Posts tagged “birches

Ode to Finland

Posted on 12 June 2014

Finland is the one country I constantly miss. There are many, many other places that I would like to return to and explore more, but Finland feels like coming home. I step out of the bus at the train station coming from Helsinki-Vantaa airport and the crisp air envelopes me like a sheer blanket of buzzing joy. Six visits later, and I’ve never tired of this country. Just being there makes me happy. I couldn’t exactly tell you why. Surely it’s a combination of things—wonderful friends, beautiful places, fun music—that blend together perfectly. But I don’t know if that’s all. Finland, to me, seems as nice as you can get yet with a certain rough edge to keep it interesting. But, I suppose it…

Alone/Together

Posted on 30 March 2014

Travel is simultaneously the most solitary and most social activity. So, you’re embarking on a trip alone. You may be going someplace new, for yourself. Or, you may be meeting people later on. Perhaps you’re visiting a friend. But at first you’ll sit in that plane, train, car, or bus, and if surrounded by people—strangers. And then you’ll make your solitary way. You’ll walk the streets, parks, wander, sightsee, pass the time. Visit museums, take photos, visit shops. During these long moments you’ll become accustomed to the silence around your mind, and it’s perfectly fine. But of course you’re not always alone. Sometimes you visit, meet up with others, catch up with old friends. A whirlwind of histories intertwined, instant and comforting reconnections, laughing at tragicomedies past. Or,…

Go North

Posted on 16 October 2013

Many of the places I love are situated firmly in the upper portions of this world. The sunlight is, somehow, infectious, more acute. Euphoric white nights are nothing short of wondrous. The chill in the lighter air is invigorating. Autumn approaches quickly. Wrap that scarf around your neck, comfort comes. I’m off to Maine for my first marathon. For what encompasses all possible emotions better than flitting amongst the turning leaves, gasping in the crisp air?

Helsinki Behind Our Apartment

Posted on 12 September 2013

I was never truly bored in Finland. All through my computer-less months, when I was home by myself after Finnish class while friends were still at work, despite multiple re-reads of the English books on hand (luckily I can read Harry Potter endlessly), my oft solitary afternoons weren’t dull. I lived in Helsinki, see, and it’s too pleasant for boredom. Behind our apartment sprawled Kaivopuisto. Puisto, for those who don’t speak Finnish, means park. I needed only meander a few serene blocks away, and I would be striding by the gulf under the bluest skies. So, if I had nothing pressing to attend to—which was often—on went my shoes (never worn in the home) and in went my headphones (Ismo Alanko already queued up)…