JUST like other immigrants, I came to Finland with exciting dreams and great hopes. But unlike other immigrants, I arrived in Finland with a huge bucket-list of things to do that I was not able to do back in my country.
During my childhood or teens, I never had a chance to cycle.
As I grew up, life came in between me and my numerous crazy desires; one of which was cycling. Therefore when I moved to Finland in January 2020, biking topped my bucket-list but thanks to the depressing winter combined with COVID-19, I was stuck at home with a bucket-list that started getting longer.
However as the beautiful summer approached, I came across a Facebook event, “Immigrants on Bikes” by Let’s Ride. The event offered free courses to immigrants; teaching them cycling from scratch and rules and regulations for cycling around the city. I immediately enrolled myself without knowing that it was just a kick-start to a crazy and thrilling experience. After my first lesson, I returned home with a sore knee, reddish, sweaty face, and severe leg pain. But the incredible ecstasy I felt made me enroll in their advance and bike maintenance courses after completing the beginner course. At the end of the bike maintenance course which was held at Recycling Center at Vantaa, the team donated bikes to us for exploring the city on our own along with completion certificates.
This experience made me realize how easy it is to tame your hobby in Finland. And how this country offers access to resources and numerous avenues to welcome you and your dreams whether they are sensible or senseless. This opportunity not only helped me in meeting new people in Finland in the form of my kind coaches and friendly fellow learners but it also made me gain a skill set that is a significant form of commute here.
I am happy to have relived my childhood passion here and I can’t wait to explore the surprises this country has in store for me on my ‘punainen polkupyörä’!!!