• BLOG
  • Hyvää Syntymäpäivää Suomi

    Tiina Kivelä

    Happy Birthday, Finland!

    The ones who don’t know, Finland turned 100 years old yesterday( the day’s called Independence Day aka Itsenäisyyspäivä). And for the occaions, if I’d say what I’m most grateful for this country, I’d say the Finnish passport (and almost as high would be nature in Lapland). With that, I’ve been able to travel, see the fireworks for Swiss national day (and drink free beer and dance to the morning in the middle of the street) and to get the social security, which might be the best in the world.

    For once I was Finland for the party, though as the tradition goes, no proper parties for me. For the ones who don’t know this either, I couldn’t even buy champagne, nor sauna beer for the occasion, because I forgot that I’m in Finland, in where they close the wine and good belgian beer shop (aka Alko) early the day before (and stay closed the party day), and that the supermarket stops selling average beer at 9 PM (I was on that line 5min late this time).

    Oh well, it’s been very healthy, sporty and productive celebration. At least I got the sauna.

     

     

  • BLOG
  • Relocation Costs Not Covered

    Tiina Kivelä

    Hello December, you’re interesting. And not just for the holidays. Last Thursday, I finally again relocated, and moved into a new flat (totally new btw, with sauna!). And while resting my muscles tired from all the box carrying (it’s top floor flat) I’m also planning the oh-so soon nearing next year, professionally and un-professionally. Life’s a journey and this will definitely be an exciting chapter in mine.

    Last week, I read a similar story to mine in here (it’s in finnish, sorry), about being “homeless” for months. For the writer, it has lasted half a year, for me 4 months, literally. Mentally, it has lasted 10 years, from the moment I first time relocated abroad from my original home. And practically, I wasn’t really homeless, but still, it felt like it.

    The new flat definitely makes life easier; after five years, I have even a dishwasher, and place for all my sports and travel stuff. Moreover, for few months I have commute of just few hundres meters. Maybe I manage to get into the office before nine some day… Nevertheless, I’m not sure if this feels home. Alhough, it doesn’t need to really feel home. Home is a feeling, sure, but not necessarily tied to a place. Right now I just need  a space for my mess and a place to organize that mess. For that this’s almost perfect. Some moments if feels home, some others not. But it’s fine as it is.

    During the weekend, I even managed to put some things on the walls and fix the lights myself. Not these on this tree though, but my new designer lights and old Ikea ones are hanging just fine up here. Maybe I should consider turning this into a nordic interior blog off this nordic noir lifestyle one?

    Tiina Kivelä

     

    Tiina Kivelä

    Like the author of the other story^ writes, I’ve also felt that during the past years my life has scattered into an unstructured mess. Nordic noir lifestyle. A mess of which I haven’t been fully in charge of. Or well, I’ve done my best trying to keep in charge, but the universe hasn’t always played along. The past years have definitely taught me many important lessons though, like how a situation like the homelessnes doesn’t really help with already messy situation. But you learn to survive and move forward, when you keep your goals clear.

    And even though my resume of the last ten years is combined of tiny pieces, periods here and there (not at all like the streamlined career curve it should look like), it’s been eye-opening and rewarding ten years, for many reasons. During these years, I’ve tried many different things, jobs and places. Some I’ve liked a lot, even fell in love with, others not so much. Nevertheless, they all have taught me something. And if one looks very carefully, one can see that the curve is upwards still. It requires a closer look and maybe a bit longer talk with me to see all the details and things between the lines, and what really binds it all together, but it’s there. And right now, I couldn’t feel more comfortable with it. And determined to put all that experience into real action.

    When I sit here and write this in my new flat, in the shiny new 44 square meters (including sauna) and look around, I can only think of a sentence which desrcibes this perfectly. You’ve come a long way, baby.

    There’s the shoes I bought from Stockholm when living there ten years ago. And then there’s the cups I bought for my first student flat. There’s study books from Norway and chocolate boxes from Brussels. Map of Berner Alps from my Swiss home, and the medal from the finished  Jungfrau marathon. There’s dictionaries from the time before smartphones (I’m btw addicted to Duolingo now) and the management books I picked up from post, on my way to pick up my moving pizza, on this Friday.

    These all tell a story of an interesting journey which isn’t finished yet. Though I migh be pausing now, drinking wine for this finalized phase, for the first advent and for the full moon. And if you’re wondering the title, then before I go I’ll let you know that once again relocation costs weren’t covered. I do wonder does anyone ever get those, or is it just a thing for the past…

    I’ll end this story with few snaps from past weeks. I’ve been a bit jealous for friends in the Alps, in where it seems to be the best season opening in years.  It’s been quite nice in here too, but not the mountains I really miss.

    Luckily, it’s not many days left ’till I’m down there too and fingers crossed there’s some pow and good moments left for me too. Untill that, I keep on training, working and thinking the perfect organization for the stuff mess in my flat.

     

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Gone skiing

     

     

  • BLOG
  • Sauna

    Tiina Kivelä

    Finnish sauna. Almost everyone in this country has one and even though the nuances are varied, the basic concept could almost be found in our constitution.  Tiina Kivelä

    It’s a funny concept — you warm it hot (80°C is about right), get naked, go in, sit (or lay) and sweat there for some time (15mins is about right), silent. And throw some water to the stones constantly. Then you scrub your skin with something, or beat yourself with a birch whisk (don’t ask), and sit silent for some more minutes. Further on, you go out, jump into an ice cold water or if the season is right, snow, and curl there for some seconds, get back in, sweat some more, and shower.

    Then you take your bathrobe and an ice cold beer, go out to cool down for few minutes and take another set of silent moments. Finally, you come to the conclusion that life isn’t so bad after all. With perfect skin.

    That’s Finnish sauna, my favorite, almost daily, wellness ritual. And a very good excuse to close off rest of the world for a moment.

    Tiina Kivelä

    For Finnish sauna, you don’t have to stay in or come to Finland though. When traveling, it’s always interesting, and rewarding, to find sauna, especially if it’s labeled “Finnish”, and test enjoy it. To see what the prefix Finnish means with each case; if it’s hot, humid and minimalistic as the best ones, or if it’s just good enough. And then I just sit there quiet for a while, letting the body and mind relax.

    I’ll add few good sauna finds below, around Europe. And if you know a nice one, which you think I should definitely try, please tell me or invite me over. If it’s close snowy mountains, or in the middle of busy city, the better.

    Recently, I’ve even started to browse and dream of spa holidays or at least travels including as much spa’s and sauna’s as possible.  Steam sauna’s and hammams, Korean saunas and so on. Traveling with a tight budget, as I normally do, creates stress for which spas and saunas offer nice remedy. Almost as good as a long sleep in comfy king size hotel bed.

    In Finland, finding sauna for the everyday stress relief is pretty easy, and one of the best perks of Finland is definitely the saunas even in the smallest urban flats. In few weeks, when finally moving to a new flat after months of homelessness, I’ll even get a tiny home sauna myself. And for that personal “spa”, and since my skin is screaming “woman why did you bring me back to this hell called dry Finnish winter air!”, and hair is screaming “come on woman, you can’t run with me from the -20°C directly to the +80°C sauna without consequences“, I’m also updating my wellness self-help kit, starting with Aésop in pictures (they came wrapped in that cute paper, ordered from their own webshop). It’s high-end, a bit expensive, and not as eco as I’d really like, but oh boy it will look nice in my shelves, next to sauna.

    And hopefully they make my skin scream less.


    Where

    Spa’s with sauna(s):

    Bödelibad, Interlaken, Switzerland

    Seebad Enge, Zürich, Switzerland

    Finnish Rooftop Sauna, London, Great Britain

    Hotel saunas:

    Züri by Fassbind, Zürich, Switzerland

    Arctic Light Hotel, Rovaniemi, Finland