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Finland? Isn’t it really cold there?

So if you are anything like me, when I first heard the word Finland, I instantly thought of snow. I really didn’t know much about the country other than it was way up north and probably really cold. I had no idea what was here, what there was to do, what I should expect from the people, or what to pack to bring to Finland for 9 months…

I arrived in Finland in early August, and guess what I had packed in my suitcase: shorts. I mean, come on, it was the beginning of August, that’s still summer! I thought I’d wear them for maybe a few weeks before I would stick them at the back of the closet. Oh boy was I wrong. I very quickly found out that I would not be wearing them during my time here ever. When I arrived in August, the temperature was already at highs of 60 degrees. Leggings and a sweatshirt it was from day one.

I’ve been in Finland already two months now, its incredible how fast time goes. Days go slowly and the weeks fly. It is definitely getting colder, but I have found out some pretty amazing things about this country! I have to start with how beautiful it is here, especially now! There are lakes literally everywhere in Finland and the forests are vast! Tampere is one of the major cities here and it is literally smashed between two lakes and more forest space then buildings I think! Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely still a city, but not like the cities back in the states where the only thing you see is concrete. With all the lakes and trees here, it is a very relaxing country feel. Right now, all the leaves are amazing shades of orange and yellow that reflect off the surface of the water and I feel like sometimes I’m looking at a fairy tale forest with the way the moss grows as well.

I haven’t had the chance to go to Helsinki or Turku yet, but I am so excited to see those cities as well. Helsinki for sure is a much bigger city than Tampere, and therefore more tourist things to do. So I’m not going to give traveling tips in this article yet, I haven’t gotten to explore enough. Although I do recommend a visit to Finland for sure, and here’s why: THEY HAVE SANTA! Seriously, in the northern region of the country they literally have Santa Clause Village, where Santa takes pictures with everyone and the reindeer pull sleds! I’m hugely excited to see this!!! They even have Elves up there on the Arctic Circle! But really, I just want to pet a reindeer.

I also found out that the Northern Lights are extremely elusive! And I’ve already missed them once! Tampere got a nice show of the Northern Lights the other night, but it was too late at night and too far to go to see them. I was so sad! But I am determined to see them at some point during my stay here. I just need to go further north, and have it be a clear night, and still only might see them. But they are supposed to be even more beautiful when its snowy and white on the ground and the light reflects colors off the white snow. So I am very willing to wait for that moment! I think it will be even more amazing in the winter.

The people have been the most amazing, very welcoming, and very helpful! My teammates and staff are all kind hearted and made me feel at home right away. Of course it is always strange to start playing with an entirely new team, and in an entirely new language. I will admit to being nervous for my first practices when I arrived. However, the people here are so willing to help out! Most have taken English classes through school, so many know 2-4 languages already! (America is actually really slacking in the language department…) It might be a little rusty, but in stores and restaurants, it’s really easy to communicate. I have also found out, that Finns are pretty private people. It definitely takes some trust building to get them to fully open up about personal things, personal business. But it’s actually really nice because people aren’t airing their dirty laundry everywhere and everyone is really respectful of others. I love making friends with some of these amazing people!

I am also making slow progress in learning the language, it’s very different than anything I have heard, and the “r”s are hard for me to pronounce! I can’t roll my tongue, because the “r”s are like in Spanish, I don’t know how to do that! It’s an interesting language because they pronounce every letter in the word. In English, we have silent letters and smash sounds together all the time, but the Finnish language distinctly pronounces each letter in the word. Two aa’s together? Better make sure you say them both or you might end up saying something you didn’t want to. My teammates love to laugh as I try to say Finnish words, let’s just say my pronunciation is terrible so far. But I’m learning!

Finland has been a great country to explore so far. I learn more about the culture and fun habits that people have every day, like sauna here…most family homes have their own private saunas. And when you get too hot? No worries just go jump in the ice hole in the lake! Little bit nervous for that…But overall, I love Finland so far! Just not their licorice.


Thanks for reading and I’ll keep you updated with more Finnish adventures as they happen!


Much love to all!

Middle from the Middle



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