My name is Khaya. I’m a South African living in Finland.

I started this blog as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends back home. Though I occasionally write about my everyday life, I share more of my recreational pursuits (leaning heavily on nature) and travels.

If you find anything at all of interest or discover that we have a shared hobby, welcome and stay!

White Christmas in Finland

*Photos in this blog (unless stated otherwise) are of my own, and I try to keep them as original as possible. You are welcome to put in links to any photos here, but please do not use or download them without permission. If you have any questions, drop me mail by using the form on my Contact page.

NB: If you don’t see me around here often, I’m probably lingering at my other online home. You’re welcome to drop by.


64 Comments Add yours

  1. Debra Kolkka says:

    I travel to Finland regularly, I was there just over a week ago and will be back in September for a few days. I love it!

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Yep! I saw you wrote such a cool post about Helsinki. I love Finland too, it is my second home.

      Well, when you come back in September we’ll have lots of wild berries in the forests you should try your hand at berry picking. It’s fun:-)

    2. Jojo says:

      Hello ……Please do you know an afro salon close to lohja / helsinki where i can have my hair done….

      1. cocoaupnorth says:

        Hi Jojo
        I have not been lucky yet to find an Afro hairdressing salon in Finland. A lady who has been doing my braids unfortunately lives in Oulu. We’ve now moved south and my struggle has started again to find someone.

        I heard though of a salon called The Look Salon in Helsinki. The address: Hämeentie 17 A.
        Tel. 09 827 4523
        If you manage to go, would you let me know about their prices. Good luck.

  2. Wow what a move. What brought you there?

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Ha..ha! I fell in love & married a Finn:-)

  3. So very nice to meet you! Love your blog! Where is your header photo taken? It is absolutely stunning!

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Thank you for stopping by. Much appreciated:-). The header photo is one of WordPress, I absolutely love it. There’s a nice romantic feel about it.

  4. Hi! I’ve tagged you in a game of tag. Check out details here: http://allthingsboys.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/tag-youre-it/

  5. David says:

    “Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.” I love that quote and it is very true. You have a wonderful blog!

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Thank you very much and I appreciate your visit.

  6. Cocoaupnorth, I’m passing on the Sweet Blogger award to you. Check it out here: http://allthingsboys.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/the-super-sweet-blogging-award/

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Much appreciated ATB, I had fun with the sweet reminders:-)

  7. Madoqua says:

    I am not sure if you were aware of it at the time, but I have also nominated you for the Super Sweet Blogging Award, but it was back in early September! I have only just become aware of the fact that one is supposed to inform one’s nominees as well as create a pingback 😦

    My apologies for not having let you know the correct way! If you choose to take up the award, I hope you have fun with it!

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Hei Madoqua
      Thank you very much for the nomination, it’s so kind of you. It is still lovely to receive it now even though it dates a few months back, it’s like receiving a delayed birthday card:-)

      Another kind blogger did nominate me for the same award and yes I did have fun with it:-). Check the link

  8. Well, I just wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. I hope this will be a wonderful news for you. To see more about the award and this nomination, please visit my post at http://janalinesworldjourney.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/liebster-blog-…e-new-bloggers/
    Congratulations and all the best to you!

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Thank you so much for the nomination, really appreciate it. I have participated in another nomination and gave some random facts about me, https://cocoaupnorth.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/versatile-blog-award/
      I know it’s not the same but it does give an idea:-)

  9. riah_e says:

    Finland is one of the many places i dream to visit someday.

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      I recommend it, and you’ll never know dreams come through sometimes:-)

      1. riah_e says:

        i truly agree with you. thanks for the words of encouragement

  10. Hi there, just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the Liebster Award, check it out here, http://marilyndavies.wordpress.com/

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Thank you Marilyn for the nomination, I’ll go check it out:-)

  11. Kanerva says:

    Thanks for dropping by! I’m here for the same reason. This is my home now 😉

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      It’s a pleasure Kanerva:-). I also love my life here, Suomi is certainly my home too.

  12. ‘A simple and peaceful life’ sounds excellent to me. Wishing you well.

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Yes I love the simple and peaceful countryside, but lately we took job and study offers in the city. So we have one foot in the city and the other in countryside:)
      Thank you for the visit and well wishes. Much appreciated.

      1. Good luck with your new life.

      2. cocoaupnorth says:

        Thank you kindly:)

  13. joanfrankham says:

    Such a big change for you, in climate and lifestyle, and I hope you are enjoying it all.

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Hi Joan
      Thank you for the visit. Yes, changing continents is huge and almost everything is different but I love my life here. I truly consider Finland my second home:-)

      1. joanfrankham says:

        That is good, my sister has just visited Helsinki and she enjoyed the trip very much.

  14. Rosemarie says:

    You have a fascinating story and perspective. I’m following. Rosemarie

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Wow! Thanks Rosemarie for the lovely compliment, and following. Much appreciated.

  15. Hi Cocoa – wow, you have landed very far from home, indeed. I, too , have traveled a lot and live far from my original home. But I’ve made the world my home, rather than one particular country – that seems to work for me 🙂
    Thank you so much for the follow…

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Yes indeed Annette, I’ve landed very far but I also consider this country my home now. I like the way you look at it, “that the world is your home, rather than one particular country”. I’ll try to remember that when, I find myself homesick:-)

  16. Tokeloshe says:

    I am so glad that we have crossed paths. You have a beautiful blog.
    I think Finland is a beautiful country and it is interesting to see it through your eyes.

    I know another blogger from Finland who takes amazing photographs, please have a look at he’s blog.

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Thank you very much. Aha! I actually found your blog through Sartenanda’s, talk about power of blogging connections:-) and I also saw some SA bloggers on your blogroll I know e.g. Zelia, from another blogging platform that I need to go visit their blogs. So, I’m very glad too, to meet you.

  17. Hi, I’m still in SA, but your side of Finland-country sounds much better than Johannesburg did . I agree. Lucky for me I’m in die bushveld side of SA, and very happy in nature life over here. Lovely blog.

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      True that. Even though I love the pulsating Johannesburg, Finnish countryside is absolutely peaceful and charming. But lucky you, the pleasure of living in the bushveld surrounded by nature is priceless. Thanks for the visit Spokie and have a lovely Sunday.

  18. What a great story you’ve shared with us! We liked Johannesburg, but were only there a couple of days. I can see how you would love Finland, but still want to answer the questions posed by friends and family. I look forward to learning more about Finland through your eyes! Thanks for following: http://ohtheplaceswesee.com

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      It’s a pleasure Rusha, and thanks to you for visiting my blog. I hope you’ll have another opportunity to visit SA again to explore all other beautiful parts of the country. Of course, Finland is equally exotic and every season has its highlights but winter visit I highly recommend for the exhilarating outdoor winter sports.

  19. Zambian Lady says:

    I have visited Finland several times and found it very interesting. The one thing that I found difficult was trying to read the Finns’ expressions – I thought they had none :). I lived in Pretoria for a while, enjoyed it, but I had to move on. So you live in Tampere? It’s a very beautiful city and I would not mind visiting it again.

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Hi Zambianlady, so glad you made a stop over my blog as I also found yours too very interesting. Finland is a beautiful and interesting country in so many ways and yes, Finns’ expressions can be tricky to read. You have to live with them to realise that they have much deeper expressions than they care to reveal on first encounters:-). Yes I live in Tampere and if you do visit the country in the future, please let me know.

  20. ledrakenoir says:

    Wish you and yours a wonderful New Year… 🙂

  21. aj vosse says:

    Welcome here in the north!! 😉 I’ll have to read to find out about Finland too!! 😀

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Thank you AJ for the welcome and visit. It’s always great to meet another Saffer here in the blogsphere. I’ll be catching up on your wonderful and informative blog:-)

  22. goannasnake says:

    Thanks for visiting and following Flying Goannas. I hope you enjoy our travels.

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      The pleasure is mine. There’s something I like about those cruise holidays, and you paint the picture perfectly well:-)

  23. Just a quick hello from Helsinki 🙂 Your blog seems interesting!

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Hi There! I’m really glad you find my blog interesting. I appreciate your visit. Now off to checkout yours:-)

  24. cicorm says:

    Have nominated you for the Blogger Recognition award, cocoaupnorth! Congrats! https://olibtom.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/blogger-recognition-award/

  25. Hi Cocoa, I am off to Helsinki next year. I wondered if you would recommend visiting Porvoo? I l enjoy visiting traditional areas, and am having a short stopover in Helsinki en route to Norway and Poland.

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Oh certainly, if you enjoy visiting traditional places Porvoo is one of the best places to see. It’s second oldest town in Finland. I personally love the quaint, cozy and romantic feel of this town. It’s like a museum and makes for great escape from the busy Helsinki. Btw, I’ve only visited Porvoo during summer months, so I don’t know how the vibe is like in winter (that is if you are traveling via Finland soon).

      1. No Cocoa. I will be visiting next summer, so it should be fun!

  26. Gloria says:

    Loved reading your posts….Wish I could sit whole day only to read!!!

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Hi Gloria! Thank you so much for the visit, reading , your kind comment and following. Wow, you’ve made my day:-)

      1. Gloria says:

        pleasure is always mine

  27. Leya says:

    Thank you for the follow!

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      You’re welcome Leya. I think something went wrong with WordPress settings regarding follows and followers. Now, I’m re-following some blogs.

      1. Leya says:

        Happened to me several times too

  28. aj vosse says:

    Hi Khaya, I tried the “other online home” link to go read some of your poetry… the link seems broken!

    1. cocoaupnorth says:

      Thank you so much AJ for noticing that link is broken. It’s now fixed. 🙂

      1. aj vosse says:

        Thanks! Now I can visit there as well! 😉

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