I suppose I should start from the beginning. My first visit to Finland was 7th March 2008, it was an international studies module for Neptune (Network for Environmental Projects in Technology UNited in Europe). It was held in Mikkeli but of course the initial excitement was that there would be snow and the work would be easy!
Mikkeli would be my second international study module so I knew they were a good experience and a fun way to learn! The rest is mostly educational and boring. I met Eero on this course, he was unfortunate enough to be put on the same group as me! He was somehow made responsible for being my translator to make sure my food got cooked without someone triggering my crazy allergies. After a week of playing in the snow and doing a little work, Finland felt more like home than England did. I had always dreamed of living somewhere else that wasn't England but I always thought Canada would be the place (English speaking =D)... My parent's however thought it was a phase I would grow out of.
I spent a lot of the summer of 2008, coming back and forth from Finland and finished the summer nicely with a trip to Cairo and Luxor. After that summer I think it was then i decided that I seriously wanted to move to Finland. A scary choice considering that from both official languages none of them were English. Then of course follows the shame of being English, we rarely learn another language we expect the world to speak English. At some point in the Summer, possibly for my birthday (Eero will tell you my memory is terrible) he brought my Lelia White, from start to Finnish. A really good beginners book! Anyway, after a frustrating year a found it almost impossible to learn Finnish when i couldn't practice speaking with anyone properly... msn, skype, video calls weren't good enough and phone calls were to expensive to waste on learning there was always to much gossip and random things to chat about.
I graduated from my Environmental Science and Ecology degree in June 2008. This started some serious thinking of how I could fund a move to Finland. Of course, I had just finished my degree and they are an expensive hobby in the UK. I had no work in my last year so I could concentrate on my studies. I knew I was a good saver but I knew it would take a long time to save! So i decided that September 2008, I would look for a "proper" job and would save from there and stay living home with my parents as it was cheap.
I must of been a cat in a past life as I tend to land on my feet, within 3 weeks of sending more job applications than I care to I got an interview and a job. I was so happy at graduation as I was starting my new job the next week. I loved my job working as a landfill technician for 15 months. It was a very educational time both learning about landfill and office politics. Wisdom is earnt not given. My job had a company car for private use so I made my first buck selling my old car and not having to pay out cash to keep it going. I was intending to transfer to Finland to keep experience and loyalty with the company, unfortunately it didn't happen that way and I booked a one way ticket to Finland 13th December 2009.