How does it feel to be back in Finland?
The answer to the question in the title: weird! My first real dose of culture shock hit me only half an hour after landing in Helsinki, when I realized that I had a hard time getting Finnish words out of my mouth. Despite writing a lot in Finnish during my trip, I had not had an actual conversation with anyone in Finnish in five weeks. My tongue was all tied up and my brain was so confused about what language I was speaking. It still feels a bit odd speaking Finnish, but luckily, it’s at least a little bit better. I still feel like some thoughts and emotions would be easier to describe in English right now rather than Finnish. My thinking process began to change into English towards the end of my trip, so that might have some effect on it.
Jetlag has been quite a battle, which doesn’t really surprise me after such a long time abroad. My body adapted so well to New York time, so the first few days after my return have been quite awful. I’ve been falling asleep on my laptop while trying to work and once it would be time to go to bed here, I feel wide awake. It’s midsummer week in Finland, which means that the sun doesn’t set at all during the night. It brings a whole new twist to jetlag, since your body gets no natural signals of it being night time. My rhythm has slowly started to turn, but I feel like I’m in this weird in between rhythm now. I guess the fact that I missed a whole night’s sleep on my way back also takes its toll on my energy levels. I feel like my body has decided that it’s just going to rest when it wants to and recover.
It feels so weird seeing friends and family here. Talking to them, trying to put my experiences into words. Even walking the dog is odd: it’s so quiet here! You can stop on the sidewalk and see absolutely nobody. All you hear is birds chirping, the wind humming in the trees and your own breath. In a way it’s very calming and serene, but I miss the buzz of New York so bad. It made my energy levels flow in a whole new way. It was so inspiring!
I miss the smiles and good mornings from strangers as I was walking Senza down to the river for her morning walk. I miss the sun and warm breeze that felt so good on my skin after the AC gave me goosebumps. I miss the rattle of the subways and the fact that there are so many stories hidden in them. I miss the skyscrapers that disappear into the clouds, making you feel so small, but giving you so much happiness, because that means you are right where you need to be. I miss many things from my trip right now, but most of all the general vibe of the city. It’s so hard to put into words. I slipped right into the lifestyle of New York, almost unnoticeably easily. I had no idea coming back would cause such a culture shock.
I have tried to keep my mind positive and see the bright sides of coming back. The air is so much cleaner here and the nature is much greener than I have ever noticed before. Distances between places are ridiculously short and you don’t have to take an hour to get to the place you need to be at to run an errand. So, things aren’t bad here. I think I just forgot to pack a slightly too big part of my heart when I departed!
PS: The pictures were taken during my trip for my Insta stories, which are saved in the highlights of my profile. So, if you’ve missed them and want to take a peek at my trip, go check out my profile @priskautio
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