Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Farewell Finland: The Scandinavian interlude has ended

As we get prepared to cross the pond and move back to California in a few days I reflect back on the wonderful experience of living 4 years overseas in Finland. It has been a very rewarding time abroad for the family and I in too many ways to list here. The kids learned the language and the culture while experiencing Finnish traditions. I personally will miss the clean air, peaceful forests, mostly traffic-free roads and kind, trustworthy folks. While there is no utopia in this world, Finland was a great place to spend these past years if you don’t mind occasionally freezing your butt off during the long, dark winters. :) However, I won’t deny I do miss my Californian spontaneity, awesome mountains and eternal sunshine. (Though I need to take some rain back with me to help the Californian drought)  I am really looking forward to seeing my family and friends back home. 

I thought to end this blog I would make a list of things I liked and disliked about living in Finland. Please don't take these too seriously.  :)  Also, thank you very much for reading my blog through these past several years.


1. Peaceful nature and forests and picking berries
2. Clean, crisp air
3. Stunning archipelago
4. Clean and quiet bus system
5. Security for my children
6. Easy access to health care
7. Trustworthy people
8. Summer, though it's very short
9. Sauna
10. Cross country skiing
11. Access to the rest of Europe
12. Helsinki
13. Beautiful Finnish Lake land (Eastern Finland)
14. Music clubs in Helsinki for Concerts
15. Long Holidays


1. Expensive Gasoline and Beer
2. Cold, dark winters
3. Too many rules about everything
4. Lack of spontaneity
5. Boring Finnish lager beer
6. Very unpredictable weather
7. increasingly difficult economic situation
8. Extreme pickiness of Finns when buying used items
9. Lack of customer service in many situations
10. Minimal store hours on Weekends
11. Xenophobia
12. Lack of good ethnic restaurants, though it improved much lately
13. 50 varieties of the same boring Finnish sausage
14. Lack of smiling faces
15. Takes a long time to get to know your neighbors 


  1. Hey Mark,
    My name is Joe Pinzone and I'm casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We'd love to film in Finland and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The contributors on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. If you'd like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7716 or skype me at joefromnyc. You can also email me at joepinzone@leopardusa.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Joe Pinzone
    Casting Producer
    P: 212-231-7716
    Skype: Joefromnyc

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