Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving

Cosy Finland


It turns out that coffee brewed this way is the most delicious coffee I’ve ever had!

We spent Easter this year in Finland. We came to Finland to visit a woman I met on Heron Island in 2003 at a conference then saw again in Prague 2 years later for the same conference. We’ve exchanged emails sporadically since then and gifts on the births of our children. I still use the Marimekko mouse pad, that she sent me in 2007, every day at work.


Vaaralampi is beautiful!

When I told my acquaintance that we had moved to Trondheim, Norway she promptly invited us to visit her and her family (husband and daughters aged 12 and 8). An Australian living in Norway once told me that it’s dangerous to invite an Australian to stay with you because they will never forget the invitation and one day turn up on your doorstep. So, in keeping with my national tradition, that’s what we did.


Delicious sausages!

We were delighted to discover that we slotted in nicely with the Suomi (Finnish) family. The two 8 year old girls became inseparable and enjoyed sleeping in the same room and taking a long sauna together every evening, the 12 year old girl tolerated the 8 year olds raiding her make-up and shared her gymnast rings with them (suspended from the ceiling these had a magnetic attraction to all 4 children and me too and I soon found myself upside down in the ‘cradle’ position like I learnt in circus class). The men enjoyed chatting about Finland and having quiet time for reflection.


Towards our campfire

In the meantime my friend and I spent our time preparing meals together, talking non-stop, having long saunas together and enjoying each other’s company. We discovered some hidden similarities, I spend a lot of time in the Middle East and learnt basic Arabic to help me with that, she spends a lot of time in Central Asia and learnt basic Russian to help her with that. We have similar diets and find ourselves at a similar stage in our lives. I feel privileged to enjoy the opportunity of deepening our friendship and I look forward to spending time with her again somewhere, some time!


Beautiful forest

For all of us the highlights of our cosy time spent with an extremely generous, kind and gentle Suomi family were:

  • Hiking through a beautiful national park beside frozen lakes and building a campfire in the snow. The coffee brewed over the fire is the most delicious that I’ve ever tasted!
  • Elg stew, made from elg hunted by the host
  • Enjoying their luxurious indoor sauna and taking breaks outside in the snow in their large and beautiful house that they purpose-built 4 years ago
  • Smoking fish, that they caught themselves, in the smoking oven in the backyard
  • Using their traditional outdoor sauna, complete with splitting the wood and building the fire and carting water for the boiler
  • Sharing birthday cakes for my friend (Good Friday) and my son (Easter Sunday)
  • 3 days of relaxation, conversation and delicious meals!

Home smoked fish



7 comments on “Cosy Finland

  1. Little Miss Traveller
    April 11, 2016

    I visit friends in Finland every year, it’s so beautiful there

    • strivetoengage
      April 11, 2016

      That’s so lovely for you! How did you meet your friends that live in Finland?

      • Little Miss Traveller
        April 11, 2016

        We met through my work, ten years ago I visited a university Finland for a few weeks and that was how my love affair with the country started.

  2. Sartenada
    April 11, 2016

    Awesome lovely photos.

    • strivetoengage
      April 11, 2016

      Many thanks! Even my phone can take nice photos when the scenery is so beautiful!

  3. Simply Splendid Food
    March 13, 2017

    That smoked fish looks good! The lake shots and blazing fire is so inviting. 💖

    • strivetoengage
      March 15, 2017

      The smoked fish was very good, especially because our friends caught the fish themselves and freshly smoked it in their garden that evening.
      We had a lovely day trip to the lake. It was beautiful there and our friends impressed us by making that fire from nothing even though everything was damp. Sausages cooked over an open fire are delicious!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on April 11, 2016 by in Europe, family, Nature and tagged , , , , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: