctly) for a party weekend in Finland.

We all started our weekend with a boating competition called 'Pokerrun' which is held every year in Hangö in Finland. We got our own boats and went to look at the start of the race and as we returned back home it was time for a house party in Padva with all the foreigners and all the guests! It is fair to say that it was a long night, no one had an empty glass all night and we all got home in different ways (some through ditches, others on balconies and some waking up with their head out of the door)...

The week after that I had work and my guests got to hang out with each others company as I worked away. My birthday was also that week and we spent it by eating good food in Padva and driving to Ekenäs in the evening to have a couple of cocktails with some friends at Alban. Ah lovely summer nights.

That weekend after recovering from the previous one was the event of the season, the comeback, the party everybody had been anticipating, the one, the only, PADVASTOCK!!

DAY 1 of Padvastock meant that the night before and that morning me and my fellow helpers had been running around all of Padva making it party ready and as guests started rolling in the party slowly took its form. Padvastock as a concept is a themed weekend party held every year as basically the last big party of the summer season, this was year 4 (after a pause) and its theme was festival! So naturally when you come to a festival you have to check in, everybody got a PADVASTOCK 2016 wristband and had to take a jell-o shot with the check in lady. (who incidentally happened to be me)

This year was fun for multiple reasons but one of the big ones were that there was a lot of new faces in the crowd! I had my foreigners there and C. from Åland came over, on top of that a lot of first timers from around Finland too! YAY for that!

We had a face/body painting station, a bbq spot, a slip and slide (albeit homemade but it served its purpose), a sauna hot all day (and night) and some beer pong for all the champs.

I was awake and last man standing that night after hours of ring of fire and Bohemian Rhapsody karaoke, also I think I made a midnight run to the ocean for a swim? Not sure.

Anyways, it was a good first night and everybody seemed perfectly happy with day 1 of Padvastock. (The hostess in me that wants to entertain and impress was very thrilled that it was a hit and a half)

DAY 2 of Padvastock I woke up to what can only be described as the aftermath of a festival. It was chaotically beautiful. I faintly remember everybody slowly dying in their cottages and somebody asking in the Facebook group when we were going to Skatafe for burgers and hangover food. Haha, see the brilliance of Padvastock has two main points: 1. It is so far out in the sticks that nobody can leave 2. Only 4 km away from us lays, at the end of the road, a summer cafe that serves the best hangover food. Great right?

So we all went there with a couple of cars and had food and then came back to clean up the residue from last night and prepping for day 2 which was the crayfish party! I think it was the fastest crayfish party in the history of crayfish parties hahah but it was fun and the rest of the partying continued on into the early am once again with Bohemian Rhapsody blasting in the speakers.

After day 2 comes day 3 which is the last day of hangover food in Skatafe and then just generally people starting to leave and head back to civilisation. I had so many helping hands this year in cleaning everything up that it was no hassle at all and after a fun weekend like that with literally the best people ever nothing can get you down!

We did not waste any time and just the next day after P-Stock me, Frenchy and Swissy headed on a little roadtrip together! The picture to the right is the first stop in Sweden with some lovely roadside lunch, awesome! We took the Ferry from Turku (Finland) to Stockholm in Sweden and then drove straight across to Norway, into Norway up to the upper middle of Norway to Trollstigen and then via Geiranger back to Sweden and Stockholm to take the ferry home again!

The first night we spent at my sisters friends house in Heggenes where we had the whole house to ourselves, this picture up here is the view from their backyard. Not too shabby aye? We had driven from early morning all through Sweden and a fair bit into Norway when we arrived at their house in the evening so it was nice to have a place to stay and sleep happily!

The next day we spent driving on roads marked as 'especially beautiful scenery' and oh. my. gosh. it was so pretty! I am a huge lover of nature views and of spectacular nature and all I did that day was marvel at the wonder that is nature. It was SO pretty.

We reached our 'goal' that day too which is a very known sight in Norway called 'Trollstigen', well it isn't really a sight it is a stretch of road that is known but which incidentally comes with amazing views. It is one of those roads where you are climbing up a mountain with your car, I was a nervous wreck all the way up and thought my car was going to die or the breaks were going to give or some other car in front of me was going to fail. I was literally sweating out of stress. Totally worth it though! Reaching the top of Trollstigen and continuing on that road, as we did, means continuing to drive up up up which we didn't know but learned pretty quickly.

That is fine though because look at the town we had lunch in that day. We sat at one of those tables in the left picture. So incredibly pretty to sit there and look at the fjord and the mountains as you munch on your lunch with some of your best friends. Ah <3

We continued driving and eventually also drove down the mountains in Geiranger where we also spent the night at a cabin right by the Geiranger fjord. The day after that, a rainy one, we drove away from Norway back to Sweden via Gothenburg and then back to Stockholm where we slept in the car waiting to board the ferry back to Finland. A very short but intensive and incredibly pretty roadtrip!

Once back in Finland we managed to get one last night out in Ekenäs before the 17 days were up and the two lovely ladies flew back to their countries after what I hope was a good holiday for them!

Reality hit after that and I went to pick up the pieces left behind after Padvastock and to pack my things from Padva to slowly move back to Pojo but alas! before August ended I had time to do a couple of more things. A first in my adult life but definitely not a last was to hold, help and celebrate a baby shower for one of my oldest friends. We ate cakes, played games and guessed the date of birth, gender and weight of the baby. It was lovely to catch up with my longest lasting friends and to do that and celebrate the little life that is now a little happy girl!

Other than that I spent many nights in Ekenäs with all my friends, enjoying the last days of summer, savouring the sunlight on Baywatch and sitting by the docks for hours just being in the moment.

Somewhere there in the end of August I managed to have a little drinking bender with my lads, starting with a random Thursday and Friday night out and then a birthday party with Gängi followed by yet another night out and then somehow ending up in Åbo on a Sunday with the lads again... I don't really know what happened there but I think I was using every last chance I had to do fun things before duty called in Ireland.

Right before the end of August I went to a BTS party (which is a Back To School party organised by a Uni in that given city) and even managed to go to Helsinki to say bye to some friends before leaving for an unknown period of time... (I say that because I have returned twice to Finland this fall...because why not?)

Anyways that was August which was jammed packed with festivities and major events, such a good month and a clear favourite this summer.

Time for me to go to bed now and to in just 3 short days jump on a plane to go make some more memories in Finland, am I excited? FUCK YES.

ttyyyylll !

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Hi!

Yesterday I had this bright idea of going through my email to see if there were any pictures sent to me via email, you know back in the days when that was the easiest way of doing it. Sure enough there were plenty of pictures and many of them were of me and horses so I got to think and strut down memory lane and with a tear in my eye and a smile on my face I remember years and years of countless hours in the stables with the horses.

I honestly believe that it has made me a more responsible and independent person, the confidence that comes with being able to take care, manoeuvre and form a bond with these incredible, huge, animals is priceless. Having horses as a hobby is so much more than just the physical act of horseback riding, it requires understanding of the horses physic, manners, mentality etc. and we work with them from the ground, take care of them, feed them, groom them and then spend an hour every now and then in the saddle. I think it is amazing that something that takes that much physical work and toll on a person can be so much fun? I mean I loved shovelling manure at 8 am on Sunday morning in the middle of the winter just because it meant that I got to hang out in the stable with my friends and the horses. I could spend hours grooming "my horse" (the horse that was mine to take care of in the stable, everybody had one).

I have never officially given up horseback riding, life has just gotten in the way as I have been traveling and been away from my 'home stable' and every time that I am back in Finland I think of going horseback riding just to be able to breath that horse air again.

These pictures (courtesy of Bettan) are from the last horse riding camp that I went too, in 2012. I love the top left one where I am smiling, because it really shows how much fun it is even though it is hard work and takes a toll on you mentally and physically. Mentally? Oh yes let me tell you the feeling after a shit riding lesson is literally the worst, every single time you feel like quitting but then you end up there again a week later to try to redeem yourself.

It was so much fun when I was little just spending any extra time that I had in the stable, working, helping etc. It has helped me not just in staying out of trouble or in doing something recreational that is good for my physically but it is also the reason why I speak fluent Finnish and the reason why I have a huge network of friends that I have met through this sport. I also held lessons for a mentally disabled boy that did horseback riding once a week in the summer for a couple of years, which was amazing to be able to do that for him and see how happy he was when he got to be around the animals. On top of that I also helped out with bigger groups of disabled riders that came to try out horseback riding, it is amazing how the horses sense and know to be gentle and calm when needed. (Yes my eyes are tearing up)

Here are some pictures when I was maybe 12 years old or even younger than that? From the hight of my horse addiction and when literally all I did was be around the horses. Both of the horses in these pictures have had a great impact on me, the one to the left 'Raingirl or Essu' I leased for almost a whole year, which meant that she was like my own horse I paid for half of her expenses and rode her about 3 times a week. It was amazing and very educational to be able to see the progression with that one specific horse. The little black pony to the right, also known as Tetris, is a year older than me and has been my faithful friend throughout my time in the stable that I am in now. He was my "sköthäst" which would be translated to my 'care pony', all of the kids in the stable that wanted to and had enough experience got to have a horse which they were in charge of taking care of. That meant oiling up the saddle and bridle once a week, making sure the brushes were clean and the horse was groomed and that it had no wounds etc. It was like taking care of your own pony. Tetris was my care pony for at least 5 years I think, and was the best of the best.

Ah memory lane.

This lad here which makes thinking about horses a bit painful is 'Elstar' or Eppu. He was my riding teachers sisters horse and I got to ride him a lot and I loved him. I was even offered to buy him but my parents didn't want to spend that much money. I am still sad over that because now that he is no longer in my stable I miss him a lot and a part of what made the last 4 active years of horseback riding so much fun was him and now he is not there anymore. I understand my parents, don't get me wrong horses are basically money eating machines but ah how much fun it would've been. I hope he is doing well where ever he is now.

Sorry not sorry on dedicating a whole blog post on horses. I could go on for days about horses and special horses or what I have learnt from that sport or all the injuries that i have acquired but I shall leave it at this. With a picture of Eppu and a happy me.

Ttyl, back to studying now!

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Hello.
I sometimes like to introduce you all to important songs as I write these important, oh yes very important, blog posts. Coldplay has always been a favourite and some of the greatest concerts I have ever been too. They good.

Coldplay wasn't my reason for blogging today, my reason for blogging was to make time pass without doing anything that one is supposed to do. You know.... Procrastination. Ah, a word I live by. I have for the last 3 days procrastinated in a very good way, in Stokenchurch in England. Yes, I flew to my sisters for a couple of days, we didn't do much just ate good food, drove around, visited TK Maxx and watched some quality tv. All and all pretty much all I needed for a good holiday!

However now I am back in Ireland, but alas only for 10 days!!!!!! Finland is just around the corner and it is so close that I don't even have time to long for it because the next 10 days are jam-packed with exams, packing and Christmas wrapping! So all and all a pretty darn busy schedule and that is a-okay! yayay!

I love traveling, however flying has become quite of a less fun thing these days. I don't mind the flying part or the airport I actually love sitting in the airport people watching... hehe. However, I actually like the transatlantic flights, the long-haul ones, on those flights you get to sit down, make your little nest, you're fed all the time, you have movies to choose from etc. It's all good. What I don't like are flights that are 3-4 hours long, because they are long enough to become boring but short enough to not have any entertainment, food or anything to do on them. And of course I live in Ireland which is about a 3-4 hour flight from Finland. Usually with a layover in Stockholm or Oslo... Lucky me!

Anyway, don't worry because my plan in life is to be rich enough to fly first class everywhere so then my problem of short flights won't seem as bad. I got it all figured out just let me win the lottery first!

On the left side in the middle:ish is where we live, right under the Dublin mountains that stretch for about 40 km, you can faintly see them in the background far away too.

Okay well time to get back to Comparative Politics which is actually fairly interesting as I read it on my own which makes me a bit sad, because it means that this module had the potential to be interesting yet it wasn't. I think that is one of the things that are a slight negative about a free third level education as the bar is not as high when it comes to professors and lectures. I mean I am not saying that my uni isn't doing as good as they can to make our learning experience better and as interesting as possible but if you attend a university in The US where you pay 40 000 dollars a year you expected a certain level of your classes and you have the right to complain because you are literally paying to get the best of the best. I have never attended an Ivy league school lecture in The US so I might be talking about things that I do not know anything about, but I think it isn't just that it is also the incentive as a student to be able to complain or to be able to expect a certain level from your professors, I don't feel as inclined here to complain because well, I am getting it for free and I am eternally grateful for that.

I suppose my point is that even though I am an advocate for free third level education and I think that is something that is absolutely great I would also like to point out that there is a good side to both arguments, I think what I just discussed is one of the more important arguments for paid third level education. This incidentally ties in with politics and policies, I mean a higher tax does include (not everywhere but where I come from) a higher level of services at your disposal. Hehe, getting all educational on your asses. Sorry, I sound like I know what I am saying but I actually don't.

Anyways, Bye ttyl ya'll!

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