ROCKS AND ROOTS - Finding home as a foreign Finn
Most of us spend their entire lives looking for a place they belong.
Some are lucky enough to know what "home" is - born and raised into a culture, they get to grow their roots from birth and thrive where they were planted. Or at least have a clear answer to “Where are you from?”
Privileged to be born with two languages, my mother did her best to pass on her cultural identity:
“Remember, girls: No matter how well you speak German, you are Finnish!”
Maybe it was this narrative that kept Germany at an arms’ length from feeling like home. Even after a lifetime spent in the country, I never felt like I belonged. There was a missing puzzle piece in my cultural identity shaped like a woman with one arm.
However, moving to the cold, dark North never felt like an option. Until it did: I fell in love.
With my partner first, then with my creativity and finally with nature.
Some call it growing up, others settling down. My dreams changed into ours: A house of our own, at the water with enough space for a dog.
In the beginning of 2022, fate knocked on our door. It was a message from my cousin renting out her beautiful home for a very affordable price. Some opportunities come once in a lifetime, so we took the leap of faith. In four months, we deconstructed our lives in the center of Utrecht to fit our new Hyundai Tucson, and moved to rural Finland.
Between rocks and roots, we are now trying to build a life and find a home here.
This is where you come in: If you're curious why Finland is not Europe, how sauna saves lives and what a foreign Finn is, follow along.