What is Life in Finland Like – My Travel Diary while I was an Au Pair

Last week I got published in a local magazine in Dubrovnik as a “travel writer” and I thought to share with my the article I’ve written.
The editor of the magazine agreed for me to write it also because my blog has been ranked 14th best in Finland according to Feedspot.
Although, this blog is “fashion and music”, I think it’s okay if I share this little achievement of mine. Being published in a magazine as a writer has been a dream of mine and I think this is just the beginning.
There I had briefly discussed my au pair experience, life in Finland and how I feel about Finnish people so far.

Life in Finland

Finland, a country with thousand lakes, is one of the most organized nations in the world, belonging to the Nordic country group. It is the country I went to at the beginning of October 2018 and that is how my adventure at the north of Europe has begun.
I went there to meet that famous Scandinavian way of living. Although Finnish people are not Scandinavians nor they belong to the same language group, they share pretty similar attributes.
On the streets, it is not alarming, everybody minds their own business, listening to their airpods and looking in front.
However, I wouldn’t call Finnish people boring or cold, they are nice and kind people, but a bit more closed.
“Au pair” job that I had gotten in the small town a few kilometers from Helsinki, was a perfect way to meet the culture (You can read more about my au pair experience here).
Although the main description of the job is taking care of the kids, it is just a small part of it. The family I had stayed at offered me Finnish language courses, they made Finnish meals (like deer), and I went to the capital often to better understand the culture and the way of living in Finland.
Finland is a young country, this year it has only celebrated its 101st anniversary of independence. Throughout the centuries it was under Sweden and the Russian government.
When it comes to Sweden, it still has influence considering Swedish is the second official language of Finland! Still, the Finnish language is more important and it is not easy at all.
The language is not similar to any other European language except Hungarian and it belongs to the Finno-Ugric group of languages.
For example, “Hyvää Uutta Vuotta” means “Happy New Year” in Finnish! Not easy at all, right? It’s a complicated language, but at least the pronunciation is said exactly as it is written.
Luckily, to get into working and regular life in Helsinki wasn’t so hard. Most Finnish people speak English very well, even the kids I’ve been taking care of knew some sentences.
Finland seems like a pretty exotic country to many other European states. There are not many talks about the country in the news which shows how safe the country actually is.
In Finland, there is no terrorism or any signs of danger. When I was walking alone on the Helsinki streets at 2 am, I wasn’t so afraid because I knew the safety is high there.
According to the World Economic Forum, Finland is said to be the safest country in the world.
Finland has a population of a little more than 5 million people, but their rate is starting to grow. Not because of the birth rate, but because of immigrants. In the 2010s, Finland accepted more than 50 thousand immigrants to their country. Many of them are Russian.
There are no fast rides in Helsinki, not too many crowded places except the city center and everything seems pretty calm.
There’s a funny story I had experienced there. Once I was late for about two or three minutes on a meeting with my friend and she explained how big of an offense it is to Finnish people. A simple rule is in Finland – don’t be late. Ever.
The way she said that wasn’t rude, rather clean and honest. That made me think of Finns as pretty direct people. When a Finnish person makes a promise, you can be sure they will fulfill it. Well, most. If they don’t, friendship is over.
Finnish people rarely sugar-coat or highlight someone’s qualities. Sometimes they can seem a bit pessimistic. But you know, the climate. I’msure in summer, they are more positive.

When it comes to Finnish cuisine, I think it is pretty basic, but not untasteful. Most of their meals are made of fish and meat and Finnish people love pies and oatmeals.
For lunch, they would most likely serve deer or reindeer meat and with that really special potato bread also known as perunarieska.
Their cuisine consists of many bakery goods such as cinnamon buns, blueberry pies, and cheese bread.
One thing that I really like about Finnish people is how ecologically aware they are. The streets are clean, there are no cigarettes or plastic bags on the floors. And the air is very clean.
I am sure that the amount of trees that they have truly contributes to the air cleanness as well.
Finland is full of trees, lakes, and nature with fascinating landscapes, especially when it’s snowing. Even in the capital, there are many gardens and parks.
I think we are all aware that it is pretty cold in the north, but Finns hide it with their central heatings that every building must have. And of course, I couldn’t go to Finland without mentioning its famous sauna. It’s a true Finnish gem.
Although Finns might seem uptight because of my text here, I wouldn’t call them like that. They might be a routine-oriented nation, but when the weekend starts, the whole story changes.
They love drinking alcoholic drinks and vodka is their liquor of choice. During Friday and Saturday, Helsinki becomes a city that doesn’t sleep. Even in the early morning hours, they can be hundreds of people walking on the streets. Makes it pretty fun.
Credit: https://www.tripadvisor.in/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g189934-d1189903-i116666301-Tavastia_Klubi-Helsinki_Uusimaa.html
Finnish people still love rock’n’roll and metal music above all (well, basically, my paradise). Many famous rock bands come from Finland, some of them are Hanoi Rocks, The 69 Eyes, HIM, Nightwish, and The Rasmus.
But of course, there are all types of music clubs and bars in Helsinki.
What I especially admire about Finnish people is that they don’t care, they wear whatever they want, thrift store or high-end, pink hair or gothic fashion, it doesn’t matter, they are individuals.
My experience in Finland has been amazing and I’m going back there this year where I will be going to University. But this time, my city of choice is Tampere. Let’s see what I’ll be doing there!
My newspaper article:
It had two more pages
Have you ever been to Finland?
What do you think of my experience?
One disclaimer: the interview is not 100% correctly translated due to the responsiveness of the article online.
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Cooperation and other business inquiries: noradblog@gmail.com
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