Abroadland is about looking at this world with awe and curiosity, while building a home within to carry with you wherever you go.
This idea manifests itself in
‣ Visual stories like blog posts and cartoons
‣ Products like books, wall art and apparel
‣ Services like illustrations, creative concepts and helping with book creation/publishing
Abroadland started from an idea of the space you enter when you move abroad and start living between cultures. You’ll get to various situations, people and places, and go through many changes and challenges. Sometimes it feels like living multiple lives in one lifetime!
“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all.”
― Maya Angelou
The first concrete thing from Abroadland was the book ‘Greetings from Abroadland’ which explores the topics related to the life overseas.
From the very beginning there has been the thought of having a rich variety of actualizations of Abroadland – and now it’s happening! There are, and will be, more stories and products related to living as a curious world citizen (in addition to all other citizenships one may have). And you don’t even have to move abroad to be one.
The author and founder
Helena Jalanka describes herself as “a designer, foreigner, mother and many other”. She comes from the land of thousands of lakes and reindeer – Finland, and currently she lives in the land of chocolate and cheese – Switzerland, with her husband and their two sons.
She loves to combine fun and functional – to make things that delight and serve people. When she is not working, she is drawing, reading, learning German, being with friends and family and hiking in nature. And drinking coffee!
“My favorite landscapes are the Nordic archipelago, tropical islands, rain forests, Alps and Australian beaches. So basically all the places where nature surrounds you and you feel more connected to it.”
The family’s journey abroad in a nutshell
Helena, her husband and their two sons ( 5 and 12 years old) live currently in Switzerland. The family has been abroad since 2011 experiencing:
• 4 intercultural moves across the continents: Finland -> Australia -> Singapore -> Australia -> Switzerland and 12 homes in a variety of locations.
• Working as an employee, contractor, freelancer and volunteer, studying and being a stay-at-home parent abroad.
• Primary schools in three countries – both international and local schools, day care in four countries and having nannies from two additional countries.
• Having a baby abroad
• Many travels
• Moving independently and once with the help of a company, and moving with only suitcases and once having some of the belongings shipped. Also, moving to a new country and continent with two weeks’ notice.
• The challenges that come when one of the parents works in another city or travels a lot.
• The difference of living in a country where you know the local language vs one where you don’t.