5 things I wish I had known before I went to Finland

5 things I wish I had known before I went to Finland

Tips from the internet are all well and good, but who can guarantee that the claims are true?? Before I went to Finland for half a year, I would have liked to talk to one or two people who had already experienced and traveled the country. Nothing beats personal experience and advice. So I was standing there, completely clueless and completely wondering how to pack my suitcase, if I have enough warm stuff but at the same time enough stuff for summer. That was something, I tell you. Whether I was right with my luggage in the end, you will see when the light comes on. No, fun!! Just read on.

I'll give you 5 things I wish I had known before I traveled to this beautiful country. Of course, with time you will get to know how the rabbit runs – so don't panic. Nevertheless it is always good to be able to adjust to things. Have fun reading!

1. Fin out!

With my first tip I connect a painful experience, which cost me a lot of time and nerves. At the same time I find this solution time-saving, simple and logical – just like the Finns are! On my first days I stood with other Erasmus students at the bus stop to catch my bus to the university. It was February and really abnormally cold and I was glad to finally see the bus. But instead of stopping and giving us a lift, he just drives past us. After a few rides we finally realized that the buses in Finland only stop if we hold out our hand and give the bus driver a sign that we really want to ride there. So always keep the fin out!

A bus in Finland with a frozen window

2. Always say "Kiitos

While we're on the subject of riding the bus – here's my next tip. The Finns are a really polite and nice people. So when you leave the bus at your stop, don't forget to say "Kiitos". This means thank you and is shouted by everyone through the bus, who gets off at his stop. I think this is a really nice gesture and there should be many more countries where this is done. In everyday life we also say please and thank you. To be honest, however, I found it difficult until the end to yell through a full bus. I think this is due to my "German-ness". If you already feel like traveling to Finland, then check out JoinMyTrip, where you can find cool travel buddies as well as inspiring trips.

A green bus stop with 2 women in Finland

3. What is sleep?!

This point is not about wild party nights. We had those too, but they didn't rob us of nearly as much sleep as the brightness did! When one night at approx. When we came out of the club at 4 o'clock, we thought someone was pulling our leg! It was light as afternoon at 2 p.m! Our eyes fell out and this moment I will never forget. From this point on the sleepless nights started. It's not only the problem that we couldn't sleep, but that we never had the feeling that it's bedtime now. My sleeping rhythm was really a disaster. In the afternoon after university I slept for a few hours, and at night, when I was supposed to be sleeping, of course I couldn't get a wink of sleep. If I had known earlier that it is light 24/7 from the end of May to the beginning of August, I probably would have bought a proper sleeping mask. But well, now you know at least!

A footbridge with many grasses leading to a lake in Finland

4. Finland can also be warm!

Sure, Finland is one of the northernmost countries and known for its icy and snowy winters, but it can definitely get hot in the summer too. I'm not an expert, but I think climate change had a part in it as well. I would have wished in any case, that someone would have told me that it becomes almost as warm there in the summer as with us in Germany. After all, when summer came around, the thin stuff was in rather short supply. I must say that the thick things for the winter but also really swallowed a lot of space in the suitcase and I therefore had to save on the summer things. P.S. My personal highlight was the Midsummer Fest in Finland. I don't want to tell you too much. Just join a trip with JoinMyTrip and find out for yourself why!

A man jumps backwards into a lake in Finland

5. Antarctica is far away

I'm actually a little uncomfortable with the last point, but you may end up being all the more grateful for the tip! When I equipped myself with thick clothes at home, the good old "Moon Boots" also ended up in the suitcase. You may be thinking of the ones that go up to the ankle, but I mean the knee high ones. These are now unlied and only 2 times worn with me in the basement. Guys – completely normal winter shoes are enough, like you would wear them on any normal winter vacation. My friends in Finland really made fun of me why I brought such shoes resp. That I wasted almost all the space in my suitcase for it and yet never wore it. Just do not buy extra moon boots. Of course, it depends on the place you are traveling to. I was in the middle of Finland. But if you live half a year in the deepest Lapland, these shoes can probably save lives!

After these 5 tips you should be well prepared for your adventure in Finland. If you felt the same way about some things as I did, feel free to email or message us on social media, I'm excited to hear your experiences! On JoinMyTrip you can find cool trips that have already been planned by experienced TripLeaders and which you can join. If you already have a unique idea of your own, you can of course create your very own journey. We are happy about both variants!