One of the things I most heard my friends saying, after a few months of living in Finland was: I lost some weight.
Next thing I know, I bought a scale.
Yes I know, getting a scale as an international student, is one of the lamest things I could’ve done, but I didn’t want to keep myself in the dark for the two years I’m gonna be here.
Turns out I also lost some weight, and although the main reason was a terrible stomach bug that kept me eating mostly apples and oatmeal for good three weeks, I decided to make a list of the reasons I believe international students lose weight in Finland, besides of course, the fact of not having the ingredients to cook the food we’re used to eat back home:
1.Sidewalks and small distances
I know this may sound odd to many of you, but in my country, there aren’t sidewalks everywhere and everything is ridiculously far, so there aren’t many places you can reach by foot; however, Turku is a very well designed city, with sidewalks for both, pedestrians and bikers, and basically everything is on walking distance.
This is inspiring for people like me, a girl coming from a big city.
I started walking on a daily basis, since I arrived, till the time it got to cold for me to do it. Those, I would dare to say, were the best months for me: clean air, trees and beautiful landscapes.
2. Finns exercise a lot
It’s very common to see people exercising outside. For them, the weather is not an obstacle, so they -at least- walk their dog daily, use their bike to go where they need, or simply walk. I must say it, this is also inspiring! after seeing them, I feel motivated to go out and move my body a bit. If they can do it, why wouldn’t I??
3. Healthier food?
I believe I’ve mentioned this before: the food in Finland tastes fresher.
I don’t know if it’s only in my head, but even the cheese tastes like obtained from happy cows…. If that’s wasn’t enough, the only available “unhealthy” options are burgers and subway. That’s it! Forget about IHOP, Cheesecake Factory, Wendy’s, Chipotle and all the other food chains that have ruined our diet. When you don’t have all this bad options available, you are forced to make better choices.
4. Expensive booze
Lastly, if you are the type of person who goes out almost every day to drink with friends, let me tell you one thing: you’ll need a very good scholarship in order to keep up with that rhythm in Finland. Many people go to Estonia to buy beer, because, guess what?!! It’s cheaper to go to a different country to buy booze instead of buying it here!!!
Oh my sweet Finland, please never change.