Finland is like a wonderland in the winter.

Approaching Santa’s hometown Rovaniemi. The landscape sealed by the snow makes a natural black and white scene.

This week is the ski holiday in the southern Finland. I took a chance to visit Lapland for the second time after three years. In the winter, Finland is like a wonderland. The nature is stunning! In a 4-day trip, luckily I saw the northern lights, nailed the snowboarding for the first time, and hiked in the beautiful Pyhä-Luosto National Park.

The landscape view from the airplane looked like a old photo. It’s a special natural effect with the snow covering the land.

For the first northern lights hunt, we walked about 10 mins and saw the greenish lights dancing on the sky. I know everyone has seen the video many times. But it’s not the same to see it with your own eyes. The different indigenous tribes have they own stories about northern lights. One said that when the mythical creature firefox runs through the snowfield, its fiery tail hits the snow and creating sparkles up to the sky.

For the second hunt, we stood in the cold for one hour but no more northern lights. The moon was shinning bright. I turned around and saw a withered tree sparkling under the moonlight like a chandelier. The transparent tiny ice covered all the branches and each one of them lit up by the moonlight. That was something I’ve never seen in my life, too dark and subtle to be captured by the camera. Finland is truly like a fairy wonderland in the winter, which will surprise visitors with all the stunning natural phenomena.

Finnish winter has more to surprise me as a person who grew up in the hot climate of Taiwan. The soap bubble demonstrated the natural crystallization process under 15 degrees. It’s such a fascinating experience.

Into the lapland, skiing or snowboarding is a must-try. Sliding downhill could be scary but when you nail it, you will be so proud of yourself like I did.

I moved to Finland not only to study but also to experience all the unique experience and culture I have a chance to absorb, which are so far from my own country. It expands my horizons and open my minds to all kinds of wonders in Finland. When a person stops to take everything for granted from the social norms he or she grew up with, then the open-mindedness starts to grow stronger. That’s one of the major reasons I chose Finland to study my master. Another one is the way Finland makes peace with nature let me believe it’s the best location to study sustainability for sure.

Be amazed by the winter beauty in Finland.

Hsiao-Pei Liao, Creative Sustainability Master Program

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