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….