“I have no idea when my interest in Finland started and how. I was in love with Sweden at first, so I always supported Sweden at high school in ice hockey and other things and then I started to make trips when I got a little older, like 18 or 19, when you start to explore the world. I always wanted to travel and to meet other nationalities. I guess I’m unique in my family because I’ve always been a frequent traveller.
At some point I discovered that Norway was a nice country and then I thought “on the right side there’s another country, Finland! Let’s try Finland.” It’s one of the more exotic countries isn’t it, especially with the language – it’s not so easy.
I came to Finland in July 2014 because I got a job at a company called Management Events. I was here several times before on vacation and in my travels to the North, in Norway, Alaska and Sweden.
Unfortunately my company got shut down in Austria so that’s why I needed to reorganise and restructure myself. So I went on a long, long journey through America, Canada and Alaska. And one day when I was at my friend’s place in America I got the job at Management Events. So off I went back to Austria, packed my stuff and moved two months later. First I celebrated my 30th birthday and then I moved to Finland.
It was July and it was super hot. Something like 32 degrees. I thought “wow!” because in Austria it was so so hot and I thought “let’s go to Finland, I don’t want to have this heat.” So I came here and it was 30 degrees and I was sweating all the time!
It was a bit challenging at the beginning, I thought it would be a bit easier, but it wasn’t. But this is how you learn about yourself and this is how you grow with the challenge. And looking back now I think I enjoyed it, growing as a person and facing all these challenges but still kind of dealing with it.
I always say that there is a reason for why things happen. I mean, I had several job offers from Austria and I refused them all. My mum couldn’t understand, like I was waiting for something else that would fit me better. And then Finland came and I accepted Finland. My mum was sad because she knew that I was leaving, but now she is super happy because I have my husband and things turned out fine. You just need to risk it.
I moved here without any friends or any social contacts. The beginning was very very hard, because it’s not vacation, it’s your real life. I started work at Management Events as the project manager for Austria and in November I met my husband on Tinder. I wanted to get a bit integrated and to get some contacts in Helsinki so that’s why I activated Tinder. And then there was this guy. At the time he was working in Punkaharju. Now we’ve been together 1.5 years and we’re already married, so everything worked out perfectly.
We connected at the beginning of November and three weeks later I went to Punkaharju for the whole weekend. It was our first date. It was snowy there and it was super dark and so so silent. But it turned out fine. Sometimes he came to Helsinki to see me but quite soon after I was mainly in Punkaharju because it was so good to be in the nature and just relax at weekends – and see the snow.
What I really like about my husband is that he’s not a stubborn Finnish guy. To him it does not matter where we live and this is what makes it a bit easier for me because I don’t feel like I have to live here forever. I enjoy it right now, it’s a super good time being here and learning the language. He’s so international and open-minded. We have no idea where we’ll be in five years and that’s good. It could be Austria, it could be Finland, it could be… I mean the world is big, you never know.
I’m a person who likes the cold and the dark. So I like the nature here and the country because the quality of life is so good. This is really important to me. Before Finland I had never been so much a sauna person but nowadays we have a sauna in our flat and in the beginning we were there everyday. I just enjoy it, it’s so relaxing and it’s so good for your health as well. When there’s a lake around you I love going in to refresh, it’s so good. And if there’s a hole in the ice I’m there.”