Why are we in California? And a Travel Story from Death Valley

Why are we in California? And a Travel Story from Death Valley

Hi all our English speaking friends! I added this “In English” page to my blog, so now I get to share our stories with you as well! I’ll try to post every month, and I also have an instagram account @orangelogs.

In this post, I will tell you a little about our background, and what’s it like to live far away from anything familiar, especially at times like these. Also, we did a roadtrip to Death Valley two weeks ago, so here’s some pictures from there!

  • Mesquite Sand Dunes

So, we’ve been living here in California, OC, for over a year now. We moved here because Otso, my husband, was needed here for his expertise. I put my career on hold as a speech therapist, and focused on taking care of our daughter (she was then 10 months old, and now 2 years old). When we first got here in October 2019, we didn’t know anyone here! I had visited California once, and my husband around twice for work. So, we had to start building everything from zero! We were so excited to be here, but also found comfort in our plans to visit Finland regularly, and having friends and family come here to visit us.

Well, couple of months later the pandemic hit, and changed our plans completely! We haven’t been able to visit Finland at all, and that has been the hardest part. Luckily both of our parents got to visit us here just before the first lockdowns.

So basically we’ve been here on our own and created a whole new life for us. It feels like we’re in some paraller universe, where everything is just new and different! It hasn’t been all easy, as you can imagine. I think I’ve felt all the feels there is during this past year, the highest of highs and lowest of lows.

I realized that it’s all about balance, about how much we feel we are able to “gain” by living here, for it to compensate all that we are sacrificing for not being in Finland. And that’s why when everything’s is going smoothly, like when we are doing amazing roadtrips, surfing, exploring California’s amazing nature, and enjoying all the sun and the warmth, I find myself thinking that I don’t ever want to leave this place.

But as soon as something unexpected or unfortunate happens, like a pandemic, a wildfire, an earthquake or a serious water damage (yes, we have experienced all that within the past year), it’s easy to start feeling lonely, homesick, and sad, and begin to question the purpose of even being here. Especially since no-one can even travel to help during these travel restrictions!

Considering all this, I got to say that I’m so proud of us, for everything we’ve been through, friendships we’ve made, and even for the simple fact that we are still here!

But thankfully, we have kept our positive attitude, and felt like it has definitely been worth it to be here. Most importantly, we have met so many amazing people here, and I’m so grateful to say that we have friends here, and don’t feel alone anymore. Despite the pandemic, we have also been able to make many of our dreams and plans come true. We are being cautious of course, and following all the guidelines, but like I said, what’s the point of being here if we just sit at home doing nothing?! Gotta keep the balance!

So, we did our latest road trip to Death Valley two weeks ago. Winter is the best time to visit, because the temperature is tolerable (around 70 F). During summer, it’s the hottest place on Earth (130 F)! I think the most amazing place in Death Valley was the Badwater Basin, that is an evaporated ancient lake 282 ft below sea level. It’s the lowest point in North America. From above Badwater Basin, up on Dante’s view, you can see the most dramatic elevation difference in North America, when the Telescopic Peak rises over 11 043 ft, just behind the mountain range surrounding the Badwater Basin.  Other cool places in Death Valley were the Sand Dunes, Zabriskie point (that is formed by lava flows,) and Gold Canyon where they’ve filmed Star Wars.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about living in this new normal, and also if you are experiencing life abroad like us! Please leave your comment in the box below! (It will appear after my approval, to avoid spam).


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