In this week's quick episode, Petra and Jean share their first impressions of Finland. Keep reading, or give episode one a listen, to hear more about your hosts' favourite... & please, keep in mind that the opinions in this podcast are based in Jean and Petra's own personal experiences.
Before moving to Finland, Jean was teaching at an international school in China. When she arrived in Finland, she was shocked by the small population in the college town of Jyväskylä. She recalls feeling instantly relaxed upon arriving.
“I just loved the sound of silence,” she reflects. "It was like balm on my soul.”
Since arriving in Finland, Petra has come to appreciate constantly being near to forests— even in Helsinki! She doesn't quite recall her very first impression of the country, as she first visited at age sixteen; however, she does remember being struck by the architecture, the nature, and the demographic differences between Finland and Czech.
Despite their appreciation of the calm atmosphere and beautiful nature, both Jean and Petra experienced some difficulty adapting to life in Finland. Believe it or not, many of the memes you may have seen about Finnish people do have a kernel of truth. For example, you can expect to be given plenty of personal space at the bus stop, and you won't likely have much success starting a conversation in the elevator. Although these differences can sometimes be welcome, Jean admits that all of the personal space can sometimes feel lonely.
“Especially when it was dark and cold, just those months when you're in the lowest of the lows, you just seriously want to hug someone," she said.
Even native Finns sometimes struggle with the weather— Petra recalls how often Finnish people ask her why she moved to such a cold and expensive place. With the countless benefits of living in Finland, Petra and Jean are in agreement that the pros outweigh the cons. Give episode one a listen to hear more about Jean and Petra's life in Finland, and be sure to check out the links below for more information.
This is Finland - things you should and shouldn't know about Finland