Helsinki has my heart. I should have bought the T-shirt.

If I could live in any country other than my own, I think I’d choose Finland. Not only is it a lot like Canada geographically and socially, it’s a wonderful place to be. It’s serene and it felt like the closest thing to home, away from home.

Sure, it’s overcast and cold most of the time, and their language comprised of mostly vowels in words that are 18 letters long makes no sense at all, but the country is unique in everything from the landscape to the architecture. And I don’t mind the cold weather; I’m a sweater kind of girl anyway. Finns are noted for being just as “cold” as their weather, but I didn’t find that at all. They’re not invasive people, and they keep to themselves. They won’t go out of their way to talk to you, but if you ask them something they’re more than willing to help. I found the vendors at the downtown market to be very accomodating and friendly, even though they’re trying to sell you stuff.

I would love to experience Scandinavia in the winter; after all, it’s part of what it’s known for, just like Canada. I’ve been to the arctic and I grew up in Northern Ontario; I think I could handle it. I’m thinking a trip back to Finland is going to have to be in the works in the next couple years, but this time I’ll make it a trip around the country and I’ll have to have a friend with me. People don’t give Northern Europe enough credit, because I fell in love with it.

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