It was Summer and the year was 2011. I had just returned home to Finland from visiting my darling friends and old hoods in Aberdeen. While there, I received the call I had been waiting for for my entire life (OK the last 10 years of those 20 years that I had gained by then):
Mum: ”There’s a letter here for you from the Finland Trade Center in London. Do you want me to open it?”
Me: ”Yes, but if it’s bad news, perhaps don’t tell me what it says…”
*shuffling noices, phone laid on a table, an envelope being torn open…. silence*
Mum: It says ’Congratulations, you have been accepted’…”
* INSERT THE LOUDEST SCREAM YOU’VE EVER HEARD HERE!!! *
That entire day sat in the University library in Aberdeen perfecting that ONE internship application to London had totally paid off! From 800 applicants I GOT THE JOB!
Moving to London had been my biggest dream for ages and a Summer spent in Brighton, when I was 15, made this dream a full-on obsession. So, being accepted for an internship in a well-known, Finnish consulting company in London was better than anything I could ever have dreamed of.
While studying in Scotland I had come across a new phenomena of social media; blogs. And that was a phenomena that was right up my alley! I love writing but I’ve never had an aspiration to write an entire book, just individual articles of how I view the world and of everything that happens to me. And blogs seemed like the perfect platform for such “articles”.
I also thought it would be the bestest and easiest way to relay everything about my life in London to multiple people at once. Seeing a picture of the tube or our office in Hammersmith is completely different a thing than me describing them on the phone.
When thinking about a name for the blog I first thought of the whole thing as my diary of London. So, my first idea for a name was Londoner. That name/address had already been taken. But one thing was sure; I had to have London in the name of my blog. In the end I settled for Living London.
It worked perfectly. As long as I was in London. But I was there for only 6 months and even though I moved back to Finland, I still wanted to keep writing. But life as an unemployed graduate was too miserable to blog about, so I let go and forgot about the one thing that I had finally discovered to be my passion.
But life happens! And my life took as unexpected a turn as anyone’s ever could and after a year and a half I found myself packing up my life to be moved abroad once again. To Slovakia ♥ Where was that? I had no idea but I was relieved, happy, pretty close to ecstatic about the fact that I was going!
I was especially excited about the fact that my life was going to be interesting again! Things were going to happen that were worth writing about and the new, unfamiliar hoods were totally worth photographing. So, I gave my blog a second chance!
But the name had to be changed. ’Living London’ didn’t really coincide with the new chapter in my life, so a new blog needed to be set up.
First I wanted to keep things simple and name the blog after my own name… But my last name is so rare that I didn’t want to put it out there. Plus it’s so complicated that I can barely spell it, so nobody would ever find my blog :D And Teresa Maria is quite a popular name worldwide so every formation of that name was already in use.
So, I had to move beyond just a name and started thinking about who am I, what am I, how am I?
You can ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I’m not your conventional Finn:
I am loud, unapologetic and confident.
And I am NOT ashamed, unsocial or interested in anyone’s opinion about me.
I remember a questionnaire we had to fill up in upper primary school that was given to students all over Europe. One of the questions was “Do you identify yourself as A) from your home town, B) Finnish, C) European or D) a world citizen?”
I stopped to think about this and I realized that I had never really fit in in Finland. In one word I’m quite OUTLANDISH. (Btw, I answered “European” to that question in the end and I am 100% sure that I was the only one in my school who did that.)
The official definition of ‘outlandish’ is as follows:
bizarre or unfamiliar
foreign or alien
That pretty much sums up how I felt a lot of the time growing up with a proper Italian-style temperament and no filter for what came out of my mouth in a country where people were super humble, embarrassed about pretty much every little thing and quite mellow.
In addition to my personality this particular word indicates that I am abroad, out of my land, somewhere away. And to top it all off, the life that I have led abroad has been truly outlandish; I bump into weird people and situations all the time. So, what could have been a better name for my new blog?
Yes, I’m aware that my European readers in particular perhaps remember a certain Danish musical group of a similar name but they’re so long gone and probably never returning that I thought I could probably avoid most of the mix-ups here.
The original Outlandish blog saw daylight in May 2014 and has been up and running ever since. It encountered some quiet seasons in the Autumn and Winter 2016-2017 after moving from Slovakia to Estonia but I found my feet again late last year.
And here we are now! Leading a life I never expected to lead with still more surprises in store, I’m sure. Welcome to the ride! :)
shirt H&M | skirt Vila | shoes Dinsko