Experiencing the Finnish Lifestyle

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On my recent trip to Finland I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of days at the end of my trip staying with a Finnish family in the Lakes District. The Autumn colours were swiftly fading as the temperatures were plummeting, yet I couldn’t help but to feel completely comforted by the early onset of winter.

After visiting a reindeer farm, hiking and canoeing in what felt like Narnia, experiencing the Finnish Sauna and so many other activities in Finland, I was ready to take a more observing role – of which I did at Mari’s cabin home on the edge of a lake in the Savonlinna region.


Mari is a fellow blogger who focuses on health and wellbeing in the context of a Finnish lifestyle. During my short visit we went mushroom picking with her husband and two (adorable) children, baked a blueberry pie (okay I only observed…), ate typical Finnish cuisine and enjoyed the laid-back country lifestyle.


After spending between 1-2 weeks in Finland, I had a fairly decent idea of the cultural differences and similarities. But none of this really made a connection or resonated with me until I experienced first hand the incredible kindness and hospitality of the Finns. 

From being welcomed into Mari’s family home to leaving with enough mushrooms to sustain myself for a few days, to being welcomed back for the summer… everything about Mari and her family made me realise just how hospitable and welcoming Finnish people are. 

Throughout my stay I was constantly surprised by the way of life here in Finland – one that favours a work life balance over the intense city lifestyle and even more importantly, one that truly values family and home life. 

Before my trip I had thought to myself “10 days is a long time to spend in a small country like Finland…”, but I left feeling as if it wasn’t enough. Indeed, I already have plans to return in winter and summer to experience the different seasons and see another side to Finland I have not yet discovered.

IMG_7811 IMG_7803 IMG_7824 finland food

After spending the entire year hopping around from one country to the next, such a shift in pace could not have been more welcomed! A big thank you to Visit Finland and Mari for welcoming me into her home – a new friend for life!

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

October 20, 2014



  1. pitkospuut@hotmail.com'


    November 23, 2014

    Leslie, those “pies” on the last photo are called “karjalanpiirakka”, aka Karelian pasties. I found one recipe in English: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Karelian_Pasties_%28Karjalanpiirakat%29 They really ARE delicious! <3

    Greetings from Helsinki, Finland. 🙂

  2. lecafedelakdottie@gmail.com'

    Ashley Kdottie

    October 28, 2014

    I’m so happy I found your blog! We just returned from 3 weeks in Europe, and I’m already ready to go on the next adventure! I am thrilled to read your blog while we save up for the next trip! Thanks for sharing!

  3. lawaller@gmail.com'


    October 26, 2014

    Beautiful post on Finland! Any chance you can share the recipe (and name) of the treats in that last photo? Trying new foods is one of my favorite travel activities!

  4. shawneerajala@gmail.com'

    Shawnee Rajala

    October 24, 2014

    Hi Brooke! I love reading your travel stories; I have to admit, I was surprised at seeing Finland as one of your destinations! I am of almost 100% Finnish ancestry and the Finnish culture plays a large role in my life today. Your posts on visiting Finland made me want to visit there even more. I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (USA), where Finnish culture is dominating. I don’t think twice about spending summers outdoors whenever I’m not working, going sauna and swim into the refreshing (freezing to tourists 😉 Lake Superior, the large family and homebody life – which comes to play in the long, snowy winter months. Made me appreciate my background more 🙂
    Hope all is well in your new city of Berlin!! xo
    ps: are those piirakkas on the table in the last photo? my mom has made them before. more Finnish food favorites: pasty, pannukakku, juustoa, velia.. mmm, I’m dreaming of homemade food now.

  5. amhaschim@gmail.com'

    Anne Marie

    October 21, 2014

    Your Finland posts are making me want to visit so bad. Your words and photos just perfectly captures the country.

    I’ve been to Helsinki years ago, but I’ve never been further north, or off the beaten path, in Finland, which is a real shame considering I live in one of ite neighbouring countries.

  6. thetouristoflife@gmail.com'


    October 21, 2014

    Those children! So cute!


  7. veera@createtrips.com'

    Veera Bianca / CreateTrips

    October 20, 2014

    This post just made me hungry! So good to see that you got to taste some really proper Finnish foods 🙂

  8. mari@saimaalife.com'

    Mari ❤️ SaimaaLife

    October 20, 2014

    What a beautiful post you´ve made, Brooke! And I loved your photos!! Thank you 🙂

    And thank YOU for visiting us. It was our pleasure to show you a piece of Finnish lifestyle.

    I wish you all the best! Remember that you´re always welcome to visit Finland and our home again. Green and warm Finnish summer in our boat home and white and cold Finnish winter with the frozen lakes 🙂


  9. voluntarilyhealthy@gmx.de'


    October 20, 2014

    Best travelling adventures happen, when you are with locals, that is at least what I have experienced so far. Finland is definitively quite high on my travel-to-next list. Love the photographs, makes me want to go even more 🙂


  10. romysfairytale@live.nl'


    October 20, 2014

    Can’t wait to travel to scandinavia one day! Lovely post Brooke!



  11. endlesslyexploring@gmail.com'

    Kelly @ Endlessly Exploring

    October 19, 2014

    Lovely photos! Looks like you had a fantastic time in Finland! x

  12. emilia-rosengard@hotmail.com'


    October 19, 2014

    I’m from Finland and it’s so nice to see your posts from your travel here. It’s funny to see your home country from someone else’s perspective, makes you appreciate your everyday life a little more 🙂

  13. nancydavolio6@gmail.com'

    Best holiday destinations

    October 19, 2014

    There lifestyle are very nice. they spend life with each other. fantastic place for couple. thanks for posting nice views.

  14. luckytravellermerja@gmail.com'

    Lucky Traveller Merja

    October 19, 2014

    Moi! (That’s hello in Helsinki Finnish)

    Your posts from Finland shows how it’s worth one’s while to explore outside the standard tourist sights and areas! Really beautiful photos and I loved the texts as well!

  15. management@thebalancedtraveler.com'

    Jodi Duncan

    October 19, 2014

    This looks devine! I cannot wait to travel to Finland and experience all the country has to offer. xx

  16. christina@currentlyexploring.com'


    October 19, 2014

    local experiences are always the best when traveling!

    Finland is never somewhere I would have thought to go but those Narnia pictures have definitely put it up there for me. glad you were able to explore the local side in your visit too!


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