My home country celebrated its 99th birthday today. To mark the occasion we went for a hike in the beautiful Endla bog.

The first time I visited England was about 10 years ago; I distinctly remember the moment I was exploring the sights on the Isle of Man and a complete stranger walking her dog said hello to me; I was so surprised, but I soon realised it was normal for people there to acknowledge each other. It felt so alien to me at first, because we, Estonians, tend to be quite introverted and our first instinct when anyone is heading in our general direction is to find something extremely interesting to stare at either on the ground, in the sky or on our phone to avoid making eye contact. Today, when we were walking along the Endla trail, I was yet again astonished, because many of the other hikers we met smiled and said hello. Some even wished us a happy birthday, because it is a birthday after all, to all of us here.

I can honestly say I never thought I would see the day when Estonians start greeting each other with a smile and a kind word. I am very glad I was wrong.

Just ESTonishing 😉

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