SUMMER 2018 SO FAR

Okay guys, let me just get one thing straight right from the start: I’M BEYOND SHOCKED THAT IT’S GOING TO BE AUGUST LIKE NEXT WEEK??! I know I risk sounding like my grandmother by saying this (pretty sure she’s not reading this but grandma, I love you!) but seriously tho, where is all this time disappearing? Also as much as I love summer I have to admit it’s getting a little too hot and I miss the days when you could actually keep the curtains open and wear something other than your bikini (I know that come January I’ll be bitching about the rain, the snow and the cold, wishing I could dig up my bikini from the bottom of the closet but I’ve come to accept that this is the circle of life).

Anyway, now that I’ve gotten the time-is-fleeing stories and the weather updates out of my system I can get to the point of this post which was to tell you guys a little about what I’ve been up to these past few months – my first French summer! It may sound just a little more exciting than it is in reality but that’s mostly because I’ve been busy studying French and prepping myself for the start of university in September. So on second thought, it’s actually been pretty exciting and fun and sometimes downright scary (not so much the studying but the GOAL of all the studying aka going to school in France, yikes) but I don’t think all this excitement has been too visible on the outside (let’s face it, going to festivals and doing bungee jumps would inevitably look more thrilling but on the other hand crowded spaces and heights make me a little nervous anyway).

Also during this summer I’ve finally been able to shake off my fear of speaking French in front of people, especially with my boyfriend’s family and our friends (without downing a bottle of rosé first…). I don’t know about you guys when you’re learning a new language but to me there’s something extremely scary and almost paralyzing trying to talk French in a room full of native French speakers! I, of course, know in my head that no one is going to mock, insult or ridicule me but somehow overcoming my doubts has been a mission impossible for far too long. But thank heavens, progress does happen and it’s safe to say I’m pretty proud and excited about my hard work paying off!

So last week I actually went to Nancy (the city I will be studying in) to finish my university registration. At first the whole thing kind of made me cranky and frustrated (I should’ve been able to do everything online but the school’s website had MAJOR issues with my last name) but after giving it a second thought I realized the bugging website actually did me a massive favor. Because there’s one thing you need to know about me: I’m a huge mountain (we’re talking like Mount Everest huge) of stress, anxiety and panic sweat when it comes to going to new and important places and situations. Take exhibit A: ever since the information about the welcome week became available my brain has been going ”what if the train is late?”, ”what if I don’t find the right class?” or ”what if I won’t understand a single thing” when in fact I will be one of, like, 900 people who are all equally new and all (probably) as equally lost as I am. Now I feel like I got a little carried away but nevertheless, my point was that after having visited the campus I now know EXACTLY where I need to be on that September morning at 09:45 (and yes, don’t you worry I have also checked the time once or twice juuuust to be sure).

In other news, France won the football world cup but as we love the peace and quiet and comfiness of our home on Sunday afternoons it didn’t really differ too much from a regular weekend. But we did take a little stroll around the city to see some of the festivities in action (as I’m reading this post it’s really hitting me; there is an 85-year-old grandma trapped inside my body). 

summer

Lac de Pierre-Percée, Meurthe-et-Moselle,
France

All jokes aside, we did go to this amazing lake that’s located about 60 kilometers from Épinal one weekend in June. We rented stand-up paddles and it was just the perfect afternoon to spend by the lake! It’s not the French Riviera, but if you ask me, it comes pretty close (or at least that’s what I tell myself). Also, I grew up by a lake so I kinda have a thing for them. We did stand-up paddling once before on our little vacay in Annecy in the French Alps two years ago but I feel like this time in Pierre-Percée we were SO MUCH BETTER at it (there was no unintentional falling, trembling legs or desperately trying to stay away from the fish protection zone…).

As we speak I’ve also started working on a looooong post about how I applied to a French university and I hope to get it out as soon as possible, it’s taking approximately a 100 years as I’m writing it both in English and in Finnish! So stay tuned and I hope you’re all having a wonderful new week!

xx, Kati

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FIRST 6 MONTHS IN FRANCE

6 MONTHS IN FRANCE YOU GUYS! Bonjour after a looong long time! Lately I’ve been feeling completely overwhelmed by how quickly time goes by and I can’t keep up with it, I mean it’s soon summer (the rain and snow can’t continue forever, right?). La vie en France has started pretty well and things have nicely fallen into place, so much so actually that I finally felt like I was ready to go back to school and decided to apply to a French university! Cool AND scary but definitely mostly just cool. I also had an opportunity to get a glimpse of the working life here in France and as an experience it was absolutely incredible!

I am also going to start creating more content about knitting as I feel like I’m full of ideas and there are some exciting things ahead! I’ll make a new category for my knitting related posts so they’ll have their own spot in the blog but everything will still be under the same roof.

But today I wanted to share with you some of my travel pictures from the cities we’ve visited during these past 6 months, as going through the pics gives me hope that one day the rain (and the snow…) will stop and summer will make a glorious return! So voilà, my snaps from Strasbourg, Nancy, Paris and Bruxelles!

STRASBOURG

strasbourg

strasbourg

strasbourg

strasbourg

strasbourg

strasbourg

strasbourg

strasbourg

strasbourg

BRUXELLES

bruxelles

bruxelles

bruxelles

NANCY & PARIS

nancy

nancy

paris

Once again we had only like 2 hours in Paris, so in the middle of all the running from one metro to another I didn’t really have time to snap any better pics, BUT I’m determined to visit Paris better…someday!

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EPINAL

Bonjour from Epinal! We’re finally starting to settle down after a suuuper busy week and I now have the time to sip some rosé in my trophy wife apparel which includes a fluffy bath robe and pink slippers. Two weeks ago we emptied my apartment in Turku and moved all my belongings to a 2 m2 self storage which was like playing tetris but with with furniture and boxes. We spent the last night in a cheap hotel in Turku and on Thursday morning we began our trip to Paris via Helsinki. We were traveling light this time with only 60 or so kilograms of luggage and one of the bags (which was also the heaviest) only had three functioning wheels BUT we still made it out of Paris successfully. I have now been to Paris twice and seen two train stations and the route between them + eaten two baguettes so luckily we are already planning a small weekend trip to the city. If you have any good tips to Paris please let me know!

We got the keys to our new home already Friday morning and what a dream come true this apartment is! We can actually have guests now without having to sleep side by side and you  fit more than one person in the kitchen (you also have space to turn around and move and COOK in the kitchen)! I’ll post some pictures of the place as soon as we have a bit more furniture. But don’t get me wrong, even without furniture the apartment already feels like home and the location is just perfect since the city center is just on the other side of the river. People are very friendly and polite here and even strangers say hello on the street (it makes me feel like Belle in Beauty and the Beast, yay!).  And the croissants… I mean the closest bakery is just TOO CLOSE!

epinal

epinal

epinal

epinal

epinal

epinal

epinal

epinal

epinal

epinal

The weather is chilly and rainy at the moment so no better time to curl up on the couch and listen to some Harry Potter audiobooks (seriously addicted), au revoir!

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