HELLO WORLD, as the customary blog greeting goes! I am Sinikka, a wife, mother, and English teacher from Finland. I have been blogging for teaching-related topics in my lost in translation blog for quite some time now. Yet, I felt I needed a forum for more personal stuff, and decided to set up this new blog. I will be sharing thoughts, feelings, photos and ideas that take my interest in the following two categories.
Being “over the hill”, in the later half of my life, certain topics are bound to come up: health, fitness, diet, weight, ageing, body image, to mention but a few. As the mother of a 20-something daughter, the “empty nest” syndrome still haunts me from time to time even though my darling girl has already been away, and overseas at that, for over four years. The new-found freedom with my husband, with whom I celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary just this autumn, sometimes poses us challenges – how are we to continue our life together when there’s just the two of us now?
Hobbies, and other personal interests will come under this heading, too. Nature photography has been one of my dear pastimes for years, and living up here in the north, there are plenty of opportunities for observing the changing seasons through my lens. I upload some of my photos on Flickr, and in 2011 I even had a blog for my ‘photo a day’ challenge. I will also post some of my favourite family recipes, mainly for my daughter to find, and hopefully, pass on.
Travelling has always been my passion, ever since I was brave enough at 15 to go on an EF language course in England, all on my own, from a small Finnish countryside village. Little did I know then that I would meet my British husband in the very same seaside town of Eastbourne, over ten years later when I went back as an EF course leader myself! I loved languages the moment I started learning them in 3rd grade, and having learnt the basics of not only English but also Swedish, French and German at school, the natural choice for me was to study languages at the university, and become a language teacher. Languages continue to fascinate me, and thanks to my bicultural family life, I have come to realise how interconnected language and culture are. Naturally, as a family, we have travelled back and forth between Finland and Britain, exploring the European countries in between.
My passion for languages and cultures has taken our family to the US for a year, where I worked as a Fulbright exchange teacher in Falls Church, Virginia. During that year, we took any opportunity to hit the road, and managed to visit as many as 40 of the 50 American states. What an eye-opener that year was! Back in Finland, I embarked on a 12-year-long quest to widen my students’ horizons in various intercultural projects and student exchanges. These years took me, my family and some students to many European countries, and finally also to Asia – a totally new continent for me. I could truly say that “the world is my oyster” (or maybe I should change this idiom into “the world is my green apple” as seafood really isn’t “my cup of tea”!)
And what do you know – seems that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” in our family. Our daughter has become a real globetrotter herself. After graduating with a degree in International Relations and French from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland this year, she is now spending a gap year trying to find English teaching jobs in Taiwan of all places!
My bucket list of places to see is still growing by the day. So many continents and fabulous places for me to see and experience, hopefully!