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26 December 2014

Christmas time has been extremely different this year. Of course there are many factors; being an exchange student for example. Also the news I received on Tuesday changed all the plans. The Christmas miracle happened and my Australian visa got granted obviously following that I would, I will leave on this Saturday, tomorrow. Much appreciating my pro-level organising skills I finished the first packing that day. Now if you have ever moved houses you know what I’m meaning by packing in this situation: it practically means packing everything you own. When I think about it I have no idea how I made this happen within just four to six hours.

I have to say I was extremely relieved hearing the good news about my visa. The thing is, if I hadn’t got my visa before Christmas I would have needed to change host families for couple weeks. Myself nor anyone else had no idea where they would find me another host family in such short notice. I was stressing out so bad what would happen to me that I didn’t have any time to stress about Christmas (good thing, bad thing, I don't even know). I was already really tired to all this organising etc. Now, I want to point out that staff in YFU Australia has been more than amazing. They have done all they can to get me to Australia for New Year’s and kept me updated on my visa and other stuff. I want to say a big thank you. You have no idea how important it is to have good people on your side.

As soon as I got my moving stuff sorted out I finally got to the holiday spirit and could actually enjoy the season. I am very happy with my departure date because it pushes me to see people who are important to me around Christmas time (something I am normally really crap at). For a little while I was upset I wasn’t going to get to spend New Year’s with my friends but I banished those thoughts a while ago. Because once you except that you are going you will no longer think what you could have experienced if you stayed. You only concentrate what’s ahead and what that has to offer you.
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11 December 2014

This week I have accomplished my New Zealand bucket list. I still have the Kiwi Christmas to go but let’s not count that.

On Tuesday my friend generously took me up to the Trig which is the top of one of the mountains in Levin. I hadn’t realised how long the walk is and since I am seriously not in the best physical condition it was a pretty tough trip. Like the cherry on top it started lightly raining in the midway which obviously didn’t stop us. When we finally made it to the top it was already so misty or foggy that you couldn’t really see the apparently pretty amazing view. Overall the trip was fun and a good way to kill time. In addition I could really feel the exercise working.

Yesterday or actually it was today when I went to see the new Hobbit with my friends. It was the midnight screening, 00.01 which, I believe, was the first screening. I have never ever been in a first screening nor obviously in a midnight screening. The whole experience was really exciting. To be honest I haven’t seen any of the Lord of the Rings or the previous Hobbit movies. After this experience I can say I’m more than interested to see all of them.
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5 December 2014

This is not the first December without snow but it is definitely the first December with the temperature over 15 degrees. It also the first time I wont be spending Christmas in Finland, with my family. I gotta say there is quite a lot to adjust to. I know there wont be any snow or cold, no never ending darkness - at least it feels never ending every year in Finland. I think I'll be just fine over here.

December has a special spot in my heart even though sometimes I wish it didn’t since I don’t really enjoy winter. Anyway, my little sister is celebrating her birthday in December and Finland’s independency day is celebrated on the 6th. This year I don’t have a possibility to light those blue-and-white candles but I do get to celebrate my home country with Finnish power since Anna is visiting me again this weekend. There’s nothing big on program but then again I haven’t really gotten used to massive independency celebrations. In fact, last year we had a lovely Italy themed evening with a friend family. To be clear we have no roots in Italy, my parents had just planned to make a trip there. How patriotic indeed.

There is a lot I’m missing in December this year but on the other hand there is so much new to explore. On Thursday I went to see my friend and found out a lot new stuff about Christmas and how they celebrate it here. Turns out, I had never ever heard of 12 days of Christmas, Christmas crackers nor many Christmas dishes which names I can’t even remember anymore.

I don’t consider myself as a Christmas enthusiast but suddenly this year I see a new spark in this holly jolly season. I don’t know if it is about all the gorgeous Christmas decorations in Farmers or the fact that this time it is summer during Christmas time. Either way I am excited to see how all this turns out and even more excited about jumping to the plane to Australia, hopefully, right after Christmas.
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28 November 2014

I am terrible at asking help. I have always sucked at it. Always. And it is still difficult.

I have had problems with my Spotify ever since August. Yet it took about three months to contact the Spotify support. This morning I sent them a filled form and in ten minutes I got answered and in an hour they had solved all the problems I had with my Spotify. I was literally astonished how easily and well the support worked.

I guess it is the Finnish mentality - you don't ask for help, you deal with your problems. It is the same with asking anything. If I can't find something in the store I leave, I never ask. When I visited Auckland last week I actually finally realised everyone doesn't do this. My friend Katy who is from Germany had no problem asking whatever we needed to find. I was trying to hold her back saying we didn't need help, that we could find it ourselves. And then I realised how stupid I was, am. I am seriously going to try make a difference in my head. I must understand the people are there specifically to help me.

Yesterday I went to a kiosk looking for a magazine. I quickly glanced every rack and then went to the counter and asked if they had the new issue. Two-months-ago-me or even the two-weeks-ago-me would have never done that so I'm secretly proud of my 'achievement'. Beware Finland, I am a changed girl.
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22 November 2014

I spent probably the most fabulous four days in Auckland this week. I payed a visit to my silly friend Katy who I met on the South Island tour.

I packed my little suitcase once again last Tuesday and flew from Wellington to Auckland. This was my first time ever flying all alone and I freaking loved it! Now don’t get me wrong, I love traveling with my family and friends but somehow I enjoy traveling alone, always have and probably always will.

I took a shuttle from the airport and drove to Katy’s. The reunion was absolutely fantastic. After half an hour I had laughed more than in a month I guess. I didn’t even realise how much I had missed this friend of mine. Katy had made the room I was sleeping to look like a hotel room. It was so glamorous. Also our breakfasts were super each morning including strawberries, donuts, cereals, real rye bread and toasts. Thanks for my awesome hostess.

During these three days in Auckland we visited Sky Tower, where I met a really nice Finnish couple (the odds tho), visited the Broadway cinema, ate dinner in an Indian restaurant and had a home spa night. On the first evening we bought a movie and a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne which was by the way amazing.

We spent quite a lot of time shopping. On Thursday we dressed up really fancy and somehow ended up trying way too expensive clothes in the high-end stores. It was so so much fun even though we didn’t buy anything. Just the feeling of better quality clothes and big fitting rooms made it really special and fun. In the end I actually bought this one really beautiful polka dot dress for NZ$129. And oh my Gosh it was such a good buy. 

Overall I could get used to this haha. I enjoyed my trip very much and I am looking forward to do these kinds of trips in the future as well.

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15 November 2014

I was totally astonished when I realised the South Island trip was over a month ago. We happened to have such good weather during almost the whole tour which was only a good thing dressing up wise. I was really happy with the clothes I had packed with me and I wanted to share some looks.

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10 November 2014

A lot has been happening again. Actually to be honest I have had way too much spare time but somehow it is so much easier to lost oneself to the hooking world of youtube and television than get some actual work done. If I watched a lot of television or spent too much time on computer recording to mum then she hasn't seen anything yet. There's always something on television, all day long; Kardashians and Simpsons, crime shows and Disney series. Lately 'working' on computer has been the most progressive way to spend my time.

A week ago I got surprised happily when I heard I would be graduating as well. In Finland we have a kind of similar graduation ceremony in the end of upper secondary school. It is still far away from the American style so I was very pleased to experience this more-like-american graduation. We didn't have the robes nor the hats but scrolls were handed to us. Personally I prefer the scrolls to just paper certifications which we are given in the Finnish ceremony.

The ceremony was very festive. I got so confused by how many prizes the students were given. When in Finland we have just couple prizes per year class then here one student could get five prizes. Some of these prizes were cups which was incredible to me, also the value of the prizes were unbelievable: up to thousands of dollars. Crazy.

I am now practically done with school and started my advanced summer holiday on last week. There has been so many holidays already that I'm starting to be pretty sick of them. The other students have final exams during the whole November so obviously everyone's being really busy. I used to wonder why the exchange students spend so much time with other exchange students instead of the locals while reading their blogs. Now I really see why. The locals have homework, exams, some have work, and all that stuff I'd have in Finland being a 'normal' student. In addition to that no one understands an exchange student better than another exchange student.

17 weeks has gone so freaking fast. It's over four months away from Finland. The Aussie host family, visa business and upcoming December have overtaken my mind lately. I got my placement information a couple weeks ago. I got so excited I totally forgot the Friends, jumped from the sofa and ran around the house for several minutes trying to read the email from my phone at the same time. My host family lives in Brisbane, half hour from the centre and an hour from Gold Coast. I'm pretty sure I cried of happiness. The family seemed like a really nice one already in that point but after emailing with the host mum I got certain this family is awesome. Now I can't wait to jump to plain and fly to my dream land.

Currently I'm waiting for my Australian visa to come so I can get the departure dates. Originally I was supposed to leave New Zealand in January but now luckily I can go already in the end of December.

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6 November 2014

The clock is half past midnight. I watched youtube for too long — again. But if I’m right when you notice the clock is 00:01 there’s no reason to go sleep ‘early’ anymore. There’s no logic, that’s just how it works, apparently. At least my brain works like this. As my brain personally works best in the middle of the night, why not to write now when I can produce some creative writing. And then there’s the fact that this blog post is at least a month delayed. 

We had the school holiday a long while ago. To those who didn’t already know I packed my suitcase and headed to the incredibly beautiful South Island of New Zealand. And oh my gosh, let me just say it was such an amazing trip. These two islands of New Zealand are seriously so different. As I live on the North Island it was like taking a trip to southern Europe from Finland — well, kind of.

Something about the trip made me really anxious about a week before the departure. I guess it brought back those not-so-fantastic memories when I was coming back from Masterton and everything didn’t go as planned — or in the end everything got sorted out and I got home safe and sound. Still, even a thought of a relative situation made me scared.

After all, it was such a good decision to go. I got my confidence back, the one I had somehow lost. And in addition to that I got peace and time to think about stuff in a different environment and surrounded by different people which was — to be honest — just what I needed.

The trip was beyond awesome as I already mentioned. On the first night we chocked how many Germans there was in our group. Still later on that night I got to change my opinion about these people. In the end three of my best buddies were Germans. So that kind of story.

You know how there’s always the one person who injures themselves on a trip? Somehow I always end up being that person. I have the incredibly fantastic luck getting myself in the hospital condition quicker than you can even imagine. On this time, luckily, I didn’t need the hospital nor the doctors but I must be really talented because I injured the whole right side of my body. And then on the other hand the left side of my body stayed untouchable: seriously, not even a scratch. For my joy we did a lot walking but on the matter of fact these walking trips were actually my favourite bits of the whole trip. In the end I got rewarded for my bravery and positivity. I will be so proud of this for so long.



Franz Josef



Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound 

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