Oh my goodness, this trip has flown!
I thought a month seemed plenty of time – and I’m well aware how fortunate I’ve been to be able to do this – but in some ways it feels like I’m only beginning.
If you’re reading this, you’ll already know I’ve been doing my best to share my thoughts and impressions in real(ish) time. Now comes the much bigger task: to reflect properly on all the conversations, visits and presentations, and process the information to work out what could come from it all.
This was never meant to be just an excuse for me to travel. I hope links and connections will be made through this that will enrich and inform our thinking. Finland and Scotland have so much in common right now, and even when everyone is under enormous pressure it’s important not to lose sight of possibilities for collaboration and exchanging learning.
So I very much hope that in its own small way, this project might spark conversations and connections that will benefit all of us. Whether it’s young people and families connecting with their counterparts, practitioners sharing with each other what works and what doesn’t, or policy makers considering what exactly it takes to change things for the better, I’d love to think it might contribute to keeping us all moving in the right direction.
It would be great if all the fabulous people at home and abroad who have played a part in supporting this trip could be part of that journey, too.
In the meantime, I’ll miss the beautiful buildings in the area I’ve been staying in. I’ll miss the central railway station, and the transport network that got me everywhere I needed to be bang on time. I’ll miss the Oodi Library and its work spaces, music studios, sewing rooms, cafes, theatre – not so much a building, more a way of life. I’ll miss the clear skies that feel like they go on forever. I’ll miss the warmth and hospitality of pretty much everyone I’ve come across. And the sauna!
I won’t lie – I’m leaving a little piece of my heart in Helsinki.
But I already know I’ll be back.
Inside the Oodi Library – a big thank you to the students who gave me permission to use this image online
Thank you for following this blog, it’s been great to have you with me!
If you’d like to be kept up to date with what happens next, let me know. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org