From Brazil to Lapland
I am Filippo Dias, a seventeen-year-old photographer that comes from Brazil. So my story with Finland begins when I decided that I wanted to go on exchange, but I really wanted to have a different experience than the normal E.U.A and Canada, places that are really famous for Brazilian people to go on exchange, So then somehow that I don´t really remember, Finland came to my mind (I guess it came since I´ve always had ideas and imaginations of how life in here would be) and there was it: The perfect place to go on exchange!
The surprise was super nice; Rovaniemi in Lapland, The perfect place!
Why in the arctic circle
It was not easy to find an exchange company that could help-me coming to study in a Finnish high-school, but I was determined, so after searching, I and my parents finally found a company! Then I even remember during a meeting with the company that I said I would love to go to northern Finland. So then when the city came (which was a surprise, since I couldn’t choose it). The surprise was super nice; Rovaniemi in Lapland, The perfect place!
During my exchange I had the best experience that I could ever have, Finland was surely my best decisions, and here I met beautiful people and I made really good friends who showed me the Finnish culture on its best way and made me fall in love with it. I always liked a lot to go exploring and taking a picture and hunting northern lights, I also liked the weather here and every time I was going outside I could see how impressive the Finnish Lapland is and it´s surely a place where I love being. So because of these and other many reasons, I decided to stay for a longer time than my exchange!
My First Aurora experience in Lapland
The first time I saw auroras, I was in my host mother’s friend’s house, when I got a message on my phone from friend telling me to go outside and he even sent some pictures that he got with his phone, so I got really excited and ran outside looking for the lights and there was a small and shy northern lights. Of course, I already got excited about that small one, but the place wasn’t very dark so then my host-mother decided to take me to a road that was dark. On the way, the Aurora got crazy and it was insane! I felt really happy and lucky to be there at that moment and I even got speechless. Down below you can see pictures of my first aurora.
When I got here, the sunlight time was still long, but I knew that darkness was coming and I was kinda excited, afraid and looking forward to knowing how would it be. So day after day, we had less time of sunlight and at the end of October and the beginning of November was when I saw what the “darkness” was like. During that time, almost every day was cloudy and dark, I began to feel more tired and I got sometimes the feeling that the day was really long even though it was just 4 PM 😂, but when the snow came, everything got better and also I began to get used to it and now it´s just normal for me!
My life in the north
Being here longer than the only 10 months of exchange is giving many other experiences, for example, now I feel inside of the Finnish culture, I have a way deeper friendship with my friends and also my Finnish (language) is improving a lot more! Also now I can enjoy more Lapland!!!
My favorite activities in Lapland are: Going sauna and avanto (Ice Swimming) with friends, going for a hike in the forest, spending a long time outside for taking pictures and hunting northern lights is surely my love!
⊕ Story and Images By Filippo Dias
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