2012-13 Outbound to
St. Augustine, FL
Allen D. Nease Senior High School
District 6970, FL
District 1420, Finland , The Rotary Club of Borgå
Moi, Minun nimeni on Nick Doolin ja mina olen menosa Suomeen. or in English... Hi, My name is Nick Doolin and I am going to Finland. I am 15 years old. I live in St. Augustine, Florida and I'm a sophomore at Allen D. Nease High School. I live with my mom and dad (Kristin and Donn respectively) as well as my older brother Will (a.k.a. Bones because he is so skinny). I was home schooled for most of my life until I started high school one year early last year. I was born in Detroit but moved to Florida when I was very young. I love to travel and do very often in the United States, though I have been to Canada and Mexico. I thoroughly enjoy the experience of being in another country. I also travel to snowboard. (In case you didn't know Florida doesn't have any snow or mountains or ski lifts or..... basically Florida isn't conducive to skiing.)
When I am not partaking in my little adventures or indulging in this glorious thing called food, I like to wakeboard, play air soft (which is paintball on steroids), play lacrosse (this is a Native American sport; the first record of this was in 1492 as a way to resolve inter-tribal disputes between two villages; games would sometimes go on for days until each and every player had passed out; now the games are limited to one hour and is the fastest growing sport in America), surfing, or practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I am a complete adrenaline junkie and love extreme sports. I would do all of them if I had the money. (I like going to the movies but that's a gimme. Really, who doesn't like the movies?) I also do many things with my NJROTC unit (Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) like armed drill and colorguard. Someday I hope to be a Navy helicopter pilot, but for now I fight the battle of good grades and acne.
In my time in Finland I want to be completely immersed in the culture and would love to become fluent in Finnish. I would like to thank RYE and my host club (St. Johns Sunrise) for giving me this amazing opportunity and free breakfast every Friday. Well, see ya.
P.S. In my mind I drive a cherry red Ferrari.
Nick- Outbound to Finland
November 2, 2012
Hej! Hur mår du? Hey! How are you?
So, I'm pretty sure I'm the last one to do a journal... yeah... Believe it
or not. It is actually hard for me to describe my exchange. So, I'm going to
write and hope it comes out okay.
You would think that it would be very hard for a LOUD, ''touchy-feely'',
questionably over excitable person like me to come to a quite, stay AWAY
from me, calm country like Finland well... we'll get to that.
First let's talk about ''Where I Live'' (Var jag bor)
I live in a small town (big for Finland) of 50,000 called Borgå. Borgå is a
Swedish speaking town in southern Finland. Living in in a ''FinnoSwede'' or
''Finland Svensk'' is almost like living in a totally different country than
Finland. FinnoSwedes are said to be almost annoyingly happy but since I'm
''like that'' I think it's awesome. Borgå's main industry is the Neste Oil
refinery but since we are only 45 minuets from Helsinki most people that
live here commute to Helsinki for work. Although Borgå is a Swedish speaking
town about half of of the people here speak Finnish. It's really kind of
funny how separate we are even we are so close.
Even though though there is no language barrier (all people in Finland must
speak both Finnish and Swedish. Although the Swedish speakers are better at
Finnish that the Finnish speakers are at swedish.) Swedish Finns and Finnish
Finns won't interact, talk, or even do business together unless they have
to. We go to deferent schools, have different churches, different places to
hang out. I have no idea why this is and just kind of have to accept it as
part of the culture.
FINLAND IS COLD and I love it.
People here find it strange how someone that grew up in a hot place like
Florida could love the cold as much as I do. I don't really understand
myself. The hardest part about the cold is learning how to wear your clothes
and not look really really stupid.
And now you get to find out how I am.
As of now I'm in this sort of weird middle ground where I don't consider
myself a true Finn but I know I'm no longer the flag waving American me that
sings the nation anthem before he goes to bed. I have lots of friends here
and I live an every day life like every one else. Except it's like a million
times more exciting because I'm not from here. Being here and living this
way is just as shocking and different as going to say Thailand (Shout out to
http://www.ryeflorida.org/Students/OB/2012-13/Alex-Thailand.htm) But in
the same way completely different. If you are not an exchange student and
what I just said made no sense to you. That okay you are just no an exchange
student (yet?) and if it did you're lying.
Becoming an exchange student.
Warning if you decide to try to become an exchange student it is going to be
very hard and it will take over your life.
If you really want to change the world this is the way to do it.
The proudest moment of my life was about a week ago when some one came up to
me and said ''Next year or ten years from now you aren't going to be that
Canadian or French kid that came here. You're going to be Nick the American
that wasn't what we thought Americans were like.''
Alright my hand is cramping up and I still have to spell check.
Graffiti Competition I WON!!!
April 19, 2013
Let me tell you about this guy Nick Doolin. Nick will do almost anything at
least three times. Once for fun, twice for money, and three times because
he's already this far and three is cooler than two. Yes, it is true that
Nick is quite adventurous but here are some things that he would never ever
He would never avoid standing within arms reach of strangers.
He would never sit and listen to other people talk and not say something.
He would never have a place to go and think.
He would never enjoy being alone.
He would never give up on style for practicality.
He would never sit quite on the bus even though everyone on the bus is his
He would never take a bus. (Like really he has a car)
He would never wear work boots and a scarf to school.
He would never clean his room everyday.
He would never skip a meal to go running in the first rain.
He would never regularly spend an hour sweating to death with nothing to do
but sit. (sauna)
He would never any of these things.
And yet here I am. Doing all of them and not understanding how I ever did
them different. I'm on the tail end of my exchange and dread the day it
comes to an end. I would really like to tell you more but I have no idea how
to. My life here sometimes does real. Like it's so perfect how could it be
real. Right now I'm just savoring every minuet until I'm back to realality.
I just want to say that the best days of my exchange have been when nothing
special happens. I get up, go to school, talk to my friends, have coffe, and
go home. These are the day that I think I come from here and I'm just living
my life, as a Finn.