Excitement in the air

I am Anna-Sofia, 17 years old and I have lived in Oulu all my life. My parents moved to Ivalo last summer. I was still studying in Oulu for a second year as a local nurse in the autumn, but I left school early. I wanted to change school and tourism in Inari sounded good. I moved in with my parents at the turn of the year, and school started just over a week later. I didn’t set any expectations, but I thought I would take everything with an open mind. At this point, it’s good to say that I didn’t know anyone from the Inari area except my family. I was a bit nervous about how people here would welcome me, whether I would make friends and whether I would enjoy school. After a month of school, I have enjoyed myself and little by little I have got to know new people. It’s not the easiest thing to make friends in a new place where you don’t know anyone. On the other hand, it was easy because I was looking for something new and I was really excited about the idea of moving to Inari and studying a new field.

Reasons and consequences

People often ask me why I moved here or say that they regret having moved and that there would be nothing here in Lapland. Several adults also said I was crazy to leave my friends so far away and drop out of school at such a young age. I can’t really answer why I moved, but I know that I’m brave and I want to live for myself and I don’t regret it. I would say that I often miss important people and the city, and there is nothing wrong with that. I already believe that I will not move back because it does not attract me in the same way as Lapland. Or let’s say I see a lot of things here that I like and that feel like my own, so I’m unlikely to go back.

Magic of seasons

We are living in spring, the polar night is over and the sun is out, just a moment in the sunshine brings so much energy. Everything here is so beautiful and amazing, new to me, or maybe I haven’t paid attention to nature the way I do now. The pearly clouds and the northern lights are truly enchanting. The night sky seems bigger than ever and every star is so magnificent. I already saw a bit of Lapland in the summer last year when I visited my parents. It was a nightless night with beautiful weather and warm and cool, just right. In the autumn, the autumnal foliage passed a bit, because I visited very little of the area. I’m sorry I didn’t have time to hike and admire more of this nature, but next autumn I’ll definitely hike as often as I can.

The whole year, the seasons, every day contains something beautiful and I think there is something wonderful in every season. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wonder or marvel at something and I often wonder how something can be so beautiful. It’s like being in a fairytale land and everything is an illusion. Bofore this sound too good, remember that there are downsides to fairytales too. I’m already looking forward to the coming spring and summer, so that I can go hiking and spend my summer holidays wandering around Lapland without a care in the world. But what I love most of all is water, although nature is important to me in every way. Something about water fascinates me. In summer I would love to swim in every pond and in winter the glistening ice tempts me to go ice skating. Lakes and rivers open up a wide range of possibilities for people, whether it’s fishing, swimming or skating.

From south to north

Further south, summer is warm well into autumn and winter is winter, but variable and often in winter it can rain or be long periods of plus weather. In Lapland, winter is very popular and the region is famous for reindeer and all things Christmas and, of course, the beauty of nature. Winter further south is probably known for its darkness and slush, but I’m not saying there aren’t good winters, because there are. In Lapland, spring is snowy for a long time and many people are happy about that. I used to think that the Lapland polar night was really a time of pitch darkness, but now after my first polar night here I can say that it is often darker in the winter further south. Even if you don’t see the sun for a while, the snow brings just enough light. There are many differences between the seasons in Lapland and the rest of Finland. My hometown Oulu is also beautiful and I like the fact that there are lots of people and things to do. Every place can be great in its own way.

New perspectives from northernmost Lapland?

Are you thinking about moving to Lapland? Would you like to come and study here? Did my text make you dream of moving north, for example to Inari? I can recommend Lapland to anyone who dreams of doing so. Of course, it depends on how you like it, but I recommend it anyway. I want to tell you about the opportunities Inari offers for leisure and recreation. In Inari I have seen snowshoeing, tobogganing, skiing, ice-skating, jogging, horse riding and much more.

Much remains to be seen. I haven’t really explored all the leisure and recreational opportunities yet. Inari has a lot of tourism and this is reflected in the range of leisure activities on offer. The tourism companies alone have a huge range of hobbies/activities on offer. When I said earlier that people often thought that there was nothing in Lapland, that is far from the truth. Of course, everyone decides for themselves what is something, but I think that nature alone offers a lot of opportunities for people living in and visiting Inari. Nature is the most important thing here. Nature is such a big part of everyone’s life.

Writer: Anna-Sofia Mikkonen, tourism student, Sámi educational institute, Inari.

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