This site contains the archives of my travel blogs from 2010-2016.

I'm now blogging via Medium. For other life updates, including opportunities or requests to collaborate, visit my personal website.




Friday, November 30, 2012

Snow Legs

It started snowing Wednesday night and hasn't stopped since. And just like that, winter was upon us.

On Thursday morning at 7am I slipped and slid my way down the street in the dark to my work just three blocks away.  In just 2-4 inches of snow I was hesitant and nervous about falling and the walk which normally takes 10 minutes took double the time.

But this morning I stepped out my front door into two feet of snow, and realized that I had found my snow legs! Now I'm trekking through 2-4 FEET of snow like a pro again. I've collected some of the photos floating around my Facebook feed so you can see what's it like here on the ground!  I hear they're calling this blizzard 'Antti'.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Are you doing what YOU really want, or simply what's expected of you?

Earlier this semester I asked one of the strategy program directors if he could recommend someone who's worked in a variety of positions and different size companies around strategy development. Strategy is an intimidatingly broad field and it's a challenge to even speculate where one might fit best in the strategy 'careerscape'.  In the email, I told my director I'd be interested in sitting down to chat with someone about the practicalities and day-to-day activities of their work in various positions.

My question prompted a dialogue which turned into the idea behind what will become a series of roundtable discussions with alumni from our program and other professionals we invite. The first roundtable was yesterday, when we welcomed nine strategy students and three alumni to the Aalto Design Factory for a two-hour conversation.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Birthday Pulahdus

I just celebrated my first birthday.
In Finland, that is.

The 23-year milestone called for something radical, so I took to the beach in southern Helsinki and - having successfully convinced only one other person (my cousin & roommate, Maya) to join me - splashed around in the waves for a quick dip. Or, as we say in Finnish: pulahdus!

It was a high of 5 degrees Celsius today (41 F) and something like 7 degrees in the water.  We took beach towels, sunglasses and tanning lotion to accessorize our bikini ensembles, but ended up getting too cold to care about those.  It was windy and the weather channel's "Feel's Like" estimate was 3 degrees.  So it was a quick in and quick out birthday swim, but the kite surfers in full neoprene bodysuits wanted photos with us and kept telling us "what brave girls" we are.

Overall a chilly experience but definitely worth the memories!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bamboo Heaven

This "Green Village" in Bali hosts one of the most incredible spaces I can imagine living in.  The more I learn about bamboo, the more I love it! DesignBoom did a great blog post on this community. Be sure click & scroll through all the photos. The sunny disposition of the place is magnetic.

Don't be surprised if my next trip takes me to Bali... ;)

I think we'll be seeing a rather sunny theme emerge here on the NJW blog as it grows darker and darker every day in Finland! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Trail to Monjo

Photos of the Day: The trail from Pema Chholing to Monjo winds down the mountain to the Dudh Koshi ("Milk River") below, passing through Tok-Tok, and up, over and around several peaks on the way. Along the way you'll descend from 2900m at the monastery to 2600m at the river, and back up to almost 3100m by the time you get to Monjo. At Sherpa speed you can make it in an hour and a half.  A very peaceful walk!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Autumn in Helsinki: a photo recap


It's been a fun autumn! Moving to Helsinki,
getting settled in a new school & with new friends,
enjoying a new climate!  It's a sort of gloomy
Saturday afternoon here, now, so the perfect time
to pull a few months' worth of photos off my camera!

Here are some illustrations of daily life in Helsinki:

The TUAS building (Dept of Industrial Engineering & Mgmt)
 where most of my courses are held. 

Monday, November 05, 2012

Shirah Learns Finnish - Episode 3


Shirah Learns Finnish - Episode 3 from shirah-eden on Vimeo.
I received my first piece of mail in Finnish! The television bureau is seeking a tv license fee. You'll hear my first try at reading full sentences and learn some new vocabulary...

Thursday, November 01, 2012

I have this sudden sense that my real adult life is starting. Here. Now. I feel grounded in a place I can really call home - that I can make my home; a place that I can take ownership of, put down roots. And I have peace about committing to stay here for a good, long while. Like years. Maybe a decade. Maybe more.
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