If you follow my Youtube channel then you’ll know that I spend a lot of time in Finland. In fact over the past 2 and a half years (since meeting Cat) I’ve spent about 7 or 8 months there in total. During these months I have fallen in love with it, specifically Helsinki. Many of you who live there are probably thinking ‘why the hell do you love Finland so much?’ and I know ALL of you are thinking “How can you love it so much when you live in LONDON!”
I guess it’s a little bit of a ‘grass is always greener on the other side’ case, but also – I am NOT a city boy. Despite living and working in London the past 2 years – I really don’t enjoy the city life. It’s noisy, dirty and SO freakin’ crowded. Did you know that about 8.5 million people live in London… And that doesn’t count the people that commute in every day for work. To put this into some kind of perspective, London has about 5,200 people per km² while Helsinki is practically a baron wasteland with only 1,000 people per km².
Now, don’t get me wrong. Living in London definitely has its benefits. There are great jobs (like the one I have now) and opportunities around every corner, if you know where to look. Plus, you are surrounded by history, culture and all that jazz but when you’re working a 9 to 5 and have extortionate rent to pay, you tend to ignore all that shit and start to wonder if all that history wasn’t there, would my rent be 100 quid cheaper?
While I’m walking around Helsinki I get such a good vibe, you know? It’s pretty hard to explain but I get this sense of safety and warmth coming from the heart of the city. The streets are so clean and well lit it’s hard to get anything other than nice feels while you’re walking around. Unlike in London where you could be walking down a nice high street one minute and take a turn down another street when all of a sudden it starts to feel a bit more ‘stabby’.
When you’re pulling into Kamppi and the car park barrier raises to let you in, it’s almost like the city is waving too you “Welcome Dave, have a nice stay”… OK maybe it’s not quite like that since we don’t live in a Disney movie, but you get the point.
I also love how green Helsinki is. This past summer we visited Cat’s sister at work. Her office is way up a high building and from there you can see way out over the city and to be honest, I struggled to see any metropolitan area at all through all the trees and nature. Although London has many amazing parks and areas of greenery, you’re ALWAYS reminded of the shadow of the city lurking just metres behind, but in the parks and natural areas of Helsinki you can be deep in city life one minute and the next be completely oblivious of it the next. Like I mentioned before, I’m not much of a city boy in the traditional sense, so a city surrounded by nature is definitely a plus for me!
If you’re not a Helsinkian (is that what they call people in Helsinki? ha), in this video Cat and I spend a couple of days in the city so you can see what I’m talking about!
So the big question, could I see myself living in Helsinki one day? Without a shadow of a doubt in my mind I would say – yes!
I could probably ramble on and on about Helsinki and why I love it, from the friendly people to the majestic landmarks, but perhaps I’ll save that for a video one day 🙂