After successfully completing the diploma program at the conservatory… (see proof below ^_^ )


…it was time for a break.


Many people in Russian cities have little second homes out in the countryside, close to nature and away from the crowds. My host for the year Nina Nikolaevna was kind enough to invite me to visit her dacha.

We took the metro and this bus out to the suburbs:


The bus driver was very talented… He drove, talked on his bluetooth, checked his phone, negotiated sharp turns AND accepted bus fare from passengers all at the same time…

I was happy to reach the peaceful little community of dachas centered around this gorgeous lake:


The dacha is beautiful, made of wood and built by Nina N and her family. We got water out of the well behind the house:


I spent the days picking berries, eating fresh produce and taking long walks in the countryside:


Making friends with the local version of Grumpy Cat:


And exploring local decor, which included this:


…so your friends can identify which dacha is yours, perhaps?


And so, after an eventful year, it is time to go home!


Remember how in the beginning of the year I said that people thought I was from Finland? Well, I flew home on Finnair, and the flight attendants all tried to speak to me in Finnish, even though they spoke English to other passengers around me. So, even Finnish people think I look Finnish…who knew!

Best part of flying with Finnair was the blueberry juice:


I am sad to leave beautiful St. Petersburg and the Motherland, but it is time to go explore the New World:

new world

Thank you so much for reading and coming with me on my journey! It has been so nice to share my experiences with all of you!

And with that I say: