Location: Vaasa, Finland
It is said that nature plays a role in a culture’s development. This becomes clearer the more we travel. Here in Finland, it is certainly so. The land is calm, pristine, and simple, yet strong, solid, and enduring; almost timeless. Magical and serene, it is often harsh, which makes all the delicate, fruitful life that much more wondrous. We see a prosperous, well-balanced, healthy society with a strong sense of pride that, whilst highly active, maintains lower stress levels by valuing the little things. Finland takes care of it’s own, and couldn’t be more highly lauded for its family values. Who couldn’t love a place that has more saunas than cars?
Two dear Finnish friends are responsible for our decision to live in Finland for these unforgettable two and a half months: Jarkko and Sanna. And to them we humbly say, “Kiitos”, from the bottom of our hearts. Organizing constant activities and introducing us to countless Finnish specialties, their diligent hospitality has been over the top. They have been influential in making our experience here a deep and rich one. After living together for a week in a little cabin, our families know each other intimately.
Our serendipitous relationship began in Italy nine years ago. They now have three children: Joel, 9, is the eldest. Just 7 months old when we first met him in Tropea, he is brave with a big heart. Katri, 6, shows compassion and sweetness. Saara, 4, is confident, magnetic, and has us all wrapped around her finger. They are all supremely beautiful, capable, intelligent, and athletic. We love them.
As we huddle in our cozy Arctic cabin, post-sauna, soaking in the wood stove, kids in bed, spent from another winter day’s activities, bellies full of salmon and beer, all I can do is shake my head in aw. Each day is a gift, and if you’re not paying attention they will easily pass you by. Our wish is for everyone to recognize the splendor available to them when you set your intention, or just pay attention.
Congratulations, Sanna and Jarkko, on a divine existence. Being a part of your bubble is an honor.
Below is a slideshow! It takes a minute for the pictures to load…
P.S. Yes, we got to see the Northern Lights, twice!