Estonia is one of those places, that nobody seems to know yet everyone is always really interested. When I travel around and meet new people and tell them I’m currently living in Estonia, there’s usually two questions I get back: “Where’s that?” or “I’ve heard so much about Estonia, wow!”.

Estonia became my home for the first time in 2004 when my parents moved here for business and some other reasons. One of them was simply that it seemed like they did not like Finland in general. It’s like Finland and my family grew apart. Our new home Estonia was and still is very different. It reminds me of the same Scandinavian lifestyle I have had in Finland, while studying there, but it’s also far enough so you feel like you don’t live in Finland. Helsinki is close, the ferries go multiple times every day yet it’s not too close and you have to plan to go there, as you can’t always just hop on the next ferry.

Estonia is my home also mainly due to the fact that I’ve always had a job here. When I was about to graduate, I found myself without a job and even a job interview. I applied for dozens of jobs, but apparently my CV was bad. I think I got two or three answers back, and the rest – I wonder if my emails ended up in their junk folders.

Estonians have always welcomed me. Even when I didn’t speak the language. I had one friend in my teenage years, who was determined that I should learn Estonian the proper and correct way. She’s one of the key people in my life that really made a difference back then. Afterwards I’ve had more and more opportunities to meet amazing people in Estonia.

You can call Estonians racist or ignorant. I think they’re cautious. Imagine, until the early 1990s, Estonia had not been completely independent. It’s always been under some large government and due to it’s location, it’s been a very crucial place in wars and trade. Estonian cuisine is a great example. It’s a mixture of a little bit of everything, but that mixture is good. Current restaurants all over the country create this fusion menus that sound so weird, but it’s all so delicious! (One of the reasons I keep gaining weight I think…)

So what it’s like living in Estonia? It’s different than Finland, it reminds you of the Nordics but you’re next to Russia and there are a few things that are a little bit off. But – many many things are good. Estonians want to develop. They want to get better. One person can have a 9-to-5 job and run a business on their free time (which I find absolutely amazing!). It’s normal for your to do more jobs than just one. And it’s celebrated! The digital E-stonia thing is very much true in my case. I don’t think I’ve had to sign any actual papers since 2010 when I started my studies in EBS. After that, I’ve signed most of the official papers digitally. I apply everywhere and do everything digitally and I absolutely love it.

There are a few negative things I could also list, but I believe that there’s always something wrong with each place in the world, regardless of what is the country and continent. However, I’ve found my home in Estonia and I recommend you to give it a try. After all, it truly is a singing and a dancing country – wouldn’t you want to live in a place like that?

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