Throughout my whole life I always had this dream on the back of my head that someday I would move out of Finland. For many years it felt like just a dream, that it would never happen in real life. Nobody believed I would actually do it. I think there’s a lot of people who have the same dream, but they never pursue it. Even people who travel a lot were asking me why I’d move, “what’s wrong with Finland?” or “how can you leave everyone behind?”
I remember few of the first people I admired was my aunt and my grandfather. My aunt worked as a flight attendant and later as a tourist guide. I remember every time she came to visit Finland she brought souvenirs from different countries, for instance Italy, Morocco or France. I didn’t know her very well, but I wanted to be her. Could be said that my grandfather traveled the world, visiting almost all the continents and countless number of cities. He even climbed to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania when he was 70. At home he had map on the wall, where he pinned red every city he visited. He pictured and filmed everything and brought souvenirs to his loved ones.
I feel that when you’re born in a welfare state like Finland, you can get it all, but you have to work for it. Finland is the most stable country in the world (Fragile States Index 2017). Finland is the freest, the safest, and one of the wealthiest country in the world. (The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017; Freedom in the World 2018; The Legatum Prosperity Index 2017: Finland)
So, could be said that I was lucky to be born here, but despite all these great things we are blessed with – I always felt out of place. Of course, if I was born in some other part of the world – I might not have the opportunity to pursue my dreams.
Many people I’ve met throughout my life seemed to have an attitude, that if you move out of here it means you don’t appreciate everything we have, and they seem to think that anyone should be happy to live here. But I think happiness is not necessarily dependent on these things, they sure help a lot – and give one a great starting point. But there is a lot of great places outside Finland too. So if you’re given an chance to live somewhere else, at least for a while, why not (?) I’d want to encourage everyone to take the opportunity and try, you can always come back and might even learn something on the way.
Before my studies at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences I was working at various jobs, I worked very hard to make money, so I could travel and see the world. In the year 2016 I had my first trip to London, UK, and I was mesmerized. I had not traveled a lot in my life, so it felt like an accomplishment. Soon after coming back home, I booked my second trip back to London, July 2016. I fell in love with the city and its people. I thought I would actually want to live there, someday.
During the spring I applied to Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, to study Bachelor’s Degree in European Business Administration. One of the reasons I chose this degree program was that it is a double-degree program including an Erasmus year in another European country. Finally, I had surrounded myself with people, who have a similar mindset as I do. Even though I’m still in Finland now, the atmosphere is so international, encouraging and inspiring. I feel like there is nothing holding me back now. Hence, my advice for anyone with similar goals or dreams is that you surround yourself with people who are not trying to shut you down but encourage you to pursue your dreams.
And now, I can finally tell you, I am moving to United Kingdom for my third year of studies – dreams do come true 😉
P.S. If curious, check the endless list of things that Finns are among the best in the world.