Winter sports are just great. Too bad the Nordic winter seems to be getting worse every year when it comes to snow, and the season with optimal conditions is veeery short. However, when we DO have snow (and sun!) – oh boy, there’s so much fun stuff to do!
One of my all time winter favorites is ice swimming. Especially in Finland, I always go visit this public sauna when I’m in Tampere (picture form Hellasgården though). It doesn’t get any more Finnish than that: hot sauna full of people in all ages and genders, dipping/jumping/diving into the frozen lake one after another. Sitting outside and enjoying a casual sauna drink and/or sausage.
Everyone agrees to a few unwritten sauna rules: 1) there’s always seats for more people (even if there wasn’t – no such thing as sitting too close to someone) and 2) you politely glance at fellow sauna folks before throwing more water on the stones. You mostly talk about the weather, the exoticism of sauna and current holidays. You always wish your sauna-mates a happy weekend, Easter, Christmas, New Year’s or whatever before leaving.
A nice tip for outdoor activities in Stockholm is the area of Hellasgården. They have all kinds of inside and outside sports, including extensive trails, lake & sauna, outdoor gym and cafés. I’ve been there mushroom hunting, skating as well as ice swimming, and the best part is that it’s super close to the city: only 15 minutes busride from Slussen!
Yet, you don’t even have to go to Hellasgården to find outdoor areas in Stockholm – the nature is everywhere. Stockholm is a city where you can have it all: exciting urban life and beautiful nature right next to each other.
I don’t believe in fluffy New Year’s resolutions. But I do believe that this upcoming year will bring big changes into my life. Define big. Well, practical things like graduation, move, perhaps a new job, travels, 25th birthday and a marathon. (I have told now at least 10 people that I am going to run the Stockholm marathon, just to make myself do it for sure). All this if everything goes well, of course. May this also be my wish list for the year – we’ll see where I find myself in next December.
All these exciting things direct my thoughts towards the future. After finishing my studies next summer (hopefully I will, let’s not take that for granted at this point either), I have a pretty unique opportunity in my hands. If we’re talking in clichés, let’s call it a new beginning. I have had the privilege of educating myself for 19 years, but finally I am “done” – as done as any newly graduated can be. Most importantly, I am free to do whatever I want. This thought puts butterflies in my stomach!
Some people don’t like uncertainty, but I love it. “Anything can happen” mindset means both opportunities and drawbacks, and the last ones we don’t always get to choose. Instead, I choose to focus on the opportunities – life will surely provide some. Not having plans too set in stone gives me the flexibility to survive and embrace the unexpected, eventually leading to something great. So, in uncertainties we trust.
First, my lifestyle is going to bankrupt me.
Second, despite the fact above, all my weekend trips to Finland have had good reasons!
The first 7 weeks of my summer have been a bit (too) busy, working on weekdays and traveling to Finland on weekends. Result being maybe poor yet happy?
May began with a move to a new apartment and me sleeping on an air mattress for 1 month. Yes, it took me that long to get a decent bed. Other than that the month included last minute school deadlines, bootcamp, early morning flights, new job, partying and hanging at the beach. Couple of super warm days at the end of the month got whole Stockholm crazy!
June kicked off in Tampere with a traditional birthday party with my birthday twin (90’s theme and everything!). I also participated Jukolan viesti, one of the absolute highlights of every summer. After taking a late night flight from Jukola back to Stockholm, I slept for 3 hours and flew to Oslo with my colleagues AND spotted a Skam actor. (!!!)
In June we celebrated midsummer with my school friends in the most traditional way in Stockholm archipelago: delicious food, singing, snaps and dancing around the Maypole.
First of July I got to attend a beautiful wedding as my cousin got married. A day full of love and happiness, sharing and caring. I don’t think there is anything better than that. ❤