This Strange Corona Spring

First I thought I’d write my next travel post about a nature destination here in Finland – one which we plan to visit during the summer holidays. I want to present some beautiful gems here in Finland. But before that, I thought I’d write down a few notes about this peculiar and unprecedented time, the corona spring. A few personal observations from this strange period before spring officially folds into summer.

I fully get that the coronavirus and the lockdown period treat people unequally. These exceptional times impact families and individuals very differently. Many struggle to make ends meet when their income is being threatened or taken away altogether; others feel the weight of loneliness during the isolation. Healthcare workers, those who are at high risk to get sick or countless entrepreneurs feel stress that many others do not. And in the most severe outcomes people lose their lives or their loved ones.

And then there are many who can enjoy the slower pace and the simple joys of life or use this time for personal development, maybe even a fitness sprint. But, despite the differences and the divides, there is also a sense that we are in this together. And we’ll get out of this together.

Even though this Spring 2020 has been very worrying globally, I want to take up positive and good things as well – things that have made life happier, brighter, lighter, and more delicious.

First of them is, you might guess, cooking. As we’ve not been able to adventure around the globe, we’ve travelled the world in our very own kitchen. We’ve cooked Melanzane alla parmigiana and lasagne and reminisced our former joyous summer days in Italy, Thai curry, Revuelto (a yummy Spanish take on scrambled eggs) with tomatoes and green asparagus, meat prepared by using the sous vide method (time consuming but an absolutely genius way of cooking) and Karelian stew, a delicious traditional meat dish from Eastern Finland. Cooking is both soothing and yummy. It seems that half of Finland has been baking their own sourdough bread this spring. Or planting their own herbs. Me included. Gardening game going strong: or at least there’s the will to master the art of gardening a bit better one gorgeous day.

Nature has always been my place of focus, quieting down and green meditation. I think that the significance of nature has grown and will continue to grow in people’s lives because of this spring. I anticipate that many will move closer to nature and invest in a community garden patch paired with a cute cottage.

What else? A few selected random recommendations: The miniseries Unorthodox in Netflix – a captivating story of a young ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman (played by the talented Shira Haas) who escapes an arranged marriage and the strict and conservative religious community to Berlin. High recommendations, it is shocking and excellent. Second, home workouts. There are many good and free ones on YouTube (I’ve for example done the full body workouts by Pamela Reif). Only 20 or 30 minutes at a time and the powerful feeling of accomplishment will be with you for the rest of the day. Third, having a rhythm in one’s day even if that rhythm is not given by a 9 to 5 job. Fourth, limiting one’s news consumption to one time a day (versus the 10+ times on the day the corona situation escalated). Fifth, mercy: an exceptional time brings forward all types of feelings, both the bright and the gloomy. And finally, talking to your dear ones.

Many say that small things have become big things this spring and that normal life has become a luxury. I’d also say that as a lot of the hustle & hurry of our everyday lives has been stripped away, the good things are highlighted and get more attention and value: a beautiful and colourful breakfast, a good and sweaty run by the sea while sniffing the salty sea air, the bright green birch sprouts pushing their way through optimistically. Puppies. Wild bunnies (countless of them hopping around here where we live). A cup of quality ristretto coffee enjoyed in the garden with a good book. The scent of fresh cut grass and lilacs. Bright Finnish summer nights. Seeing our one-year-old godson after two months and having a barbecue and an abundant brunch with the family.

I can’t wait for things to get back to normal again. But I believe it will be a new kind of a normal which will follow this odd period when we’ve had a chance to think things through and come up with new ways of doing things. A new normal with maybe a new type of a brighter focus. We’ll see.

And then more travel inspo will come, be it here from the Arctic or from a distant corner of the globe!

This January light

I love this light right now. It’s bright, beautiful, pure and slightly magical. There’s something eternal in it. It’s cold outside at the moment and when I take a deep breath of the cold and brisk air it feels like my brains can breathe and new ideas can spring.

January is the time for many of making big promises for the new year. I didn’t make that many really. More like I promised that I’ll try to do my own best when it comes to certain things, like exercising. I’ll go when I can and when I want to. And I believe I’ll want to because of how it makes me feel. I fully endorse the saying that sweat is the gift of the body to the soul.

I did set certain goals for the upcoming year. I’ll try to travel when I can and here I’ll definitely count both big and small trips and adventures. Bookings haven’t been done yet but on the travel wish list are for example doing part of the Archipelago Trail by bike, a road trip to new terrains in Europe and popping in Berlin and Mänttä. Besides travelling I’ll run, by the sea and a marathon in the fall, if all goes well. It will/would be my seventh but crossing the finishing line is never certain and one must be humble before the distance. Or at least I have to be.  And starting ice swimming and trying sailing are on the wish/plan list as well. I wish you’ll have a year filled with magical light.