One year ago....
One year ago, I left Australia.
One year ago, I was sitting on a plane.
One year ago. I moved to the other side of the world.
One year ago....
That's right folks! If you haven't guessed it already- today is one year since I left Australia for Finland... and what a year it has been.
I didn't really know what to expect when I decided to come back to Finland, especially coming back here and becoming an au pair. It has turned out to be an amazing experience.
When I left Sydney airport, my mum, dad and younger brother were there to see me off. There were lots of hugs. I got on the plane and flew to Finland via Abu Dhabi and Dusseldorf.
The first people I saw when I got into arrivals at Helsinki-Vantaa airport were my friends Veera and Nupur. One greeted me with a sign, the other with chocolate, both with hugs! I almost ran them over with my baggage cart. Nupur drove us into the city centre where we had lunch and chatted for ages and then drove me as far as Salo where she lives.
When I got off the bus from Salo to Turku, I was met by two more friends, once more with a poster as well as chocolate and other Finnish goodies. It was a good day.
I stayed with one of my friends for most of a month before I started working as an au pair, and we caught up often on weekends after I started working. The best thing about some friendships is that it doesn't matter how long it has been since you have seen that person... you still get along and it doesn't really feel that long. And that is definitely the case with Sanni!
This last year has been a pretty amazing experience. I worked for one family until mid-February and then started with a new family in a city called Vaasa at Easter. Both have been interesting, and as with any jobs there are ups and downs.
I have learnt a lot more Finnish than I knew 12 months or even just 6 months ago- especially since I came to Vaasa because I speak only Finnish to the children here. I learn new things every day!
I have renewed my love affair with libraries. In Australia over the 5
years before I had not borrowed very often from libraries as I would
just buy the books that I wanted. If there is one thing I do miss from
Turku now that I am in Vaasa... it's the library. Vaasa does have one... it's just not as big.
I got to visit Spain last September(yes I know I never did end up writing a blog post on that!), Stockholm in December, London in March, and Estonia last July, over new years and then again in March. I have seen parts of Finland I had never visited before, and seen new things in some places I had visited. In August, I am going to visit Ireland and attend a friend's wedding. I just booked my tickets today!
I have made some amazing new friends in the past year. Au pairs and otherwise. I've made friends from all sorts of countries, who speak all sorts of languages. I've travelled with those friends and introduced them to places I love. I've discovered new places to love and rediscovered old ones.
I've been to my first music festival, sunbaked in parks like the locals, eaten new foods, relearned to ride a bike, experienced the aftermath of a snowstorm and the chaos it can bring on a large city(thank you Stockholm!).
All in all I have experienced! I have put myself out into the world and experienced. How long I will be in Finland for, I don't know. What I do know is that I will not regret having been in Finland. I think that if I do leave Finland this year I would like to try and stay in Europe. Maybe I will see if I can find a job in another country and move there. Maybe try and learn another language and experience more but that's for another time! So, sorry to all you people in Australia.... I don't think I'm coming home anytime soon!