Everything comes to an end and my time writing this blog is not an exception. I’ve been thinking for weeks now, what to write in this, my last post. My sentimental heart advised me to write a heartfelt goodbye letter, but instead, my brain decided to unveil what I have been keeping from you.

Are you ready to know the truth about Finland??

Here I go: Finland is not for everyone.

There it is. Now if I may, let me explain what it took me a year to put into words….

1. If you like small talk and meaningless conversations, don’t come to Finland. Here, you will have interesting discussions, exchange of points of view and honest opinions. If someone tells you “let’s have coffee some time”, they mean it. If someone says “you look good today”, oh boy, believe them you do, but if you’re not willing to listen how people really are, when you ask ‘how are you’, then you’re not ready for Finland.

2. If you like to show off, don’t come to Finland. In my personal experience, it took me a couple of months to understand how things work in here. I come from a place where you put on a lot of make up and heels whenever you go out at night, you dress up to go to the mall, it is normal to go to fancy restaurants for lunch and people don’t trust public schools are good, only because you’re not paying for it. After only one year of living in Turku, I believe second hand shops are the best, I stopped wearing eyeliner, subway and sushi are always an option and I believe now that public services could be good, who would’ve known?

3. If you need to be surrounded by people, don’t come to Finland. We all know someone that can’t be alone, that is always organising something that will require several hours of your time. If you are that person, you probably won’t like Finland. Finns like and respect personal space like nothing you’ve seen before, so you won’t get to have people around, at least not all the time. What you will get, is a lot of time in your own company. You will then, begin to think in all the things you never thought before, because you didn’t have the time. You’ll ask a lot of questions to yourself, challenging your decisions, accepting your mistakes. Memories: good ones, bad ones, the ones you didn’t know you had, will appear in your head, like a rainfall at first, then like a light breeze…. Maybe one day, when you’re walking in an empty street, watching the snow fall, listening your footsteps on the pavement, you will realise you really like yourself, and then the whole personal space thing will get a new, deeper meaning.

This is it, my dear readers: Finland is not for everyone, at least not for those that are not willing to challenge their views; but if you are, then this is definitely the right place for you….

I must finish now, the last post of what it has been a pleasant journey. This blog has helped me to put into words the things I didn’t understand, the daily struggles, the small victories. I listen to my favourite song, ‘sleep on the floor’ by the Lumineers, remembering my first night in Turku, the first time I saw the Cathedral, the time I realised Finns don’t know how good they are, the snow in the forest…. Now that I won’t get to write about my life here, I’ll become silent, in the Finnish way, a silence full of meaning.

I’ll keep admiring the nature, watering my Mexican roots with the Aura River, listening my steps on the pavement, smelling the Finnish air… And for that, I will always be grateful.

Blogger: Laila