Becoming Fluent in Finnish – Dealing with Procrastination / Studying Wisely

If there was an award for procrastination I would be some kind of world champion I am sure of it.

I know this and if I let myself get distracted I will spiral out of control on an eating / cleaning binge, suddenly spark up an interest in double clutch gear changes or watch super slow motion videos of people being slapped in the face, or sometimes, I even find myself writing a blog post when I should be studying. (I actually started writing this a month ago, then procrastinated about my procrastination). You get the idea.

This was starting to happen more regularly, and at times I really wasn’t looking forward to doing my language studies. So I thought it would be useful to look at my routine and try a new approach.

Continue reading

An Overdue Update – Becoming Fluent in Finnish

20170127_172047.jpg

Selection of my Finnish books

Almost three months have passed since starting my challenge of becoming fluent in Finnish. I don’t even know where to begin with this journey, but here goes. It has been very tough at times, and hugely rewarding in others. I won’t go into massive detail about the language itself, but rather I will explain my approach, where I am now with Finnish, the highs and lows, and where I see myself at the end of 6 – 8 months.

Continue reading

Next Challenge – Becoming Fluent in Finnish

Moi moi. (Hello in Finnish) My next challenge is going down a slightly different route. For the next six months I am stepping away from physical challenges and I am going to try something different – to become as fluent as possible in Finnish.

Why Finnish? My answer is, why not? I am going to be working there for the next 6 months, so I thought it was a good opportunity to learn the language. I nearly didn’t do it. Finnish is meant to be a really tough language to learn, and my over riding fear was ‘What if I fail?’. What if I fail! Seriously, why does the thought of failing hold you back so much? It’s like your body would rather just carry on in its comfort zone than trying something new.

I have lived in Finland for a year before, and felt like I had started to understand their culture, but at the same time I felt I was only scratching the surface. I feel like learning the language will help me to explore Finland in a new light, and get to know its people from a different perspective.

I have never been much of a language-y person. I mean I did French GCSE, but left feeling confused, and incredibly un-confident at speaking the language. I have spoken to my Dad about learning a language a few times, and he texted me the other day saying:

“Remember you were going to learn a new language – you could get a Finnish tape.”

I replied saying it was a good idea, bu the only thing holding me back was the fear of not being able to learn it. To which he replied.

“Remember the famous saying. There’s nothing to fear except fear itself. Don’t expect miracles, its obviously a very tough language – give it a go.”

So that’s what I am going to do. And even though I am still a bit worried I wont be able to grasp it, I am going to give it my best shot and see what happens.

End Goal

I feel like having an ‘end goal’ will help to see how much I have learnt over the next 6 months. So, I am going to perform a speech/song/poem and also write a blog post in Finnish.

20161031_164019.jpg

I have been recommended this book by a friend who is learning Arabic. Let the learning commence.

IWG Exped 05: Conservation Trip – Jungfruskär Island, Finnish Archipelago

IMG_9059

This is one of two trip reports that I did not get round to publishing from my time training in Finland. In May 2015, we spent a week on Jungfruskär Island, which is situated in the archipelagos to the south west of Finland. We were here to do some conservation work and study the local flora and fauna. The college has a deal with the Forest and Parks service that allows the class to stay on the island and use the facilities in return for doing some conservation work.

Continue reading

How I Funded My Studies as a Wilderness Guide in Finland

image

Something that often interests me when reading other blogs about adventure or travel is the money. Quite simply I often wonder how people fund their expeditions and travels.

I will give a rough overview of how much it cost me to study for 10 months as a Wilderness Guide in Finland. In short it roughly cost me around £3500 (approx €4775) in total, including fees, travel, food equipment – EVERYTHING. I saved this money whilst working at an architectural firm when I was living in London. Initially I was saving and training to join a team that would be rowing the Atlantic – if I made it into the team it would cost 5k.

Continue reading

June Microadventure – A Finnish Midsummer Island Adventure

DSC_0139My June Microadventure was spent with friends from the UK on an Island that from a bird’s eye view looked like a penis. It was actually a few days before midsummers in Finland, but the night was so beautiful, long and otherwordly that it felt like the true midsummers this year for me. (The actual midsummers was spent at a laavu in Seitseminen National Park with 2 random Finnish guys who were out-of-their-minds drunk).

Midsummer is exactly what it sounds like, the halfway point of the year, where the days are long and the nights are short. The further north you head the longer the days, and here the sun rose at roughly 03:42 and set at 23:09, meaning throughout the night it felt like twilight.

Continue reading

Spoon 25 of 52 – The Finnish Midsummer Spoon in Pine

IMG_9445This spoon was made whilst hosting some friends from the UK. We paddled on Lake Äurejarvi for 2 days and walked through Seitseminen National park for 2 days, then a couple of days in Helsinki. During the evenings of the canoe and walk we found some time to make a spoon each. It also happened to fall during the mid point of the year – midsummers. Generally during this time the Finns gather in their summer houses and celebrate.

Continue reading

Spoon 24 of 52 – The Kuksa Spoon in Silver Birch Burl – PART 1

Nimetön-2Okay, so it’s a cup. But, this has been an ongoing project and I wanted to include it in the 52 spoons project. A cup is basically a big spoon anyway. This project has been sat on the shelf for months before I finished it a few days ago. I am not going to go into too much detail with this one as I am tight on time, and want to show the process from start to end – which I will do in another post.

It’s been a real challenge and the skin on my hands is like an old boot after working this. This is a special piece of wood, from a special part of the tree – the burl. And the story of how this wood came into my life will also be explained in the next post. So in true illusive fashion I am only showing these dark photos I took of the cup a few nights ago.

 

May Microadventure – Sleeping on an Island

IMG_8696

We borrowed two of the schools kayaks, loaded them up with our gear, carried them to the lake and set off with the intention of commandeering an island. The British and German navy teaming up for a small weekend adventure. The air was moist and damp, a threatening array of clouds circled in all directions and the wind spontaneously slapped you every now and then – the weather felt more British then Finnish.

Continue reading

Spoon 23 of 52 – The Paella Server in Silver Birch

Spoon 23 - The paella spoon in silver birch This spoon was sourced and made on a recent study trip to Junfruskär island, a national park located in the archipelago to the south-west of Finland. Our class has a yearly agreement with the park, and for 3 half days of work we can stay on the island for free. When we were not working we spent the rest of the time exploring the island studying the bird and plant life, preparing for the upcoming exams. Continue reading