Travel

Take Me to Murch | Baltic Edition – I moved to Estonia!

March 12, 2017

Two months ago, I boarded a plane in San Diego and touched down in Tallinn, Estonia.

I decided to join a local startup without ever having visited this country before, and relocated in the dead of winter.  I took the Baltic plunge so to speak, and let me tell you, it’s been a surreal experience.  There’s at least one moment every day where I think to myself:  I can’t believe I’m here.  I’m living and working in ESTONIA!

The cold weather is surprisingly manageable.  I bought a thick, down jacket in San Francisco days before moving and it has served me quite well.  People back home know I am always cold, but it only took a couple of weeks for me to acclimate to the winter temperatures.

The darkness is another issue.  I have definitely been more tired than usual, but I finally feel like I’m turning a corner.  I’m taking massive amount of Vitamin D, and spring is coming….I hope.

There is a lot to love about Estonia.  The food here is amazing.  I feel safe.  Tallinn is modern and technologically-advanced.  The Old Town is straight out of a fairytale.  The people are beautiful.  The air is fresh and clean.  In fact, the World Health Organization recently released a report listing Tallinn as one of the least polluted capital cities in the world.

This place has exceeded my expectations.

A lot has happened in the last 60 days, and it’s time to revive Take Me to Murch.  I’m going to write about my experiences in more detail in the upcoming weeks and months, but here are some cliffnote happenings and highlights:

  • Bog walks at Lahemaa National Park

  • Taking a yoga class entirely instructed in Estonian

  • Navigating an Estonian grocery store (usually takes an hour)

  • Slipping and falling on ice…regularly

  • Obtaining my Estonian residence permit

  • Hipster art and graffiti in Telliskivi

  • Estonian spas and saunas

  • My love affair with the food in this country. Real, organic food that’s not ridiculously overpriced.  The restaurants here are amazing.
  • My company-mandated physical health check up
  • Watching a Modern Ballet at the Operahouse (and having no idea what the plot was about)
  • Checking out Kadriorg Palace and the Kumu Art Museum
  • Speakeasies and other illegal, underground establishments

  • Getting an apartment in Tallinn’s trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood

  • My business trip to Riga, Latvia

  • Taking an Estonian language lesson

  • Walking across a frozen sea in Pärnu

  • Making friends and getting to know Estonian small business owners (mostly cafe, bar and restaurant-owners)
  • Hiking through the forest in Pärnu
  • Exploring Old Town

Take to Murch – Baltic Edition.  More to come….

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1 Comment

  • Reply Elvis Liivamägi March 21, 2017 at 9:05 am

    This is great! Beware though…more awesomeness ahead!

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