Aaro’s #Journey – From the USA to #Everyday #Exercise
In September I moved from Washington State in the USA where I lived for 26 years, to Jyväskylä in order to study. In America I drive a lot, as many do. I drove approximately 250 km a week – the drive to school was 25km, the gym 4km and the grocery store 2km. My hobbies included running and mountain biking, but in order to go biking, I had to drive 15-30 minutes.
Last fall I decided to buy a good road bike so that I could bike more. I found a great red Specialized bicycle that I brought home with great excitement. After brining it home though, I figured out that it was not so easy to use. In order to get to a good road for biking, I first had to drive 5km. As you might understand, my excitement wore off quickly. I sold my road bike before coming to Finland and biked less than 100km on it.
My life in Finland has been quite different. When I came to Finland, I decided to try out life without a car – an un-American thought! Now I bike an average of 30km a week to complete only daily tasks. In addition, I walk to the store, to the train station, to the gym, and just for the sake of feeling fresh wind on my face. I easily walk 10km a week.
Living without a car, for me, is a totally new experience. Before I had to work out in order to stay in shape – now my daily activity is enough. I also go to the gym 2-3 times per week because it has been some time since my previous bicycling hobby. I do not even need to go running anymore because I do enough daily physical exercise. Besides that, I have always hated running.
It has been surprisingly easy to get used to life without a car. With a bicycle and good walking shoes you can get by extremely well in Finland and I feel like my fitness is better than it ever was in America. In addition, I have saved a lot of time since I do not need to work out anymore. Even better, especially for a student, I have saved a few hundred euros per month since I no longer have to pay for gas and car insurance. In America, we call that a ‘win-win situation!’
Aaro 26 years old