Some random Estonia FAQs

Given the reaction most people back home had when we told them about our impending move, here are some random bits and bobs about Estonia.

So where is Estonia?
It’s here, and is about the size of Tasmania.

How many people are there?
About 1.3 million.

Which language do they speak?
Estonian. As a general rule, people under 40 speak English and people over 40 speak Russian, for obvious reasons.

Where are you going?
Tallinn, the capital city. It has a population of around 450,000 and is known as the start-up capital of Europe (it’s where Skype was founded, along with Transferwise, Taxify, and a range of other tech companies). It’s also very pretty and has a UNESCO-listed old town.

How cold does it get?
Fairly cold. -35 in winter on a bad day. In summer there are about six hours of darkness, and in winter there are around six hours of daylight.

Why?
I used to live in Europe a number of years ago, and have been wanting to go back for some time now. When Drew sent me a text saying ‘let’s move to Estonia’ (the result of an Instagram post… it’s a strange tale), I was in!

More specifically, we’ve never been to Estonia, Russia or Scandinavia, so it will be a new adventure. Being the Silicon Valley of Europe, it’s very digital and innovative, with lots of start-ups and tech companies and a growing international community. It’s also beautiful, safe, and relaxed.

How long will you be there?
To be determined – at this stage it will be anywhere between six months and three years.

Finally, some Estonian trivia!

  1. Estonian is regarded as the most difficult language to learn for native English speakers. There is no gender, no future tense, and there are 14 different noun cases.
  2. Estonia has the highest ratio of models and supermodels to regular people in the world. (They also do naked saunas, so the combination of these two factors isn’t filling me with confidence…)
  3. Internet access is seen as a human right, so free wifi is almost universally available (even in the forest!).
  4. They excel at the non-Olympic sport of wife carrying, having won the Wife Carrying World Championships for 11 years straight. (Drew still hasn’t decided if he wants to participate…)

Jacqui

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