Lately there has been a blog challenge circulating among the blogs of Finnish people who live abroad. Finally I decided to accept the challenge after seeing it in Otto Lilja's blog where he encourages all the Finns to participate. The challenge included a Liebster Award but I had already participated before, so I'm not nominating any other blogs.
Some thoughts about living abroad:
1. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT THE COUNTRY YOU ARE LIVING IN?
I have always said, that the best part of the US is the people. They are friendly, always smiling, saying hello, talking to everyone and polite. Many Finns think that is just the surface, or that the overly helpful staff in stores can be annoying, but I love it! Who wouldn't like it when your co-worker compliments your clothes or hair style in the morning? Even if she doesn't really mean it, it still gets me in a good mood. Constant pouting and complaining is tiring! But sometimes I feel like I have trouble making true friends here since I'm not always sure if people mean what they say. Therefore, most of my friends here are fellow Finns.
I also love the size and diversity of this country. There is so much to see and we are always able to find something new to experience. We want to see so many natural wonders and historical places in this country. And we still haven't seen all the states!
2. AND THE WORST?
I really don't care about talking politics, but the world situation for sure takes a toll on everyone's daily lives. People talk about it a lot and it is kind of depressing to hear about these negative things every day.
Another thing that I miss from Finland, especially now that I have kids, is the certain type of safety and freedom that they enjoy. Here we drive kids everywhere; to school, hobbies and to friend's houses. Kids can't play outside without supervision and we teach them not to talk to strangers. If they want to go to a play date, parents will set it up while in Finland kids often just knock on each others doors. I know this isn't the case everywhere in the US but at least here in Silicon Valley parents are very protective. And before you even know it, you start to follow that same routine.
3. IF YOU COULD TRAVEL ANYWHERE YOU WANT FOR TWO WEEKS FOR FREE, WHERE WOULD YOU TRAVEL?
I think I would choose something from my bucket list... and there is plenty to choose from... ha ha! Someday I want to visit the Galapagos Islands or the Maldives. As a new destination we have talked about visiting Cambodia and exploring all the temples there.
4. WHAT DESTINATION WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRAVEL TO AGAIN?
To Greece and Hawaii. Maybe just to a different island than we have been to before, and in Greece I also want to see the peninsula. For some reason I keep returning to these two places.
5. WHAT KIND OF FOOD DO YOU MISS FROM FINLAND?
I could probably write a pretty long list for this. I miss the potatoes from the year's first harvest, Finnish bread, Karelian pastries, smoked fish, breaded cheese and my mom's cooking. I also have to mention that Finns really know how to make candy and ice cream!
6. DO YOU THINK YOU WILL MOVE BACK TO FINLAND SOMEDAY?
I wish I knew the answer! We sometimes talk about that, but we haven't decided wether we really want to or not. We have not ruled it out. Especially now that our daughter started school, I have been thinking about it more and more. But we still need to think about it and right now everything is good the way it is.
7. WHAT IS THE MOST FUN/INTERESTING HOLIDAY IN THE COUNTRY YOU ARE LIVING IN?
The most fun is no doubt Halloween! These days, it has gone from crazy partying to dressing up my kids for trick or treating. I like October here since the weather is still warm and every place is decorated with pumpkins. Also Independence Day, 4th of July, is fun. People gather at someone's home for barbeque and everyone wears something with red, white and blue. We also go see a parade or fire works on the 4th.
8. WHAT WAS THE HARDEST THING WHEN MOVING ABROAD?
The hardest thing for me was to understand why some of my friends in Finland have trouble keeping in touch. "Out of sight, out of mind" seemed really to be happening with some people I thought I was very good friends with. After moving here I was lonely and I didn't know anybody, and I had plenty of time to keep in touch with my old friends. But some of them really didn't seem too interested in keeping in touch. And then there were some people I didn't know so well but now they wanted to keep connected which was nice.
The hardest thing was to leave behind my family and friends.
9. COULD YOU IMAGING LIVING IN SOMEWHERE ELSE THAN FINLAND OR THE COUNTRY YOU ARE LIVING IN?
Yes, at least for temporary. It might be fun to experience the life somewhere else. But at the end of the day, I feel like my home will be either here or in Finland.
10. WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT OF 2017?
The most memorable moment of 2017 will be the birth of our second daughter. At the same time as Americans were watching a total solar eclipse, we got a perfect little baby girl. You can read more about it here.
+ 1 ARE YOU PLANNING TO TRAVEL SOMEWHERE THIS YEAR?
Oh no! It is hard to say what the rest of the year will bring along. We did most of our traveling in the beginning of the year since we knew that the baby would be born in August. So we have very little planned for the rest of the year. We did talk about going to Finland this fall or for Christmas, or maybe go for a little road trip somewhere. We will drive down to Southern California either for Thanksgiving or Christmas to see my husband's family. We haven't decided on any trips yet so if we end up doing something it will be planned later. But we do have some plans for next year!
Oh, and this challenge is open for any Finn living abroad or anyone else who has moved to a foreign country! Please answer the question and link my blog to the post.