Why Finland?

“So, Finland … huh … Since you are from Minnesota, don’t you want to go someplace a little warmer?”

So goes a conversation I have with people about why I would want to go to Finland.  I get it; winters are endless in Minnesota.  It seems odd to be going to a place that is as cold, as dark for as long as where I currently live.  To be honest, that really wasn’t a factor in the thinking.

Preparing to go: December 2019 – March 2020 (The “before” times).

I was coming back from a class in December 2019 when I received the email that my Fulbright application to research at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio was accepted!  I had always wanted this type of experience for me professionally, also for my children so they can have the opportunity to see the world bigger than their own backyard.

Based on the grant we would be leaving for an entire year, so there was a lot of logistical details to work out, notwithstanding (1) residence permits, securing housing in Finland, finding schools for our kids, what to do with our house here, school for our kids, and, and, and … Thank goodness we had time to work through this!