The first time I moved to Finland was because I was offered an internship in a lab at the local university and I had never been there and didn’t know much about it – I thought it would be a great adventure ! (While I was paid a small amount for the internship, my parents helped out quite a lot – thank you, mum and dad!)
It would be an adventure and that was quite enough to convince me.
I had no idea what to expect. My sister and brother-in-law gave me a travel guide to Finland that I read on the plane. Some things mentioned in there were true (silences can be just silences, they don’t have to be awkward), some I have yet to encounter (swarms of large mosquitoes everywhere next to lakes). I learnt quite a bit about really living on my own (previously I had lived within 60km of my parents’, except for 6 months where I extended that range to 300km). I also saw that my personality actually meshed quite nicely with the average Finn – I liked being left alone, always having access to nature, enjoying spending loads of time outside when it’s warm. At that time I did have quite a lot of trouble with winter, the cold, the dark, the feeling that it will never end. It’s the winters that actually made me decide to try my luck elsewhere after five years.
The second time I moved to Finland, I did so right at the start of winter but, so far so good, I’m older and come armed with new coping mechanisms. I did mainly move because I accepted a job that sounded really interesting but I would never have applied for said job if I wasn’t fine with moving back to Helsinki. There is something about this place.
(sidenote: I have an EU passport so moving and working within the EU is really easy for me, I just needed to go get a Finnish ID number at the local town hall and register at the local immigration office. There would have been probably many more steps for people coming from outside the EU.)