Joanna

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1,193 kmfrom home
#iamamigrant
"I only knew where Estonia was located on the map, nothing else. I thought: why not, let the adventure begin!"
Joanna
Current Country: 
Estonia
Country of Origin: 
Poland

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"When my boss asked me if I wanted to go and work in Estonia, I only knew where Estonia was located on the map, nothing else. So I thought — why not, let the adventure begin! Now, I couldn’t be happier to have ended up here.

What I like the most about Estonia is the greenery. I like all the forests and bogs and stone beaches. And Tartu, my home town, is amazing because it’s so green, we have parks at every corner!

I also find Estonia very liberating. People respect their own freedom and privacy and expect the same from others. And it works! Nobody here cares whether you’re a believer, go to church, with whom you live, what clothes you wear. I really love the bohemian side of Tartu and how people express themselves — girls especially have such an interesting sense of style. For example, they wear yellow trousers and a bright blue coat! It has made me more comfortable in my skin. In Poland, before any job interview, I had to cover my tattoos, I couldn’t have crazy colours in my hair and I had to be "normal“ but here I feel very comfortable with myself the way I am.

Poland, aside from the politics, religion and everything that makes us angry, is a beautiful country and I like to introduce Estonian people to its nature and cities, the cuisine, music and traditions. This is very important to me. I enjoy meeting other Polish friends here to gossip in Polish but I also have many local and international friends — there's a big mix! I’m trying to befriend people from many different countries, because I like learning about new cultures and languages. I’m also learning Estonian but I’m the kind of creep who goes to a shop and reads all the labels, I don’t attend any courses! I also have a very nice neighbour, an elderly lady who always likes to drop by for a conversation in Estonian. When I don’t understand something, she says the word louder or slower — or both! I find it really sweet and in general it hasn’t happened that someone was unkind to me in Estonia, the people are very welcoming.

I think Poland and Estonia have many similarities. When I first saw the Estonian cuisine, I thought: wow, this is like my granny’s food! The main difference between Estonia and Poland, I’d say is the nature of the people. Polish people are very loud, they like to have fun, drink, they smile at everyone. In Estonia, everyone lives in their bubble: if someone lets you in, you’re their best friend but otherwise they tend to be reserved. But I like to call myself an extraverted introvert so I really appreciate the days when I can close myself in my bubble, like the perfect Estonian, with a grumpy face and a book.

I think Estonia is a very underrated country, nobody knows where it is and what’s going on here. I think everyone should just look it up on the map and come see it! It’s hidden, it’s small, not many people know about it but those who do end up here are always amazed. So when you do come here, don’t just stay in the cities but get into the wild: go see the Peipsi coast, the gulf of Finland, the beautiful parks like Lahemaa, go to Viljandi... Just take all the routes you can and enjoy what Estonia has to offer!"

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s):

 

https://together.un.org            http://usaim.org/            https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org