Three weeks to go

Exactly three weeks until my flight now. Yesterday it finally set in and I became physically ill from the stress – I was fatigued and depressed, had a headache all day and could barely eat. Part of it was because I lost out on a chance with a potential new client. It’s not like I can’t find new clients, but it reminded me that my residency pass could be denied if I don’t make enough money and I can’t stop worrying about that.

Thankfully I’m feeling better and more positive today, thanks mostly to the family dog constantly asking for attention.

This is her 'pay attention to me' pose.

This is her ‘pay attention to me’ pose.

After watching Doctor Who (better enjoy it while I can, it’s not hugely popular in Finland) and having a long bath, I brushed up on my Finnish a bit more. I’ve been making flashcards to help me learn, as visuals are often a better way to learn and I can whip them out anywhere to have a quick lesson. The only trouble is my drawing skills are so terrible. I only hope that I can distinguish my own drawings.

As you can see, 'puhelinkioski' is Finnish for both 'phone booth' and 'Tardis.'

As you can see, ‘puhelinkioski’ is Finnish for both ‘phone booth’ and ‘Tardis.’

Three weeks to go…

Preparing for take off

It’s just under a month until I leave the UK for Finland. For the rest of August, most of my time is being spent selling or getting rid of the huge pile of stuff I don’t want or need. I’ve sold a lot on e-Bay and Amazon already, and gotten quite a lot of money to put towards my moving expenses. It’s even given me the idea of selling used books and vintage games to make some extra money. There is potential to make a good second income from it.

The current 'to sell' pile

The current ‘to sell’ pile

Learning Finnish is also taking up a lot my time. I’m trying but it’s a very hard language for an English speaker to learn. The only other language I studied was French at school. I got a B for my French GCSE, so you’d think I’d be at least passable at French, right? Not even close. I can count to ten and say I have a pet dog but that’s about it. Three hour long lessons a week for five years and I still don’t know any French. If you can’t tell, British schools are terrible at teaching foreign languages.

I think I know why. Memorising French words and phrases for an exam is like teaching a parrot to talk. It knows what to say but can’t understand the context behind it. Plus, as soon as you leave the exam hall, there’s the overwhelming relief of ‘I never have to do that ever again’ so by the end of the summer you’ve forgotten every word of French you ever learnt, and probably the teacher’s name as well.

I don’t want my Finnish to be like that. I know it will take a long time before I can even have a basic conversation, but I want to try at least. I could probably get by in Finland without learning the language since most people speak English anyway, but I like the challenge more than anything. Having a rare skill on your CV always looks good.

I’m fluctuating constantly between excitement to be moving and complete fear for what will happen when I get there. I could have my residency pass denied or forget some important form that will land me with a hefty fine. People keep telling me to relax and that it will all go fine but I can’t help but worry all the same. The best I can do is get everything ready in good time and just wait and see what happens. I’m told that even on a low income, my residency pass will be accepted as long as I can prove I’m not trying to get on the benefits system. Even if it is denied, I know my parent’s will always welcome me back to their house for as long as I need. I’ve had major set backs in my life before and although I would be upset and ashamed if my pass was denied, I wouldn’t let it stop me for long.

Only three and a half weeks to go…