Living out of a suitcase, or moving abroad with all your belongings?

So, I’m finally starting to settle down! I’m still looking for a nine to five job from Stockholm, but at least so far it seems promising and I have one job interview scheduled for next week. There seems to be quite many jobs here that require Finnish, my native language, so I feel pretty confident that I’ll find something. Anyway, I’ve now moved almost all of my belongings from Umeå and Helsinki to Sthlm and wanted to write down some of my thoughts about living abroad and constant moving.

So far I’ve lived in six countries: Finland, US, France, South Korea, China and now Sweden. Only in Sweden and Finland I’ve lived for a longer period of time, the rest were between four months and a year, so in most cases I lived out of a suitcase. I hate to say this, but for most of my life I’ve been a quite materialistic person and wanted to have a lot of stuff around me. Moving several times has definitely helped me to realize how little we actually need to survive.

My current residence in Långbro.

I’ve been very lucky to have a family living next to Helsinki and I was allowed to stay as long as I wanted. The first time I moved out was at 20 when I moved to the US for a year to work as an Au Pair. Then at 23 to study in Paris for one semester. After that I received a student apartment from Espoo with 50 square meters just for my self. Of course, that 50 square meters had to be filled with stuff…

After living in the flat for a year I was accepted to a student exchange again, this time in South Korea. My sister moved into my flat for that time, but it didn’t work out well, and as I stayed in Asia for another six months I had to empty the apartment. And that was a mess. I had hoarded books I was never intended to read, I had two racks of fancy clothes and a bunch of not so fancy ones in my closets. And my favorite hobby: jigsaw puzzles took a lot of space too. As I didn’t have time to go though everything and see what I could donate or recycle, I just packed everything and it’s still haunting me.

It wasn’t until 2015 when I moved to Umeå and really decided to do something about the situation. As I would stay for at least a couple of years and Sweden being near Finland I had to opportunity to move with more than just a suitcase, however, not everything I own. It’s still a bit going on process as I have most of my puzzles and books in Finland, but slowly, I’m getting there. I now mostly own clothes that I really like and wear and I rarely buy new ones anymore.

My room back in Umeå, I didn’t have space for a lot of stuff.

Especially now when I’ve just moved and the only furniture I have here are my sofa, sofa table, a chair and a mirror I notice that many of our furniture are used for hiding all the stuff we own. Or at least, that’s how I feel about it. Now when all of my stuff is on the floor I can see how much there is. And the next thing on my shopping list is a dresser so I can get it out of my sight.

The shoes I brought with me to Umeå, maybe half of the shoes I actually own. How many pairs does a human need?

I read the KonMari book last summer and found it really inspiring. Especially now when my plan is to stay in Sweden and sooner or later get rid of all my stuff in Finland, I’ve found it useful to go through the things I own and get rid of the stuff I don’t really need. And to not buy anything I don’t need.Living out of a suitcase was never easy, I missed my art supplies, my photography equipment, my pillows and what not. But bringing everything to another country hasn’t been easy either. As I’m probably not going to live in this house for the rest of my life, I’ve been wondering how I’m going to deal with all my stuff when I have to move again?

I’m done with my orthodontics!

Some of the more unpleasant things in my life I’m now done with… Orthodontics! Also a three-year-process, though originally estimated to be 1,5 to 2 years. The first couple of months were definitely the worst. The braces were rubbing against my cheeks and from time to time it felt like my whole mouth was bleeding. Speaking was hard, though it only took a couple of weeks to get over the difficulties in pronunciation. One of the reasons why I waited until my adulthood was that I was scared how they would look like and would they make me less attractive. Would people take seriously an adult with braces? But as I got used to them I didn’t really think about them and people rarely commented on them. Probably most people wouldn’t even notice them. My teeth are pretty long and the brackets were glued so high up I had to smile really wide in order them to be visible. Also, having white brackets in my upper teeth made them slightly less visible. As I wrote on a post last spring, moving to Sweden made things a bit complicated. As Damon orthodontics aren’t really common in Finland and Sweden, finding a dentist here wasn’t easy. I had started in Oral in Helsinki and was really happy with the place from the beginning. Although it was a lot of pain, I could see a constant progress, which kept me motivated over time. There was no Damon dentist in Umeå, so I ended up in a place called Smajla in Stockholm. Smajla turned out to be a place I would not recommend to anyone and there was very little, if any progress after my visits there.So I returned to my dentist in Finland. As I couldn’t visit as often as earlier, the treatment took longer than expected, but finally It’s over. I have a wire behind my lower teeth to keep them in place and it’ll stay there until I die. I also have a retainer I wear at night and sometimes during the days. It makes speaking slightly difficult so if I know I have to do a lot of talking I just don’t wear it.At the end I’m happy that I finally have nice teeth. However, I was expecting the change to be bigger. Although I have straight teeth, my looks didn’t change that much. My teeth are still the same shape and one of my upper tooth is shorter than the one on the other side. They looked more symmetrical when they were twisted, but now the difference is more noticeable. Though, I’m planning to get a plastic extension on it in the future. I’m also whitening my teeth at the moment. So at the end, I’m happy that I did this. When getting started, two years felt like a long time and one of my friends thought I was insane for putting stuff in my mouth for such a “long” time. But time flies and hopefully, the results last for a lifetime. As I had a pretty bad overbite, sooner or later I most likely would have had to fix it anyway. One negative aspect I noticed after having braces for a few months was that I couldn’t whistle anymore. As my teeth had been changing positions, the airflow had also changed. So that’s something I have to learn again, I guess. 😗

After braces, pre-whitening.