It’s been aching cold in Finland, but yet the most beautiful. After spending half a year mostly in tropics, coming back home to +10 degrees (Celsius) is harsh reality. I think my body is literally aching due to cold. Yet, coming home is sweet and comfortable. Our nearest and dearest have greeted us with the warmest of welcomes ever. We were already missing them terribly plus wanted to spend summer in our homecountry Finland. Two weeks have passed by so fast, even no time for blogging until now. We have celebrated birthdays and midsummer, enjoyed some cultural and traditional events, ran errands and spent time in the best summer house in the world, our mökki. Luckily the weather is turning slightly warmer too!

My Finland is beautiful

Hash tag myFinland. That’s what I’ve used with my latest instagram (merjaolari) posts. For two weeks I’ve been just amazed how beautiful and clean it is here. Timing in our return could not have been better: nature in Finland is at its fullest, prettiest and greenest. Even though we’ve been cursing the tempretature every day, has the beauty of everything here compensated all missing warmth. Apparently we normally take this beauty for granted and self-evident, and forget those little little beautiful details that all cities, towns, villages, countryside and forests are filled with, not to mention lakesides. Perhaps that’s one of the best advantages of travelling abroad: returning home reminds us of the cleanliness, richness and beauty that surround us every day here. 

And it’s not just our beautiful homeland, but also friends and family. We often forget to thank them for just being there or just forget to acknowledge them enough during busy every day lives. Taking some distance to close ones is sometimes good too, because it reminds you and makes you realize not to take them for granted either. The warmest of welcoming we received now has been touching and forever memorable. We have been able to spend many days with our nearest and dearest, have celebrated birthdays and midsummer with adults only and with all family and lots of kids too. I have to admit that even though we were priviliged to spend an unusual amount of time just the three of us 24/7 for 6,5 months, it’s been super good to spend some time in adults only company too!

Rye bread, oatmeal, fresh berries and salty liquorice

At the end, 6+ months is quite a short time what comes to missing certain foods, treats and  other gravings. It’s part of fun (at least to us) to explore different cuisines while exploring new cultures and countries too. Plenty of diversity there! Even so, some ingredients and treats we started to miss quite much, particularly towards the end of our journey. Especially proper black rye bread. Can you imagine what we’ve been eating now for two weeks…? Oh, and yes, we now remember the feeling in your stomach too after eating a LOT of freshly baked rye bread… Other than proper healthy bread we’ve missed our daily oatmeal with fresh berries. In NZ and Australia we found some great fresh raspberries, but otherwise not too many berries around. Oatmeal for breakfast and yes, our stomachs are doing so fine! And after that a bit of black salty liquorice, yey! And some strong coffee made with a coffee maker, no instant coffee with heated water… 

Running errands

There’s a gigantic pile of mail waiting for you after a long-term journey. Our wonderful housesitters (thank you!!!) looked after so that we could actually get all bills paid while somewhere far away, so mostly just going thru all others (which is still plently even though we cancelled almost all subscribtions to magazines etc). Otherwise car is probably the one that required the most attention. First thing we got back was to attach battery, change insurance, get winter tyres changed, get the car inspected and cared. Still, within the first week Petri had managed to change the whole car to a newer one! 

Furthermore, visits to tax bureau, doctor’s (Leevi’s ear infection was apparently not all treated, so got new antibiotics), newspaper subscriptions, comparing new laptops on sale, getting some new clothes in summer sales, etc. Luckily we still have time off until end of July!

Cultural events and traditions

We have even managed to go a summer theatre! Strong recommendations for a traditional Finnish play called the Seven Brothers by national playwrite and author Aleksis Kivi (part of Finland’s centennial celebrations this year), played greatly by the Musical theatre of Ypäjä town. (Playing until July 8th!). Great casting, music, production, perfect facilities for an outdoor summer theatre and superb playing in strong and lively play. And of course, the best of all, our 10-year-old god daughter is playing four roles in the play ❤ Could not be a prouder aunt!

A summer tradition to us is to visit nearby Salo market square on Thursdays when the square is filled with sales booths and live concerts with visiting artists. This is a place where you get a summer feeling, go have some coffee with sugar buns while shop for fresh berries and veggies or dig into the kids’ flea market. Will definitely go there again this summer! 

Another summer tradition – almost a holy one to us – is midsummer celebrations in our summer house in the beautiful environment with our nearest and dearest. It has formed into a tradition over the years and would not want to miss it. That’s why we wanted to return to Finland in June. Despite the cold weather this year, midsummer celebrations did not fail us. It was the best!

Summer holiday and planning future travels

I will never stop travelling (as long as I’m physically capable!). It is a built-in feature so deep. Every now and then it makes me feel travel fever so high that I just need to have something booked to look forward to. As always, these past two weeks have been also about planning future travels, comparing flights and prices as well as doing research on alternatives. Unfortunately we will not be able to travel long-term in the foreseeable future; however, shorther visits and vacations are a must in our family! It is a dear hobby that we just can’t get enough of. So, a couple of city visits to nearby countries and a bit longer vacation to Asia are at sight 😉 

And what comes to our spending six weeks only in our summer house… Well, not quite. We do have a little few days’ roadtrip to Mid-Finland planned. Otherwise we will stay here in our summer house. The best summer house in theworld. And why not? Surrounded by beautiful nature, listening to birds singing, doing some yardwork, enjoying a few good books, fresh berries, heating up the sauna and have more friends over 8) 

And blog those missing posts on our journey, do some translations and a few recaps on the whole trip!

Juttu suomeksi