Digital Country Estonia

When you first came to Estonia, you thought.. what?

So “Estonia” – it’s located in… where? And spoken language there is… what? And there are no mountains? And there are how many people again??? 

According to Visit Estonia site, Estonia connects the dots between Scandinavia, Central Europe, and what lies to the east. But what does it really mean and when do you start feeling it?

After talking with 27 foreigners, who have moved to Estonia, on Found in Estonia podcast, it was fascinating to hear, what were the first impressions of people coming to Estonia for the first time. How did they first perceive this country? 

Let’s find out, what they answered!

We all know, people have different backgrounds and various comparison points. Nevertheless few things were mentioned multiple times.

When Rafiki (episode #4) moved to Estonia from the busiest city in Spain, the first thing that shocked him was the silence! Though now he says, he’s become so used to it, that he could be silent for years :’D

Being so used to the constant noise and chatting with strangers, his first phone call back home involved being in shock about the fact that “No one spoke to me in the bus!” And, after sitting in the dorm corridor for two hours, seeing people passing by, but no one approaching him – it only confirmed his first impression about quietness – “I find so strange here.”

When Sandra (episode #2) arrived in Tallinn for the first time and went to Pirita to see the seaside, she asked whether this is actually a lake? “Why is it so weak? Why is the water not salty? It’s kind of sweet instead? In Mexico, the water would be really really salty.

When Chris (episode #4) moved to Estonia and it wasn’t raining – the first he noticed was “Oh, the weather’s great here!” Since his hometown Wyoming, USA, it’s usually raining around 9 months a year.

Avery (episode #6) initially started comparing Estonia to the places, where he has traveled to: “I always had that feeling, that Estonia feels like New York before it was built.

The decision to move to Estonia, came pretty fast for Tati (episode #9) when a friend recommended her to google the phrase: “nightlife in Estonia” – First impression of Estonia? You will be surrounded by beautiful women and the majority of them look like supermodels. 

Another shock hit her, when the first sunny weather arrived in town – turns out, there’s a reason, why people randomly stop in the middle of the street or on green areas near the sidewalks. While also standing still and looking at the sun – they are just enjoying the long waited sunlight!

Another certain fact about Estonia – it has no mountains. But even if Jaime (episode #12) read about it beforehand, he was still in shock: “Wow this country is so flat and you can see the horizon?” Especially since in his home country Chile, it’s just so unusual, due to the numerous pumps on the roads, hills, and mountains. 

“Jesus, what level of blondness is that?” – do I have to say more about why John (episode #14) decided to stay in Estonia for longer?

Penelope (episode #18) says, the first time she came here from Melbourne, she felt like she’s gone back in time – turns out our highway from Tallinn to Tartu did not impress her at all. 

Being an international digital nomad, Nikki (episode #22) met Estonians for the first even before coming to Estonia itself. And she can still remember, how they said the word “cheers” in Estonian.

Nigerian weather is pretty different from Estonian weather, so when Eunice (episode #23) experienced the Estonian winter for the first time, it didn’t go so well. “My first experience was horrible. I never knew I was supposed to wear winter boots. I had to take a taxi back home because my feet were frozen!”

Living in the capital city vs going to the countryside can be a big difference as well. When Avishek (episode #25) joined a music festival in the South of Estonia, he quickly discovered, he was the only non-white person in the whole region. This time it seems he left a bigger impression on the locals than they left on him. Turns out, when he returned a year after, people were still talking about him and greeting him a lot friendlier this time!
Our website should be proud. Since not only Jessi (episode #26) mentioned, the first thing he remembers being impressed about in Estonia was the internet services! – “They were futuristic for me! Here in Estonia, you can manage everything on the internet! Despite distances are very manageable, you can still do anything on the internet.”

What were your first impressions, when coming to Estonia?
Share them by leaving a comment below!

Found in Estonia podcast