Kirjoittanut: Flóra Lang - tiimistä SYNTRE.
I have always been the kind of person who looks toward the future. Always wanting something from it. Sometimes it is good as I am prepared, but sometimes it means that I cannot fully enjoy myself in the moment. Usually, the best way for me to put away the anxiety that the questions hold is to actually spend a bit of time thinking, coming up with potential answers, and figuring out some kind of a broad plan of what I want to achieve.
Nowadays, being in a serious relationship and getting older, the big mystery that lingers around is where I want to live after graduating. In this case, the answer I am looking for is a country, not a specific city per se. I have a very specific list of requirements that are added to my partner’s not-so-specific but still existent ones; however, I am perfectly aware of the fact, that it is close to impossible to find a place that fits all of them. In the following text, I am planning to discuss those requirements, my list of options, compare them to each other and in a perfect world even come to a conclusion.
When I think of an ideal life, I imagine comfort, and comfort for me is freedom. The freedom of choice, the freedom of opinion, the freedom of speaking a language I know, the freedom of living in a safe environment and walking around without fear. The ideal country for me is English or Hungarian, possibly Finnish speaking, relatively safe both from natural disasters and crimes, has good weather, in my case meaning that it has four seasons that are not going to the extremes, and has a culture that I can fit in. On top of these, I want to experience something new and learn from my surroundings and gain a new perspective on life. Although these things all matter to me, I am willing to let go of some of them as it is almost impossible to find a perfect match.
In the following section, I am going to mention my top options and write facts as well as personal pros and cons of the given country.
Finland is a country in Europe, with two official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Finland is also part of the European Union. Historically, Finland was part of Sweden and Russia until 1917, when it gained its independence. The economy of Finland has been good but is declining with the aging population. Finland is the home of Northern lights, over 150 000 lakes, and more saunas than cars. Finland has four seasons, with long and freezing winter and short and moderate summer. (Weibull 2015; National Geographic Kids 2021)
I have been living here for 4 years so the pros are that I know the place, the language and I am comfortable here. However, I really don’t like the weather and I want to try something else.
Ireland is a country in Europe, part of the European Union, and has 2 official languages of which one is English, the other being Irish. Historically Ireland is religious, in the past religion has often collided with the state until not too long ago, which created harsh laws in Ireland compared to modern Europe, regarding for example marriage and abortion. Nowadays religion is practically limited to the church and personal preferences. Ireland has four seasons and frequent rains due to clouds arriving from the Atlantics. In 2008 Ireland went into financial recession but has since improved economically. (National Geographic Kids 2019; Boland 2015)
Ireland fits more of the criteria I have set up, with an added bonus of being in Europe and with the negative side of it still being very religious that affects the everyday of Ireland as a society and that it’s rainy. Overall Ireland is a strong candidate.
New Zealand is a country on the Pacific Ocean made up of two main and multiple smaller islands. The country has two official languages, one being English, and the other Maori. New Zealand is an important place regarding women’s rights, as it was the first one to give the right to vote for women. New Zealand has four seasons, with a hot summer (from December to February) and a moderate winter. Its economy is developed, heavily relying on tourism and the export of wine for example. (National Geographic Kids 2021; Sinclair 2015)
New Zealand also fits all of my criteria, adding its extraordinary nature, but with the negative of being far from Europe and our families.
Namibia is a country in Africa, its official language is English, however, English is not the primary home language of the population. Namibia has a lot of German and South African influence in the culture as it was colonized by the Germans and later until 1990 was part of South Africa. Namibia’s economy is above the African average and on a middle level compared to the world. Most of the economy relies on the export of animal products and mined goods. The climate of Namibia is warm, the summer is hot, and the winter is warm. As Namibia has deserts, rainfall is not common. (Green 2020; Discover Africa 2020)
Although Namibia falls behind a lot of my criteria, it is a different place with a lot to offer and at the same time relatively safe and Europe-like in some parts of the country.
Most people might think, it’s a mistake for me not to put the USA, UK, Australia, or Canada on this list, not even Singapore, however, it is a conscious choice for me. I believe this list is representing places that all in all, represent me. That is why the country is indeed important.
National Geographic Kids 2021. Finland. Read on 10.7.2022.
Weibull, J. 2015. Finland. Updated on 5.7.2022. Read on 10.7.2022.
National Geographic Kids 2019. Ireland facts: all about the Emerald Isle! Read on 10.7.2022.
Boland, F. 2015. Ireland. Updated on 6.7.2022. Read on 10.7.2022.
National Geographic Kids 2021. New Zealand. Read on 10.7.2022.
Sinclair, K. 2015. New Zealand. Updated on 8.7.2022. Read on 10.7.2022.
Green, R. 2020. Namibia, Read on 10.7.2022.
Discover Africa 2020. Language in Namibia. Read on 10.7.2022.