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.
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!