You say it's not a big deal, I say I'm scared shitless. Why? I don't even know where to begin. Let's make a list...

So, it has been said: I'm spending my Christmas in Finland. Not just anywhere in Finland, but in Lapland, which is why utter fear is not the only emotion I feel for Christmas right now - I'm actually kind of excited. We have TONS of plans from corny Lappish spa treatments for couples (prepare your butt, Alex) to horseback riding in the mountains. Now that I put it like this, it actually sounds pretty damn sweet.

BUT that's not the reason why I'm terrified. There are other things.

Our villa in Levi, Finland. Photo from levi.fi
    Once you lumberjack, you never lumberback. In other words, my special Canadian someone is a true bliss, but he doesn't speak Finnish. If you have ever brought a foreign friend or a significant other to a dinner table full of people only speaking your language, you know how this will go down. I will basically turn into a Talking Head for Christmas, simultaneously trying to listen to the conversation and interpret it in English on the spot. 2 hours in and you're done. It's really, really tiring.
    It doesn't matter which way we try to look at this. I don't live in Finland. And if my previous proper trip to Helsinki last summer tells me anything, it's that the feeling of going back to a place you once belonged but don't know anymore is slightly haunting. Things can change a lot in two years: new shops, new buildings, new systems. It will be a rollercoaster of emotions, and I know I'll feel a bit 'off'. It's my first Christmas in Finland since I left!
    Ten days is not a lot if during that time you somehow try to devour all of the people, places and things you didn't have time to see during those 6 months you were gone. Having a relaxing holiday back in Finland is not an option for most expats, but I'm determined to forcefully have at least one day just for Alex and I to go around and enjoy the famous Finnish silence. The rest of the time I'm probably neurotically staring at my calendar, trying to figure where I'm supposed to be and how the new public transport tap-in machines work.
    You read it. I'm crazy for all things editing, and video editing is something I have wanted to practice for a long time. I figured spending a few hours editing footage a night is going to be more enjoyable than trying to write blog posts, edit photos AND write all my assignments due over the holidays. Will it be cringy? Yes. Will it fail? Probably. Will it be a pleasure to watch? Possibly, if you enjoy cringe. Our plans should be exciting, though: a train trip across Finland, a week living in a villa in Lapland, horseback riding, northern lights, spa treatments, eating reindeer, a lot of multicultural awkwardness and one big Finnish adventure.
Map from Google Maps

Our plane from Dublin to Helsinki leaves on the 19th, through Copenhagen. 19th - 21st we will stay in Helsinki, after which we take a 12-hour night train to Kolari, from which we head to Levi, Lapland. On the 29th we fly back to Dublin through Oslo and spend a New Year here.

Is vlogging an absolutely terrible idea? Have you ever spent a Christmas away from home - or at home after being away for years? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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  1. First point is so accurate, the awkward interpreter role where you try to make the person not feel so left out.

    I am very excited to see your vlogs! I am quite in love with them and actually thinking about doing something similar for my upcoming trip to Tasmania.

    I have spent a few Christmas away from home (same thing this year) and I have always been a solo traveller at the point so it has gotten a little lonely at times. I think its the realisation that the streets are empty because everyone is with family having a meal and yet I am exploring :P

    nat // dignifiable

    1. Yeah, it really is tough sometimes - you can't really join the discussion yourself when all your energy goes into trying to translate as much as you can!

      Good to know the idea isn't as terrible as I thought! Now I'll only have to learn to edit the footage I've filmed... I'd definitely watch your vlogs from Tasmania, it sounds like such an exotic destination.

      Oh wow, I can't really imagine how that feels! But luckily spending Christmas at home with your family in a traditional way isn't the only way to spend the holiday. ;)