Life Dream Come True

Dreams come true moving abroad

I’m sitting at the airport waiting for the boarding of my flight to Amsterdam to start. These past day I’ve thought about moving abroad a lot and how happy I am about it (read more about me moving abroad to the Netherlands here). I feel mostly incredibly lucky that I got this opportunity and that I’m a person who is willing and brave enough to do it. I have been working toward this most of my youth and adult life. Read below my story of how I ended up where I am today.

Over ten years ago when I started dreaming of moving abroad, I decided I wanted to become an air hostess to be able to travel the world. Well, I also had to wait until I could fulfil that dream seeing that I was only around 13-14 years old at the time. Once I was finished with middle school at age 15 I went to study tourism and the travel industry in another city three hours away from my hometown for the next three years. I was already then determined to work towards my dream of living abroad and therefore willing to move away from home at 16.

Graduation photo from secondary school tourism

Oh how young I was! Graduation from tourism school in 2009.

During this time I discovered other things you can do while living abroad or travel for work; tourist guide, language teacher, camp supervisors, animation crew members, etc., but nothing seemed 100 % like my thing. I graduated at 19, but was still a bit too young to apply to become an air hostess for Finnair, Finland’s aviation company, as I should have been 21. I moved back to my hometown Hanko and started working in the restaurant industry. I really disliked the job I was doing at the time (pizza restaurant – ugh) and I was scrolling jobs on the national job board – and there it was.

I applied for a job in France and I got it. A few months later I moved to a place just outside of Paris and started working for the Mickey Mouse company – one of the popular nicknames for Disneyland. That was some of the most fun 4,5 months of my life and I realized I was working towards the right thing – moving abroad. I liked the international spirit, I liked how open people are compared to Finnish people and I liked learning to speak a new language; French. The job wasn’t so fabulous (again restaurant), but I learned tons.

Cheering by the Eiffeltower in Paris. Summer of 2010.

Paris. Summer of 2010.

Those months flew by and I have both friends and memories for life. I had to start thinking about my next move. I realized I can’t move abroad yet and just do restaurant or travel industry jobs with the degree I had and I wanted to get at least a bachelor’s degree. After one year of working in a sushi restaurant in Turku I started studying the French language and literature at Åbo Akademi University. I figured I’d study in a programme where I have to go abroad, which was mandatory for a minimum of 3 months to graduate. One thing led to the other and I discovered I actually liked marketing way more. I switched programmes after the first year and started working towards an international degree that I can take anywhere in the world. I decided to also do my master’s degree in Finland rather than moving after my bachelor’s, because well, Finland has great social security and free education on all levels.

Vondelpark, Amsterdam, Netherlands,

Amsterdam, Netherland in June 2014 with some of my best friends that I got to know in 2010 while working at Disneyland Paris.

My plan of moving abroad in between still came true and I had two studies abroad and one internship abroad totalling 1 year and 10 months during my six years at university. During my first study abroad in the US I realized how much I loved Europe – everything’s close, easy to travel, culture, close to home and so on, so I abandoned another dream of mine – moving to New Zealand or Australia after graduating. I think that idea was more of a phase anyway because everybody went there and because I thought I just want to go as far away from Finland as possible – not true anymore. I left the US with a lot of good friends and great experiences and an education in public relations that I find really valuable. During my second study abroad in Montpellier, France I fell in love with Europe for real and realized how good it is to be close to home and also a lot of my other European friends. Also the opportunities within Europe are numerous!

USA travels collage as an exchange student

Some of my travels in the US; Las Vegas, San Diego, San Fransisco, NYC, Santa Barbara, Miami, Washington DC, Daytona Beach and Niagara Falls.

Last spring I moved to Amsterdam for an internship and I really loved the country, so I decided already in May/June last year that heck – the Netherlands is (hopefully) going to be my forever home. I just felt so at home then and still did every time I visited. There’s a lot of aspects that are the same as in Finland, and the ones that are not are the very reasons I like the Netherlands more. Also I did fall in love with a Dutchie, which to be honest also plays a small part in moving there, but it’s not my whole reason. It’s more a reason why we even started a relationship and tried this whole long-distance thing.

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands in 2014 as we were visiting the Netherlands with a few friends.

Now I’m very close to graduating – as soon as I can get the rest of my thesis done – and I got a full-time job for which I will be moving to the Netherlands today. So as you can read, it was a long journey to get to where I am now and I really couldn’t be happier. I always say “work for your dreams and no matter how long it takes – it will be worth it!”

xoxo, Jasmine

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