My blog, The Snow Melts Somewhere, is where I re-live past travels through photos and sometimes short stories. Hopefully I can act as inspiration for anyone planning a trip
“I’m a travel addicted woman in my thirties with tropical childhood memories”. Snow has worked in the travel industry most of her life and lived in several countries. Currently, she lives in Northern Europe where she finds herself “freezing during the long winters, always dreaming of sunnier places to visit…”.
We want details! Where have you been ‘expat’, why and what is your current situation?
Well, I don’t know if the word expat fits me the best, I was more of an expat child. My Finnish parents moved to Australia when I was 2 and we lived there for almost 7 years. That’s where I first went to school and English was the language I first learned to read and write in.
My childhood was filled with after-school swims in my best friend’s pool and playing in our backyard garden where we grew banana trees, passion fruit, and pineapple.
Later on in life, I went on to work in the travel industry, because my childhood had left me with an insatiable desire to see the world. I never even considered another option, I was just driven to travel.
As an adult, I’ve also spent some years in France and a couple of summers at Mediterranean destinations. I currently live in Finland.
Tell us about the culture shock of your experiences and preferred locations.
My biggest culture shock was moving to Finland when I was nine. It was winter and I’d never seen snow. I couldn’t speak the language and I felt like an outsider.
Children learn quickly, however, and I soon spoke Finnish fluently. I’m very grateful to be more or less bilingual now. If you’re an expat with children, I think that would be a positive thing for you: your child could probably learn a second language quite effortlessly. That’s something that could enrich his/her life forever.
As an adult, I haven’t really suffered any bad culture shocks when traveling! But I have to admit that while I lived in France, it was really important to have friends who lived there to help out with all the arrangements. Everything was done so differently there and you wouldn’t have known where to start.
I met most of my friends there through the university I studied at and through other friends. My social networks there were actually much tighter than the ones in my regular life here at home. Maybe it was because we all needed them more.
As for my preferred location, I love beach life and good food. So to me, the Mediterranean has the perfect climate and lifestyle. Who knows where I might end up someday?
Is traveling a phase or a lifestyle?
For me, it’s been a lifestyle -it has even determined my profession!
If you want to know how the adventures of Snow continue: The Snow Melts Somewhere !
EXPATS IN BELGIUM
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