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About Life in Finland

Originally started as observations about various curiosities about living in Finland in comparison to my native Canada (northern Ontario), Life in Finland touches on the humourous, the political, the maddening, the strange and so on. I hope to bring you interesting tidbits on life in Finland. It’s always a learning process and it’s been fun let me tell you.

I live in Espoo with my family. Finland has been my home since 1998.

(updated November 10, 2021)

© Life in Finland (blog), 2004-2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given Life in Finland (blog) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I do not get paid for my blog posts. (Carmen P.,  June 29, 2013)

The photos that appear in this WordPress blog have not been altered in any way. The photos contained on the Life in Finland (blog) Facebook page and the @LiveInFinland Twitter account that have been uploaded by myself have not been altered in any way. They are original photos that have been taken with my Canon Quick Shot digital camera, (formerly) Nokia N95, (formerly) HTC HD7, (formerly) Nokia Lumia 925, Huawei Honor 7 or the most recent addition to my camera selection the Nokia 7.2.

March 2014: Life in Finland is on Twitter, find it @LiveInFinland

May 2014: If you want to contact me, send e-mail to kiviaho13 at hotmail dot com. I can’t guarantee a reply, but I will try.

April 2015: All of the comments on this blog are moderated.

July 2015: If you would like to use the photos posted in this blog or on the the Life in Finland (blog) Facebook page by downloading them, I would appreciate if the credit is given as due.

48 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2011 11:39 am

    Great stuff from a like minded expat

  2. February 10, 2011 12:25 pm


    I’m a journalist for French citizen journalism website The I would like to report on the McDonald’s kidnapping initiative, and was wondering if I could as you for your help. I’m limited by the fact that I don’t speak Finnish, and was hoping you could fill me in on the official statement made by McDonalds or authorities on this case (you can also send me links to Finnish articles and I can use Gooogle translate).

    I’m in touch with members of the Food Liberation Army by email, but their English is very basic, and seem reluctant to talk after their brush with police. Would you be able to give me your comment as an outside observer (and as someone concerned by the questions of food quality and ethics)? If so, could I call you for a brief phone interview today?


  3. April 4, 2011 11:19 pm

    Great blog! I have also been trying to write about my own views about a similar life experiences.

    • April 6, 2011 12:05 pm

      Thanks for stopping in JB, good to hear that I am getting some traffic!

  4. April 30, 2011 8:43 pm

    I have been reading your blog… It’s great!

    I’ve been reading blogs from every country on this planet looking for writers that would make great contributors for an online magazine my daughter and I are developing. I like what you write about. We could help each other.

    My name is Patrick McCormick and our magazine is called “The e-Buffet”. Our prototype is online now. I hope you will take a look at it. It’s only been a month and we have assembled a remarkable group of talented artists and writers. It has become a Creative Collaboration and we are growing stronger every day.

    There are several excellent reasons for our early success recruiting this talent. First, it is a great opportunity to promote your own blog or website. Second we do not charge our contributors or make them work for free, we actually intend to pay them. The creators of The e-Buffet will take ten percent of the total gross revenue each month and place it into a pool to be split by the contributors. Admittedly, we are a start-up business and do not have deep pockets, so the pool will be small at first. However, with the type of artists we are attracting, I predict our readership will grow quickly.

    So, I like your work and I offer you the same opportunity that I have given the others. If you get in touch with me now, you can still place some of your material in the first issue due out June 1, 2011. Oh, the first few months you can submit articles and photographs that have all ready been published elsewhere. I believe that makes this one of those “Win, Win” opportunities.

    I hope to hear from you soon…

    Patrick McCormick

  5. swifty permalink
    October 2, 2011 10:34 pm

    great blog – i’ve bookmarked it!! looking forward to hearing more about your mushroom adventures over ‘canadian thanksgiving’ dinner in a few weeks.

  6. February 10, 2012 5:04 pm

    Glad to see and hear from other Expas in Finland
    I find living here in Finland to refreshing from my old life back in the UK.I do still get surprised with the customs and that is after living in Finland 23 years

  7. coldradio permalink
    September 27, 2012 10:13 am

    A fellow Canadian, wonderful!
    So glad I found your blog and look forward to reading more.

    • September 28, 2012 8:39 am

      I’ll send you an e-mail telling you how to connect with other Canadians if you’re missing their company!

      • coldradio permalink
        September 28, 2012 10:33 am

        That would be great and much appreciated!

      • October 1, 2012 8:09 am

        Hi – okay, been away all weekend. I’ll send you a message today (Oct 1) – and I removed your other comment that included your e-mail address to help you avoid getting spam! 😉

  8. Jane Adey permalink
    October 10, 2012 7:24 pm

    Hello there,

    I’m a journalist in St. John’s, Newfoundland. I’m researching a possible story and could use your help, please. Could you e-mail me?

    Thanks a lot,

  9. February 19, 2013 1:04 pm

    Good stuff! Will definitely be checking back. Trying to figure how to add people’s blogs to my sidebar (blogger makes me program in html since my blog was originally started in 2003, but deleted several times), but it looks like I should move to wordpress. Nice setup!

    • February 22, 2013 10:24 am

      WordPress is great S, I highly recommend it. Thanks for checking in! 🙂

  10. David1603 permalink
    April 28, 2013 4:19 pm

    This is brilliant! I’m David, from Scotland, and I’m learning Finnish. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. Just thought I’d tell you how much I appreciate it – forever keeping me motivated when studying Finnish seems like the most daunting concept imaginable!

    • April 28, 2013 8:39 pm

      Many thanks for surfing David! There is always hope! 🙂 Keep plugging away.

  11. June 1, 2013 2:08 am


    Great blog. We recently launched Retirement and Good Living, a new retirement site with information about retirement locations, travel, hobbies, health, volunteering and more.

    Many visitors to our site are interested in vacationing and/or retiring overseas. We were wondering if you would be interested in guest posting on our
    site about living in Finland.

    Please send me an email if interested.



  12. August 10, 2013 9:57 pm

    I just found your blog doing research for my own blog “Life in Russia”, I created a link through a post I created. Hope you don’t mind. I think I could learn a lot from your blog, will be back to explore what you are doing. Thanks.

  13. August 25, 2013 3:36 am

    I’ve really been enjoying your blog! My husband and I are moving to Finland next summer so I can start graduate school in September (University of Jyväskylä). You post such lovely pictures. Your posts about living in Finland have so helpful to me and my husband! Thank you!

    • August 28, 2013 8:07 am

      Thanks Katie! Jyväskylä is a nice city, I hope that you will enjoy it there!

  14. Kayla333 permalink
    November 3, 2013 11:05 pm

    This blog is actually really really cool, it seems to me like you have a really fun time updating it.

    I’ve been considering travelling to/around Finland (hopefully) soon, and to do so I would really like to learn Finnish. Don’t have any idea how to go about doing this, though.

    Do you have any resources or ideas that would allow me to efficiently learn Finnish? Thanks!

    Keep up the excellent blog

  15. November 6, 2013 12:37 pm

    Hi, I’m desperately seeking a non native Finn to give me a little insight to the people, their cultures and language. I’m visiting Helsinki next week to make a sppech to a large group of creatives. I wonder if you’d be happy to have a quick email exchange or skype call? Many thanks, Ian Blandford

  16. OBK permalink
    November 22, 2013 5:03 pm

    Hello! Fellow northern Ontarian here! Just found your blog. Have visited Finland twice and it’s one of our favourite places. Looking forward to reading more of your posts 🙂

  17. David permalink
    December 24, 2013 6:18 am

    Hi Carmen,

    Fantastic blog! Your observations are keen, original, entertaining, and definitely Canadian.

    I am going to Lapland with my girlfriend in January and I was wondering if you could give me some recommendations as to where to look for a nice cabin to stay for reasonable price, and similarly for activities such as huskies ride and rentals for snow mobile.

    This is one of those trips that with the right dose of romance, could turn into a life-changing event…

    Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!


    Canadian in a snowy winter heading to Lapland for a different snowy winter.

    • December 24, 2013 8:07 pm

      David, great to hear from you! 🙂 Gimme a couple days and I will get back to you! Merry Christmas!

    • December 30, 2013 10:07 am

      David, if you’re headed to Lapland (where the snow conditions are superb right now) – your point of reference to start is Rovaniemi. I am not sure how rural or urban you want your experience to be, but the services for tourists are quite good. The snow castle in Kemi (an hour and a half south of Rovaniemi) has “rooms” for rent in their snow hotel. Now, if you’re looking for more rural-type locations for snowmobiling and husky safaris, then I highly recommend Saariselkä (near Ivalo), Kilopää and Kaunispää (all in the same vicinity). You can also check locations like Pyhä-Luosto (near Kemijärvi) or Levi (northwest of Kittilä) I have actually never been in the north in the winter and spent any significant amount of time there on holiday, so I am not a good judge of what the prices might be like.

      A good place to check for cabins is here: I hope this helps!

  18. OBK permalink
    December 28, 2013 4:36 pm

    Hey David – fellowo Finland-loving Canuck here. I have a great recommendation for a cottage in Kuusamo. We stayed there in summer 2009 and have remained friends with the owner ever since. Let me know if you want more details!

  19. January 14, 2014 7:26 pm

    I always wanted to visit Finland!

  20. June 10, 2014 3:21 pm

    hey! your blog is pretty great so ive nominated you for the very inspiring blogger award! here are the rules:

    keep up the good work 😀

  21. September 2, 2014 3:30 pm

    Hi Carmen, I came across your blog while searching for blogs about Finland. Yours is a nice blog and I will look forward to read your future post. I myself have just moved to Kuopio from Sweden a couple of days back and now fixing the basic things first 🙂

    • September 4, 2014 9:05 am

      Thank you for surfing in! Enjoy your time in Finland, Kuopio is a nice place, the Mr. is from there.

  22. October 20, 2014 8:46 am

    A fellow North American (west coast US) here. Just found your blog and am off to have a look around. I’ve been here in Finland as long as you and still here… 🙂

  23. Richard permalink
    July 1, 2015 1:09 am

    Hi Carmen! I am immigrating to Finland and think about living in Tampere. I will be moving with my wife and two sons. I am entering as the son of a Finn applying for residency. Any advice?

    • July 13, 2015 6:06 am

      Richard, hi! Sorry for the late reply (holidays)! Fire me an e-mail (check above for the hotmail address) and I’ll do what I can to help you out. 🙂

  24. March 18, 2016 10:39 am

    I am an Indian living in Helsinki and I can very well relate to your posts. You have a great blog and I being a new blogger would like to connect and share ideas 🙂

  25. August 31, 2016 6:03 pm

    Hi, just found your blog. Interesting and I’ll try following. We lived in northern Sweden in a small Skogsbyn for some years but are now inSW France, very different. Miss the beauty of the Scandic/Nordic region. Best, Iain

  26. December 30, 2016 12:06 pm


    My name is Joyce, I am a marketing executive at which is a leading expat information and services website.

    I saw on your blog that you are and expat. I wish to interview you to further share some of your tips. The questions are mainly about the housing, the daily life etc.

    It just takes 5 minutes (or more depending if you have lots to say 🙂

    Of course, if you accept we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.

    If you are interested to participate at this project, please send me an email at

    • January 24, 2017 12:46 pm

      Hello Joyce, sorry for the delay. I will get back to you via e-mail.


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