Posts in Finland
Looking at a new horizon - Dealing with change

Happy Friday, everyone! How are you doing? Did you start your weekend right? I am writing to you from my wooden table under the rooftop table of my room in Germany where I have a wonderful view of the trees while the sun is setting and the birds are singing - I have to admit, this is a magical place and working makes so much more fun with a view like that! 

I arrived in Germany safe and sound yesterday evening. The travel by plane and train has been exhausting with all my baggage but I made it and have been relieved when I sat in my mum's car after six hours from Helsinki over Copenhagen to Germany. My feelings have been a wild mixture of grief, happiness, tiredness and many other emotions I couldn't really process. I went to sleep in my cold bed feeling like a stranger at my once so-called home, but I slept tight.

This morning I woke up to the sound of the birds and a sunny sky, and when I opened my window and let the fresh summer air inside, I felt more motivated than I expected. I turned on some music, prepared myself a fruit bowl and started to rearrange my furniture, sorting and getting rid of stuff and clean my life. 12 hours later I am now sitting at my desk, feeling really cosy and happy in my little hole - and more like a resident than a stranger. Getting rid of old things and recreating your own space makes it easier to start anew. 

Last night I was trying to find words to describe the feeling inside me which I had since I arrived. Then I realised what would describe it best: It feels like an old childhood memory or an old familiar dream you had over and over again in the past. Everything seems so familiar, the smell in the air, the sounds and faces. It feels surreal, and still - it is reality. I feel like I will wake up any moment and be back where I came from, but I won't. I guess sometimes the brain needs some time to adjust to a new situation and to process experiences and impressions, and I just have to be patient until things will feel less spaced out. 

I had plenty of time to prepare myself mentally for my return, and so I did. I did prepare for this feeling of being lost and I am fighting with all of my heart against the dark pull which wants to take me into that deep sad hole. I know being sad and crying won't change my situation, and I already grieved and cried enough. Instead, I already prepared a plan in Finland for my time back in Germany. Work prevents unnecessary overthinking, keeping me busy helps me to focus on the future and the positive things in the present moment. And let's be honest - I have been living in the past for so long, and it never brought me where I wanted to be! So for once, I try to take the advice to look back to memories with a smile and then move on. Of course, there will be moments when I cry and when I desperately want to go back, yes - especially nights make me feel lonely, and that's okay. As long as I keep looking at the new horizon! Before I left Finland a dear person said to me "See it as a trip, and the next one is already on the horizon!" - I recall those word over and over again when I feel like breaking. He has been right, these things are just temporary, change comes every once in a while. But it means that we get one step closer to our goal, one step closer to where we want to be! This is just a temporary stop before we move on. 

So although I still have this rock sitting on my chest making it hard to breathe, I keep walking. I adjust to the new situation, and keep looking at the horizon, because one day the sun will be setting over the place I want to be, and I will see it - and then I am almost there!

Sunday at the shore - And what is Ketunleipä?

Happy Sunday, folks! Did you enjoy the sun today? For Tiina and me it has been a quite calm Sunday. I went with two of my friends for a brunch in a really popular and nice vegetarian restaurant and enjoyed the time with these two. Afterwards, I went home and felt like sleeping but instead Tiina and I had a little walk to the shore sitting in the sun at the water listening to the waves. We were singing funny songs and drinking cacao. Now we came back home and napped for an hour, making tomato soup and watching Brave on television. A really relaxed Sunday afternoon. I think I will go to sleep soon since I am still lacking energy.

On my first walk in the forest with Tiina nine months ago, she presented this plant called Ketunleipä/Käenkaali to me. In German, it is called Waldsauerklee, in English Sorrel, the scientific name is 

Oxalis acetosella

. We were wandering through the woods, the ground covered in the green three pedalled like clover looking plant. It tastes like lemon and is such a perfect refreshing snack on a hike. Since then I have always snacked on it on my way among the trees. Ketunleipä can be translated as fox bread which sounds so very cute as I imagine foxes snacking it with their little mouths. 

In case someone did not know Ketunleipä yet, you should definitely give it a try next time to see it in the forest. Of course, as always, take care that you pick the right plant! But these are pretty obvious once you recognized them. I will rehear one of my songs with Tiina now because we upcycled One Time Dream and want to record it tomorrow at a friend's home studio! I am really excited because I am really bored of my version from a year ago and looking forward to our new version! So enjoy the rest of the weekend and have a good start to the week! Lots of love to you!

Living in the Villa of Pippa Longstocking

Isn't this the most beautiful window view? It's a little restaurant on a small island near Laajasalo. I went for an evening walk with Joonas Linkola earlier to catch the sunset and we passed this beautiful house. We also watched the sun between the trees before she went behind the clouds on the horizon. 

I enjoyed the wind and the sun on the higher rocks, and the view over the water and all the green blooming trees surrounding the small red wooden houses. This evening has been so calm and relaxing and I have been really happy to meet Joonas and get to know him a little better. 

Joonas is a nature photographer as well and it felt good to share ideas and experiences. He even taught me how to fly a drone which has been really fun. Seeing the place from above looked really epic. Now I can call myself "Pilot Michelle" how Joonas baptized me in jest. I went home when the sun set and I got cold. Joonas made his way back to the villa he lives in with some of his friends. Can you remember the post I shared months ago about the Scandinavian houses and the big yellow villa which looked like the one Pippa Longstocking lives in? (here) Yes, that's where he lives! Isn't that a funny coincidence? I have admired this place for such a long time, and there is even a room left free. 

Well, I hope you are all fine! I am already feeling a little better, now that I have left my flat and finally jumped to the next stage. All your comments and messages I received made this hard time much better and I want to thank you with all of my heart for all your kindness and care! I send you lots of love, take care! Good night!

Saying Goodbye - How to let go

Happy Tuesday, dear ones! How are you doing? What is on your mind today? I am sitting in my flat at the moment. I've spent the morning with a lovely breakfast with Anna in the Brooklyn Cafe and then walked beside the ocean afterwards. We watched the waves and seagulls and the houses of Helsinki at the promenade. The sun felt so good on my skin but the wind has been a little cold today. 

It is my last day in my flat today and it feels odd. While I am sitting here, looking at these four walls that became my home the past nine months, I can still remember how I entered back in September, into this empty and somehow cold room which was even missing blankets and a pillow and felt so strange to me. It turned into my warm and cosy home over the past couple of months, although it looks empty and naked again, now that there are only my suitcases left in the room. I will spend the night with some candles, watching the sunset outside of my window, remembering all the incredible sunsets I have been allowed to see, the many moons that rose above the trees at the sky, and all the magical moments I've spent alone and in company inside those four walls. Closing my eyes I can replay all the moments that shaped my time here in Helsinki, all the moments, good and bad.

I have never been very good at letting go. I am a dreamer, I live in the past way too much, I am a melancholic and nostalgic heart and leaving things behind isn't my biggest strength. Although I've already improved the past couple of years and learned how to deal with letting things go, it is still quite a big deal for me. Especially after I finally found some friends here in Finland, it really hurts me to leave them behind now. I am good on my own, yes, but it is something special to find such true friends and good souls that you should hold onto them, and although I know that this is no goodbye forever, only temporary, it feels like it. A time of my life comes to an end, that will never exist again like it did. I can come back, I can return, but it will never be like it has been before. Life goes on and so do I. Life is not waiting - and that is something very hard to learn sometimes. 

When I look back to the past years, I realize that there are always new adventures waiting for us. There are new people I will meet, new places I will fall in love with, new challenges and new opportunities are waiting for me. "One door closes and another one opens" - I guess there is something true about this saying. I said in the past that memories do hurt me instead of making me happy, but I am working on looking back with a positive mind. Yes, thinking back to all the amazing experiences I made in the past nine months makes me sad, it makes my heart as heavy as a big fat rock, but I am also smiling realizing how lucky and happy I have been. I think, saying goodbye always hurts because we leave something behind that means a lot to us. But we have to remember that things don't disappear, it is not the end. Quite the contrary! And we never know what the future is preparing for us! Instead of looking back and being sad about what we had and what we leave behind, we should look forward and be excited about what will come! Because I am sure, it will be as exciting as the past! And remember, once you have been sad to let something go before you experienced what you have to say goodbye to now!

So many thoughts in my mind. The sadness comes in waves, but I try not to drown. I realized that it makes no sense to be sad and hiding in my bed, life goes on anyway. So I try to find a way to deal with memories and emotions and to go on! I hug you all and send you a lot of love! Saying goodbye is also saying hello to something new! Stay strong!

photos taken by

Polly Balitro

 // edited by me

A day at the botanical garden

Hej, everyone! How has been your week so far? Mine has been pretty relaxed but still exciting since I spend I lot of time exploring the last couple of places I desperately want to see before I leave Helsinki. Yesterday I spent my day among squirrels and birds in the forest, sitting between pine cones while six squirrels were running around me. I will share photos and videos soon! 

Today I met sweet Mia again and we spent the day in the botanical garden in Helsinki. It was such a sunny day and when we entered the rooms the warm and humid air made us feel like in a tropical jungle. 

It felt so nice walking between the palms, cocoa tree, ferns and many other plants and trees. The cacti and aloe vera plant have been my favourite as well as the water lilies and citrus trees. Plants make me so happy - their green colour brightens up my mind. And their smell is so exotic and calming. We were wandering around, taking photos and talking while I felt like grabbing my jungle helmet and getting on a jungle safari. 

It is such an incredible thing to see, smell and feel such exotic plants which usually just grow far far away in deep jungles of this earth. It is a privilege to experience such variety of trees and flowers. Mia and I enjoyed our time together in the botanical garden and I wish I could have stayed longer to learn every scientific name by heart and get to know every little plant better. This earth is so full of magic - Mia and I have been fascinated by the little and giant leaves and blossoms we saw.After our adventure in the botanical garden, we walked back to my home and made vegan bolognese and pancakes, watched the photos and listened to music while talking about life and love and all the little things in life. We had a little walk to an art supply store and scrolled through the shelves filled with colours and brushes before we separated at the train station.

Oh, what a wonderful day it has been, with Mia and the plants! I hope you are all fine and enjoyed the day! Take care, lots of love! 

Say Hi to Mia: