Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Last month I went on a trip by myself to Finland. Yes! I flew Norwegian Air from Dubai to Stockholm. I had a long enough stopover there to take a train into the city and join a walking tour. It was fantastic and cold and I was so tired thanks to DXB's penchant for red-eye outgoing flights. I took the following pictures:
At Sergels Torg in central Stockholm, waiting for the walking tour to start. So tired.

Yes, I took three pictures in Stockholm and one of them was of a fruit stand. I could not believe the berries they had out, and for such low prices!

In front of the building where they hand out some of the Nobel Prizes. We saw some other stuff too, but I didn't feel like taking lame tourist mobile phone photos.

Then I flew from Stockholm to Helsinki. Then I took a bus to Turku and in the already unnaturally extended daylight that evening, I walked myself to a hotel and slept for ten hours straight without waking up. I have not done that in literally years.

The Kauppahalli.

The River Aura.

The cathedral on campus at the University of Turku.

On the way home, I connected through Oslo but there wasn't enough time to go into the city. However, I did walk on the tarmac to get to the plane, so technically, have I "been" to Oslo? ...no.

The only things I brought home with me were some licorice chocolate bars for me and the girls (drooool, they were so good), and a job offer from the University of Turku.

That's right! We're moving to Finland. I promise I will share more details soon, but we are in the thick of getting residence permits, etc. lined up and so there's a lot we just don't know right now. The basics:

1. We are so happy here in the UAE and Sharjah in general and at AUS specifically, but this is a good chance for me to do something with my career. Jeremy has been granted a one-year leave from AUS (this is not at all uncommon - professors do it all the time for research, etc.). Everyone is asking us if we are going to come back after one year. We intend to, but if I love my job and we love Finland and it's better for our family, then we intend to stay there, you know what I mean?

2. We will still visit the US this summer, which means we will probably move from Sharjah after school gets out, visit the US, and then move to Turku. My main stressor right now is waiting for the residence permit approval. We can't go to Finland until that is granted, and even though I have all the necessary documents, it's one of those bureaucratic processes that can't be rushed. Grr.

3. We plan to send the girls to Finnish public school, and I promise it is with our eyes wide open that this will likely be a really, really hard thing for them for at least three or four months, and probably longer. That said, we watched the "Everything is Awesome" video (from The Lego Movie) in Finnish the other day and Magdalena was singing along, in Finnish, with the chorus, by the second verse. So.

4. I will be teaching classes like Academic English, Academic Writing, and possibly other topics, too.

That's all for now!


Merkley Jiating said...

I just had flashbacks to reading your announcement about moving to the UAE originally. I remember sitting on my couch in the University Park apartments in Ithaca and feeling shocked. Similar feelings just now. Your life is so exotic! When I started this post I was thinking, "When is she going to tell us why she was in Finland?!" Oh dang. Congratulations! I love so much that this is for your job. You are incredible. Your kids are going to be brilliant from learning so many things from around the world. You look stunning in the picture on the top. I forget how pretty you are because normally I just think about your endless list of accomplishments and talents. Blah blah, you rock.

Bridget said...

You're so great, Emily. Sadly that first picture of me is one of those awful "enhanced" photos. My teeth are not that white and the enhancement did a good job of erasing my tired face. But thanks. :)

I'm having flashbacks to moving to the UAE, too. At least we have more time with this one.

Hannah said...

Congratulations! That is such great news. I can't wait to learn more details!

Glenda said...

Ahh yes the UAE announcement. You guys are so good at keeping secrets, UAE, Sterling :) I'm terrible at secrets and am always impressed. I can see how it might be difficult at first for the girls but if any kids can do it yours can! I love how you said if this is best for the family you will stay. Your are my hero. I'm sure realize that :)

Susanne said...

You are the Global Mom in my (blogger) life! Eager to read your book one day. :)

Myrna said...

See, you and Melissa Dalton Bradford, you have this Global Mom thing nailed! Thanks for posting about this--I was waiting for it!

Julee said...

I don't understand how some people can be so amazing! You only have 24 hours in a day, just like me.

Jessie said...

BRIDGET!!!!!! Congrats!! And I cannot WAIT to read all about your life in Finland!!

Liz Johnson said...

HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited for you!!!! This is going to be so fantastic for you guys, and I'm excited to hear where you end up after that year, if anywhere different. I'm kicking myself for not visiting you in the UAE while I had the chance, but hey, I'm sure I'll get to visit you somewhere cool at some point!

Is there ANY CHANCE you'll be near Utah this summer? Because I'll be there from July 14 - August 5th and would jump for ALL KINDS OF JOY if I could see you. :)

Jen and Joe. said...

BRIDGET. You're doing ALL THE THINGS! I love that about you. So, so much.

Like Liz, I'm sort of kicking myself for not taking the chance to visit you.....BUUUUUUT....Boston-->Helsinki? Much, MUCH easier. (Did I just say that out loud?)

Congratulations! You're a force of nature.

Ariana said...

Congrats! That's exciting! I live vicariously and sew in my basement. haha

Jennifer said...

Such exciting news! You're going to be awesome! Is Jeremy taking the whole year off or will he still be doing professor-y things in Finland? Do most Finnish people speak English well?

Abir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abir said...

I've followed you like a secret fan from long time ago, i said it. I enjoy a lot when i read your blog.
I get surprised that you move but I hope this new phase brings you a bunch of happiness and personal satisfaction.

Aimee said...

Such an exciting opportunity! Congratulations! Are the girls already working on their Finnish? Does DuoLingo have an app for Finnish? Rosetta Stone? Muzzy? Can't wait to read sbout your adventures in Finland!

breanne said...

Congratulations! This sounds like a great move for your career--and how wonderful that Jeremy can take a year off! Good luck with the full-immersion in Finnish school for your girls. I was reminded of this article (not to throw a damper on things): http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/my-familys-experiment-in-extreme-schooling.html?_r=0

Jenn Ridgeway said...

Congratulations, Bridget! I'm so excited for you, and also excited to learn about Finland vicariously through your blog. We took a family trip to Sweden and Denmark a few years ago and just LOVED Scandinavia, but alas we didn't make it to Finland.

Eevi said...

I loved reading this post even when I knew what was going on. We will make sure to come and see you next summer. Congrats!!! your kids will probably teach our kids Finnish as I have been terrible about speaking Finnish to them:)

Bridget said...

Breanne, believe it or not, that article is one of my all-time favorites (from a language acquisition perspective) and it has been a major influence in making a move like this. Thanks for re-linking so I didn't have to look it up myself - I figured it was time for a re-read!

Liz, I don't think we'll be in Utah at all, and the times we'll be in Idaho are not those times, but we'll see if we can hammer something out.

Jenn, Jeremy will still be doing professor-y things, but he will also be in charge of kids/home. When I was there, many people spoke English very well, but it wasn't as widespread as you sometimes hear, at least not outside of Helsinki.

Aimee, DuoLingo SO unfortunately does not have Finnish. :( But we have a few other apps we are using.

THANK YOU EVERYONE ELSE!! I appreciate these kind words of encouragement so much! As exciting as this is, it is also kind of terrifying.

Zella said...

Oh my goodness, this is very cool - I'm a reader of yours from Finland :) Welcome, I hope you'll love it here. Summers are great :)

Amira said...



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