The time has come. Tomorrow we’re going on our vacation but not to some exotic — and Mediterranean — place oh no. No, we’re going to a place which is colder and harsher than where we’re now.
I’m of course talking about The Land of Thousand Lakes, and Ten-Thousand Mosquitoes per Lake, Finland. Finland, you cold inhospitable bastard. Or maybe I should say “kylmä ja karu paskiainen”?
It’s always — despite it being my first time — a weird feeling, going on a vacation to a country you grew up in. Sort of like going home again but at the same time not even slightly like that, because… well… Britannia is my home now.
Many people talk about “home” as the place where they grew up. But if you’ve moved on and yet talk about your childhood home as if it was still your home, well then you haven’t really moved on at all, now have you? Talking about it that way makes it sound as if you’re destined to return as you grow older, to metaphorically climb back into your metaphorical womb as you prepare for your not-so metaphorical death.
Is that it? Is it a way to find warmth and comfort in a world you’ve grown distant from as you’ve lost touch with e.g. technology that your children take for granted?
But if that’s the case then what do you call the place where you’re currently living? Because that’s what I call “home”. And as for the place where I grew up, well that’s exactly what I call it; “The place where I grew up”. Alternatively “mom’s”.
I suppose — but actually I know that — what I’m trying to say is that I’m conflicted.
Going on a vacation is usually about going to new places, seeing new things, having new experiences and creating new memories. But going somewhere where you’ve spent the majority of your life isn’t really new in any way. There won’t be any new things to see or any new experiences to have. And… well… that isn’t particularly exciting now is it?
So on the one hand, I’m of course looking forward to meeting friends and family, many whom I haven’t seen since we left over a year ago, which is very exciting. And on the other hand, I really
could should going somewhere warmer to spend my vacation .
And whilst things have surely changed and evolved — hopefully — in my absence, it’s still by all accounts a place I’m very familiar with.
So, I figured I might as well make it more exciting by making sure I have some new experiences and what better way — I seriously couldn’t think of a better way — to do so, then by challenging myself.
Now, in all honestly, many of these challenges are — for lack of a better word — kind of lame and I know that, but I’m too old to do stupid shit like the Cinnamon Challenge. So using my awesome powers of imagination and after consulting the “social media sphere” — Yeah I know I know, I should be shot for swearing like that — for ideas, I came up with the following “list” of challenges to complete. A big thanks to those who came up with suggestions.
So here’s the challenges — and their reasons for existing — that I shall attempt to complete on our “The Re-Return Tour Of 2013”.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Burger
Kill1, barbecue and eat a burger made from Elk meat. I have had Elk meat in soups and stews but never in a burger.
Hoser In A Birthday Suit
Playing Xbox 360 in the nude, win a game of NHL13. I’ve never played NHL13 so this will almost be like a double whammy.
Why Did The Chicken Cross The Border?
Buy and transport a KFC Meal to Finland2. KFC is not available in Finland.
Salvador van Picasso
Observe and sketch something interesting every day. When I was in Greece — 12 years ago — I spent a part of every day sketching things that I saw and I want to continue that “tradition”.
I Scraped It From The Back Seat Of My Car
Bring Marmite to Finland and convince an even number of people (at least 6) to try Marmite, thus forever settling the age-old question of “Love it or hate it?”.
Around The Beard In 80 Days
Don’t shave during the entire vacation. I’ll pity my wife for having to endure my hobo appearance and promise to make up for it by shaving every day for the consecutive two weeks.
The Finnish Wildlife Agency have already assigned this years kill allowance and I’m not even a member of a hunt. But let’s be honest, I don’t know if I would have the patience for hunting anyway. All that sitting and waiting sounds really boring. ↩
And give it to my brother who talks about KFC. All. The. Time. ↩