“Why do you like Finland so much? It is cold and dark during winter which lasts for seven or eight months! And then during summer you can’t sleep because of the midnight sun! “
It is hard to find the right words to explain why Finland is so special to me.
The two times I have been in Finland were after very stressful periods in my life. Finland become my sanctuary where I can recharged my inner strength and overcome the obstacles in front of me.
My first trip to Finland was exactly one year ago. I was unhappy and hopeless. I was looking for a change, but I needed a little push.
On my second day in Helsinki I took the ferry boat to Suomenlinna Sea Fortress. The sky was clear. The ground was covered with fluffy snow. A nice breeze was touching my face, but I wasn’t cold. When I reached the sand banks and guns of Kustaanmiekka the sun was already setting. I stopped for a while to enjoy the sunset. I took a deep breath. I closed my eyes. In those few seconds my mind travelled. I immediately knew what I needed to change to feel the freedom and happiness I was feeling at that moment. In the end I shed a tear and smiled. It was my Aha! moment as Oprah would say. It was my little push.
The seasons. The landscape. The sauna. The people. The culture. I like it all.
The main reason why Finland is so special is because I feel more comfortable in my own skin when I’m there. I can easily do what makes me happy and bubbly without people judging me.
I feel at home in Finland.
Photo taken by Cláudia Mendes at Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, Finland, January 2012.