41 days to go

Yeah, 41 days to go. I’m moving to the other side of the world in just little over a month, and I feel… Nothing. Well, I’m excited and all, but I’m also scared, but truth be told I feel very neutral about it. It doesn’t feel real somehow. I’ve always lived with my mom and this is the first time I’m actually leaving without knowing when I’ll be back. I’m sad that I have to leave my single mom all alone, she doesn’t have that many friends and I wish she would find like a man or something while I’m gone. Meanwhile I think it’s about time I move out and start my own life, I mean I’m 25 for fucks sake. I can’t live with my mom forever, even tho it feels like I’m living with a roommate and not my mother. Although living with her has given me the opportunity to save money for all my travels in the past years, so there’s that.

Speaking of money, if my calculations are correct, I should have about 8000 AUD saved up when it’s time to leave. I don’t know if that’s enough but it’ll have to do, and my friend and I are going to start looking for jobs as soon as we get settled in Australia. I have NO idea where we are going to live, we’ve already paid for the first four nights in Melbourne but after that it’s all out in the open. We might stay at the hostel for a few more nights until we find something, we might switch to a different hostel, we might miraculously find an apartment in the first four days and move there, or we might find farm jobs and move on a farm. I don’t know, we’ll see.

Meanwhile, I’ve actually done things. I let the post office know I’ll be moving away and gave my mom the authority to pick up any letters, parcels, packages etc. That I might receive when I’m away. I was going to let the local register office (idk if that’s the right term?) know I’m moving, I mean I have to give them an official “Notification of Move” but apparently I can’t do that until there’s only 30 days to go.

“According to Finnish legislation, you must always submit a notification of move if you move permanently into a new home or if your temporary stay at another address is longer than three months.”

Meh I’ll do it later then. I think I have to notify the Population Register Centre as well but I have no idea what the difference between the local register office and the population register centre is, I always thought they were the same thing. I think the PRC notifies all the important places like the bank, the finnish social insurance institution, the hospital etc. about my move, so I don’t get why I still have to let everyone know individually. I’ll just put a damn ad on the paper or something. Oh, and I’ll probably let the Embassy know too… Why is this so hard!!!

Another thing that’s causing me trouble at the moment is the fact that there’s only 41 days to go. I’m running out of shampoo soon, should I go out and buy some more?? Can I start selling my car or do I still need it? The freezer is full of food that my mom doesn’t like, when am I going  to have the time to eat two entire cheesecakes??? My liquid foundation is running low, should I buy the shade I always use or am I going to get ~Super Tanned~ the second I step off the plane???

OH AND THE MOST ANNOYING THING. Before you read any further; the next paragraph is going to be all hair talk. I’m very vain, I use a lot of beauty products and yes I do spend 45 minutes every day doing my make up. I watch all the make up tutorials on YouTube and my make up bag literally weighs like 5kg (11lbs) BUT asfsacfadf what am I going to do about my hair??? Half of my hair is currently silver, almost white, and half of it is bright blue (and no, it’s not because Finland is turning 100 years old this year and our flag colors are white and blue) and it’s such a bitch to maintain.
I don’t want a regular hair color (brown, normal blonde) I don’t want to dye it black because it’s hard to get rid of, and my hair just was bright red. I want something different, but something that’s easy to maintain (read: dye every three weeks without having to use bleach) but something I can easily buy from any old supermarket. I was thinking of dyeing my hair back to my own natural color, and then adding like pastel… blue/green/purple/etc using L’Oréal Colorista so I don’t have to worry about my roots, but still have that splash of color.

No surprise I got sidetracked again, I was supposed to write about something else as well but I forgot. Anyway, yay for traveling!

Oh, I wrote my… CV? Resume? …In English yesterday and I have no idea if it’s any good. I still don’t know the difference between an Australian CV and and Australian resume and which one I will actually need and what the hell is a cover letter??? Anyway it’s two pages long, it has a small introduction, my work history, education, skills and interests and I spent like 9 hours editing it so i swear to gOD if it’s not good enough!!!

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81 days to go

Things I should be doing:

  • Planning
  • Preparing
  • Translating and writing a CV / resume
  • Finding out what the difference between a resume and a cover letter is and how to write an Australian CV
  • Looking up apartments and jobs

Things I’m doing:

  • Working
  • Going to music festivals
  • Gaming
  • Sleeping for 10 hours and then being too tired to do anything
  • Working
  • Binge-watching TV shows

I haven’t really done anything yet and I’m probably going to regret it later, but I just don’t have the motivation. I’m so tired from working almost all the time, I usually work for 8 days in a row and have two days off. I use those days to go to concerts, then it’s back to working again… Today is one of those rare days when I don’t have to put on my make up and I can just sit around in my pajamas doing whatever the fuck I want, A.K.A writing this blog post and then playing Arkham City for the next 9 hours.

I have been thinking about what I’m going to pack though! The last time when I traveled the world for 7 months I only had like three t-shirts and two pairs of pants with me, and while it was manageable, I got so frustrated with the lack of options. This time I’m taking more clothes and less unnecessary crap with me.

Things I consider necessary:

  • Enough clothes so I don’t feel like I’m using the same outfit over and over again (but at the same time they have to be items that I’m ready to throw away if needed)
  • A jacket (preferably wind and waterproof, I have just a regular faux leather jacket)
  • Make up, hair and skincare products (including sunscreen)
  • Duct tape and safety pins because Things. Will. Break.
  • A can opener (for some reason I was overwhelmed with the lack of can openers during my previous travels)
  • An MP3 player (because I’m old fashioned and can’t be bothered with listening to music on my phone)
  • An extension cord with multiple sockets so I can charge all my electronics at once
  • Comfortable walking shoes that can handle rain (I have a pair of faux leather tennis shoes) ballerina flats and flip flops / thongs / jandals / whatever you call them (they’re also great to use in the shower because hostel showers can get disgusting)

Things I will not be bringing with me:

  • A sleeping bag
  • Bug spray (mostly because Finnish bug sprays have nothing on Australian insects)
  • Clothes that I don’t normally wear (hats, dresses, skirts, shorts, heels, colorful stuff etc. I don’t wear them now, why would I wear them overseas?)
  • Stuff for specific activities (hiking gear etc, I won’t be hiking / climbing / sailing / running / whatever)
  • Umbrella. I have no patience for umbrellas. I’d rather get wet than carry around one of those Satan’s little sticks.

In any case, I’m not going on an Extreme Adrenaline Junkie Expedition 3000™. I’m just going to Australia, where my feet will be planted firmly on the ground for most of the time; I’ll just be walking around the city visiting museums and maybe a few beaches. I can buy whatever stuff I might need from there or I can just deal with what I have. I’m obviously going to bring a lot more stuff than what I mentioned above because I hate buying stuff that I already have. For example; the last time I was in Melbourne I was FREEZING, but still refused to buy a new jacket because I already had several of them. At home. 9000 miles away.

I will be writing down a more specific list later, probably when I’m actually packing my bag just so I can actually see how much stuff I have. I already know I’m going to have unnecessary things with me but what can I say, I like to travel comfortably!

 

 

 

Things are happening!

I know it’s been like two months since I last updated my blog, but I didn’t really have anything going on and I didn’t want to blabber on about my daily life. Anyhoo, here’s what’s up.

Flights: Check
Visa: Check

It is happening! My friend and I went to see a travel agent back in April, we applied for our working holiday visas and got things DONE. We’re leaving Finland at the end of September, and we have to switch planes in Qatar before we finally land in Melbourne. I’m SO excited to go to Doha, but the layover is only like four hours so I doubt I’ll get to see much besides the airport itself.

Weird thing happened with my visa application: they wanted to know if I had spent more than three months abroad in the last three years. I answered yes, because I spent over a month in Australia, 3½ months in New Zealand and two months in the Cook Islands, US and Canada back in 2014-2015. Technically I only spent over three months in one country, but it all added up to 7 months, but they still didn’t require me to get a health check up! That check up would’ve cost me well over 300 euros, because there’s only one (1!!!) doctor in Finland who “has been appointed to perform Australian immigration health examinations outside Australia.” I don’t know why they didn’t need me to get the examination, but whooo boii am I glad.

So, we have the flights and we have the visas, but that’s not all. Our travel agent offered us a package deal, and here’s what the package includes:

  • Airport transfer to the hostel in Melbourne
  • Four nights at Base Backpackers
  • 12 month membership to a job seeking site
  • In depth orientation from a local guide about getting started
  • Help with building a CV / opening a bank account / getting a SIM card / tax file number / superannuation / taxes and refunds / Medicare / etc.
  • Discounts on travel products
  • Three day trip to see the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island
  • 5000 km bus pass which allows us to travel anywhere in Australia
  •  Ten nights in any YHA Hostel in Australia

So basically we’ve already paid for 14 nights in a hostel, we get to ride the bus for 5000 km AND we get one on one help with the boring stuff like banking and taxes.

All of that, including the flights, cost us around 2800 euros each. That’s 3100 US dollars, 4200 Australian dollars, 2400 pounds or, like, 27 400 Swedish kronor. I know it’s a lot, and we could probably do most of that stuff by ourselves but I don’t want to make things too difficult. Besides, now I don’t have to worry about any of that stuff when I actually get there.

Just four more months to go! I’m working almost round the clock, I literally wake up, go to work, come home, shower, sleep, wake up and go to work. It’s exhausting and I think my knees and back are starting to give out on me, but it’ll be worth it! If my calculations are correct, I should have around 4500 euros (5000 USD / 6700 AUD / 3900 GBP etc) when I land in Melbourne, and that’s well over the suggested amount. Plus I have over a thousand euros in tax refunds coming my way in December, so I’d like to think I’ll be fine.

 

 

Why you gotta be so rude?

So, I renewed my passport. The ball is rolling, people! My friend and I are going to see a travel agent as soon as we can, but we have to go all the way to Helsinki to do that and we’re struggling to make our schedules meet. Soon!

In other news, I read an interesting article today.
Helsinki: 10 tips for visiting the capital of Finland

Okay, I won’t dwell on it too much but let me just point out that our summers are warmer than +17C (62F) and it’s extremely rare for it to go down to -50C (-58F) in Lapland. The thing about the saunas is true, the pub thing is accurate (tho we call them bars) but honestly, we don’t all eat reindeer meat and lingonberries all the time. In fact, I’ve only tried reindeer meat once, and I hate lingonberries with a passion.
The architecture though? If you can call grey concrete boxes architecture then be my guest, but in my opinion there are only like two or three buildings worth seeing in Helsinki.

I wanted to mention the article though, because it makes excellent points about how us Finns act.

Finns do not like to interrupt: a typical chat includes healthy stretches of silence, ensuring no one’s cut off prematurely.
At the same time, the Finnish language lacks the words for “please” or “excuse me.” The result is that what may seem to outsiders an awkward, borderline rude exchange is simply everyday conversing for Finnish folks.

This!! This right here!!! All of this!!! I always forget to add “please” to the end of my sentences and I always come across as rude because of it, but I’m not doing it on purpose, I swear! We do not have a direct translation for the word “please”, I think the closest thing would be “be kind” or “be nice” but to me those sound very childish and almost patronizing.

This other article has very interesting points as well. It describes Finland in the 1990’s like this:

Correspondent Morley Safer and his team revealed Finland to be a place where “melancholy, sorrow and shyness abound.” They also revealed “no one looks anyone in the eye” because “to be noticed is an embarrassment, to take notice an affront.”

That is still true to this day. Here’s us 20 years later:

“For Finns, it is extremely rude to interrupt someone. This leads to us making pauses or taking our time to talk.”
Thus foreigners may interpret this basic display of Finnish silence/politeness as being “shy or rude or even depressed.” To summarize: for many nationalities a conversation where no one says “please” and there are long pauses is troubling; in Finland it’s par for the course.
Some Finns still “will never say ‘hi’ or look you in the eye,” though many others are “overtly chatty, friendly and open.”

I wish I could show these articles to everyone who’s ever called rude.

I’ll always remember these three English guys I met in New Zealand, we were sharing a room in a hostel and they were always trying to do small talk with me, asking how my day was and what my plans were, and of course… “How are you”.

I always answered their questions and went back to minding my own business but I never inquired about their daily lives, mostly because I didn’t think it was any of my business. One day the guys confronted me about why I was so rude to them and if they had done something to piss me off, and I was just like… What? Nothing? What’s going on? I had no idea these people thought I hated them, I actually thought I had been very outgoing and social with them. I tried to explain how my culture works, but of course, they didn’t believe me.

Another funny thing happened in Australia. I was sharing a room with an Uruguayan guy and I told him about how Finnish people work, and instead of dismissing me as rude, he made it his mission to teach me how to do small talk. Every day he’d ask me how I was doing, if I had slept well, what I was going to do that day, how my day had been so far etc etc, and I tried to engage in the conversation but it felt really alien to me. I don’t know this person, why would I ask them about their day?
Long story short; one day the guy got back from work and as soon as he got through the door, I stared him dead in the eye and asked how his day was. It made me uncomfortable, it made him uncomfortable, it made everyone else in the room uncomfortable, and we agreed it would be best if I never tried to do that again.

I’d like to point out that while I don’t want to come across as rude, I don’t particularly care about being polite either. I’ll only be civil to people as long as they’re civil to me, and I don’t put on an act just to please someone. If I like you, I like you, and if I don’t, then I don’t. You’ll know if I don’t.

Finally, I’d like to add this picture here because I think it shows perfectly what being Finnish is like.

Untitled 5
Finnish people waiting for the bus.

 

two steps forward, three steps back

Step back: It took 2017 exactly 64 days to fuck it up: I just heard the news that my favorite band is quitting. I’m pretty down at the moment, because I’ve loved the band for 14 years, I’ve seen them live ten times, I’ve laughed, cried and sang my heart out to their music, and it’s going to be hard to see them again this summer because I’ll know it’ll be the last time.

But that is not what I want to focus on right now, because at least nobody died. (I’m looking at you, 2016)

Step forward: It’s confirmed: I AM going to Australia! There’s no doubt about it anymore, because I now have a travel buddy! My biggest fear was always having to go alone and feeling lonely, but I don’t have to worry about that anymore because my friend is coming  with me. We’re going to see a travel agent probably later this month and buy the plane tickets, but as always, there is a step back: we won’t be able to leave until September. My friend is contractually obligated to live in (or at least pay for) her apartment until the end of August, so…

But that’s okay, because another step forward was confirmed just yesterday: I’m going to be working full hours all summer! The longer I stay in Finland, the more money I’ll have in Australia.

In my previous post I mentioned going to a travel fair… Well, I didn’t. Instead, I ended up staying in with my friends, getting drunk and playing board games, and I think that was a better choice since I didn’t hear any good things about the fair.

I haven’t really been able to focus on planning the trip lately, because I’ve been obsessed with this TV show and it is literally taking up all my time. It’s a little scary to be honest…
But! I did buy two notebooks, one for planning, and one to turn into a travel journal to take with me, and I attacked them with the force of a thousand preschoolers as I decorated them with drawings and stickers and shit. I haven’t actually written anything in them yet, but at least they’re sparkly!

Lol I’m starting to notice a pattern here: I say I’m going to do something, then I either postpone it, change my mind half-way, or don’t do it at all. I said I’d leave in May: I won’t. I said I’d go to a travel fair: I didn’t. I said I’d be going alone: I’m not. I said I’d quit smoking: the third step back. I said I’d start a travel journal: well, I bought the notebook…
I’ve always been like this though, it takes me forever to get things done and I am really bad at making decisions. I thought about deleting this blog too, but then decided against it because I thought it might be fun to write this thing when I actually start the planning process and I’ll have something to write about.

I’m not really sorry about going back on my word because most of the time I do eventually get things done, it just takes some time and situations sometimes change. Decisions just make me anxious, and I’ve found it easier to just go with the flow and see what happens.

new year, new… whatever.

So, 2017 is here and I’m… Suspicious. Everything is still the same but somehow different. So far so good, so when are things going to go wrong? 2016 is FINALLY over, and the bar for a better year has never been set lower. I’m afraid to think how a new year could possibly be any worse than last year was, but you never know.

I spent Christmas with my family, mom and my grandparents, and it was nice. There was this one mishap, though, because for a moment there I thought my depression had come back. I felt terrible for a few days, like I was completely worthless, and something was honestly wrong with me because history was repeating itself. Again. I won’t get in to the details here, and I guess I’m still not completely over it, because I feel like I should seriously just stop getting my hopes up. It never ends well, like I’m not supposed to have good things coming my way.

On a lighter (ahh lol) note, I quit smoking. I just stopped. It was surprisingly easy, I did get a few cravings here and there but as of right now, I haven’t smoked in 115 hours. That’s 4 days, 19 hours and counting. I don’t imagine myself never smoking again but I wanted to quit now, because why not? I don’t even have proper motivation, I mean sure it’ll save me money and smoking is so very unhealthy but you know what made me finally quit? I was at a NYE party and I drunkenly announced that I was quitting, and this one person laughed at me and said I couldn’t do it.  “Watch me.” is my main motivation. Also cigarettes cost like a thousand dollars in Australia and I really want to spend my money better than that but you know. Watch me.

I’m going to a travel fair in Helsinki later this month with a friend of mine. I’ve never been to the fair and the company I’m going to be using for my travels won’t be represented there, but I still want to see what the fuzz is all about. I’m not exactly sure what there is to do at the fair, all I know is that there’s going to be loads of different travel agencies and they have these little booths where you can learn about.. Stuff. I don’t know what exactly, that’s why I’m going!
The friend is the same one who I invited to go with me to Australia. I’m not sure if she agreed to go or not, but she’s definitely interested and I can see that she really wants to come. I guess it all comes down to money, I’m ready to go alone but it would be nice to have some company. I feel like I’ve gotten my hopes up, and that terrifies me.

Uhh what else..? I’m seeing my therapist next week! I haven’t seen her in three months but to be honest, it makes no difference. I don’t think she’s the best therapist for me, I don’t really open up to her and I feel like I know more about her than she knows about me, but I take what I can get. It took me a year to reach out for professional help and I guess this is better than nothing. I’ve also been selected to be in a test group for a new form of online therapy, it’s starting in a couple of weeks and since I don’t have to pay for it, why not?

“Why not?” is something I’m going to be asking myself a lot this year. If there’s something I want to do but keep making up excuses not to do it, I ask myself “why not?” I’m so used to putting myself down and preventing myself from doing things I want by thinking of ways it might go wrong.
Just yesterday I wanted to go out for a walk, but because it was below freezing (-20°C / -4°F) I told myself that it’ll be too cold, it’ll be such a hassle to get dressed appropriately, it’s going to take ages to get the shoes on my dog’s feet and they’ll probably fall off and it’ll just be all kinds of terrible. But then I thought, I want to go outside. Why not? It’s what I want to do so I’m making it happen. I put on two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, three shirts and a big winter jacket. I spent centuries getting my dog all dressed up and I went for that walk and I loved it. I loved how crisp the air was and the crunching sound the snow made. Everything was shimmering, I felt happy, my dog was happy and everything was just so worth the hassle.

This year “why not”, “eh, fuck it” and “watch me” are going to be my motivational words to get things done. Watch me.

The D – word.

Depression. Depression. Depression. Depression.  Depression. Depression.
Depression.Depression. Depression.Depression. Depression.Depression. Depression.Depression.

DEPRESSION.

I hate that word. I feel like it’s one of those words you throw around until it loses it’s meaning and everyone gets sick of hearing it; kind of like how That One Friend™ always talks about something they did over and over again and you can’t even roll your eyes far enough. I remember the first time I realized I had depression; it felt like a dark, dirty secret I had to keep at all costs. Now I basically introduce myself like “Hi, I’m Depressed!” The word has no meaning to me anymore.

I don’t know if I even am depressed anymore; I haven’t felt like I actually wanted to die in months. Actually, I don’t even know if I had depression, or was it just a heartbreak that went on for two years. My therapist did diagnose me with a moderate depression but is it true? What do heartbreaks feel like? I felt worthless, like a waste of space and like the world would be better off without me. I felt disgusted with myself, I felt sorry that people had to see me with their own eyes, and I even made a list with all my flaws written on it. I tried cutting myself and I used to cry for several hours every day. Well, I still don’t feel like I’m worth much and I have nothing to offer to the world but now instead of being bothered and sorry about it, I just don’t care.

I don’t care that I don’t have a lot of friends, I don’t care that no one likes me, I don’t care that I’m probably never going to be anything and I’ll probably die alone surrounded by my horde of pet dogs who’ll eat my rotting corpse. Instead of being sorry that I exist, I have taken a different approach. More like… Make way for the Queen! I’m not sure if my new overly confident approach to life is any better, because the confidence is an act, but it sure feels better than being sorry. I think I’m overcompensating my inferiority complex by acting like… Well, a bitch.

As I said I haven’t felt like I wanted to die for a few months now. A year ago it happened almost every week; every week I got the feeling that I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want to kill myself but I wanted to go away, preferably for a long period of time. I spent days thinking about death in general, how it affects people and if I were to die, how many people would attend my funeral. I was constantly seeking validation and I emotionally attacked my friends for every minor thing, because I was sure they all hated me. I twisted their words to suit my logic of all of them wanting me dead, then overreacted because of that and confronted them about it. We have worked things out since then, we’ve set some boundaries and I haven’t thought that way of my friends in a long time. I’m here so ya’ll are going to have to deal with me!

But how strong am I? Just because I haven’t felt like that in a while doesn’t mean that I won’t ever feel it again. Will the thing that sets me off be big or small? How much will it take before I break down again? Am I broken right now but just ignoring it? Maybe I’m not the stone cold bitch I want to be think I am. It would be so much easier not to feel, never get attached and therefore never miss or lose anything. Yet just today I caught myself tearing up while watching a music video where the singer was laying alone on the desert floor ready to give up, and her friends came running to her because they knew she wasn’t okay and needed help. I want friends like that.

Well that went a bit deeper than I intended to but I have a habit of getting sidetracked, but here’s a funny coinkydink to distract you from the fact that I personally love to over-analyze everything and suffer:

Here’s what I can’t back away from: so many of my favorite bands and artists are coming to Finland next summer, and when the tickets went on sale… I didn’t buy them, because I assumed I would be on the other side of the world by the time of the concerts.

– Me, literally a week ago, on this blog

Yes well, originally my plan was to blow everything off and go to Australia before the end of May. Well. Heh. Well. I maaaaayyyyy just have to postpone my travel date to July because situations have risen, stars have aligned, gods have been merciful and festivals have announced bands. I really don’t want to postpone leaving because what if postponing it by 6 weeks turns in to postponing by a few months or even years? But still!!! The first week of July isn’t that far from the last week of May, right? =D