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Hello, I’m Mark Wiltshear and I want to welcome you to the Visit Seinäjoki blog. Every month, I will share some tips, experiences and ideas about life in and around Seinäjoki. But why did Visit Seinäjoki ask me?

I’m originally from London but I’ve been visiting Finland since 1999 and living in Seinäjoki since 2011, but it has always bothered me that people outside of Finland don’t seem to understand the country. Many of my compatriots have visited Rovaniemi to track down Santa Claus and they all love the experience but, of course, we don’t all live like that 365 days a year!

I co-founded a company Xport, which has a range of services to help Finnish companies to internationalise: researching new markets, finding overseas partners and customers, improving how they perform at trade shows, and ongoing sales work. This meant I had become an Yrittäjä, joining the many, many entrepreneurs for which Etelä-Pohjanmaa is renowned in Finland. This gave me an opportunity to meet a lot of new people, learn more about Finnish culture and understand what Seinäjoki has to offer.

One day, I was talking to my friend Paul Fairchild, another Brit in Seinäjoki, about how we view the Finnish lifestyle differently to native Finns; things that are mundane to them are new and exciting to us. I believe that visitors from overseas might also appreciate what makes Finland different; unspoiled nature, outdoor activity, a different culture, seasons that actually change. Not everyone wants sun, sea, sand & sangria every time they go on holiday, some might appreciate 24 hour daylight, lakes, summer cabins and award-winning Napue Gin.

This conversation was the catalyst for me to start recording the Explore Finland Radio Show, available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts and other podcast players. Through this exploring I experienced many new aspects of Finnish nature and culture, and I was introduced to different activities, sports and events. This has led onto a second show The Finnish Football Show and to me hosting a monthly British Pub Quiz in Mallas Kabacka bar in Seinäjoki.

Over the coming months, I will introduce you to different aspects of life in the Seinäjoki region. I will also recommend something from the podcast that explore the subject more deeply. My first monthly blog is about the Festival Season in Seinäjoki, a huge feature of our Summer season. There will also be quarterly blogs on activities for each season, starting with Summer so subscribe to the blog to be sure you don’t miss any of the fun!

Additional listening: Welcome to the Explore Finland Radio Show

This post’s title song: Englishman In New York by Sting

Mark Wiltshear
Explore Finland Radio Show

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