THICK forests have replaced the sandy beaches that have been her playground in recent years and her new home's national animal is the brown bear, rather than the kangaroo.
And every day she wakes up in the southern Finnish town of Orivesi, volleyballer Eliza Karley Hynes has to pinch herself to make sure she's not dreaming.
In reality, the girl who was raised in Maiden Gully is living out her dream, having secured a contract to play professionally for the OrPo club in Finland's national women's league.
"It definitely is surreal at times," the 21-year-old outside passer/hitter says in an interview conducted via email because of the time difference between Bendigo and Scandinavia.
"There's not too many people who can say they are living and doing what they grew up wanting to do, so I'm just enjoying every bit while I can."
Despite her age, Hynes has already had an incredible sporting journey.
While still living in Bendigo as a teenager, she represented Australia at both schoolgirl netball and indoor volleyball before switching to the sand-based game.
She secured a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport in Adelaide and won a bronze medal at the world youth beach volleyball championships in Portugal in 2010.
Late last year, she returned to Melbourne, resurrected her indoor career... then promptly earned herself a spot in Australia's open women's squad for a tour of Vietnam.
Now living about two hours north of Helsinki and about to experience her first European winter, Hynes gives Women in Sport an insight into life as an Aussie volleyball import.
How did you end up back playing indoor volleyball?
"My decision to leave the AIS came about in November last year. A range of personal events led to the change, but ultimately I wanted to come back to my roots of indoor volleyball and my dream of playing professionally in Europe.
"I knew I was always going to play indoor volleyball again - it was just a matter of time when it was right for me, whether it would be after making it to the peak of beach volleyball at the Olympics or in the timing that I did. I can't help but love the indoor game."
How was the experience of touring with the Australian open women's team in March?
"We went to the VTV Binh Dien Cup 2013 in Vietnam. This was my first international indoor volleyball competition as a senior since 2009, playing as a junior.
"It was quite a different experience. Things as simple as a big team warm-up and meetings felt different with 11 other people, instead of only one other person as in beach volleyball."
What do you know about your new team, OrPo?
"Last year they placed 3rd in the competition and they have been consistent in placing on the podium each year.
"We have a new coach this year from Hungary, Laszlo Hollosy, and the team has good belief and buy-in for his coaching style, so we are strong contenders this year, too."
When does the season start and how long does your contract run?
"I am on a season contract. We start the competition in October and it goes through to April-May."
How does a former Maiden Gully girl secure a volleyball contract in Europe in the first place?
"It is something I have always wanted to do, so I made it happen.
"I used my contacts through the sport and got in touch with an agency that takes care of finding contracts." (Hynes flew to Finland in late July.)
What are your early impressions of your new home town and new club?
"I am living in quite a small town, the type where everyone knows everyone. (The municipality of Orivesi has a population of about 10,000.)
"There is no men's OrPo team or any other bigger sport played in Orivesi, so we are well supported and accepted by the community."
Do you live on your own or with team-mates?
"There is one other import, Agnes Pallag, who is from Hungary and we are living in a house together.
"We have everything within reach at the supermarket across the road, the stadium is a four-minute walk, and the hotel where we have meals supplied for us is four minutes away, too.
"Our garden has fresh raspberries, blueberries and apples to pick."
What has been the biggest lifestyle difference you have noticed since arriving?
"Well, I've still got a bit of sunshine left from the summer and the sun hasn't been going down till around 11pm.
"I've been told the winter will have only a few hours of light - and it will be my first time seeing snow!"
How has the club and your team-mates welcomed you?
"They are all very welcoming people. My team all speak very good English, which makes my life easier considering speaking Finnish isn't my forte.
"I hear it's up there with the top 10 hardest languages to learn - and Hungarian is the second hardest, so I'm lucky that Agnes speaks English well."
Can you translate the story about yourself that's on the OrPo club website, http://orpo.vaiste.com?
"Ha ha, that would be a no. Sorry."
One day at lunch, I thought I was eating your regular meat but it turned out to be moose. I couldn't eat it after I knew.Eliza Karley Hynes
Do you have any funny stories from your first few weeks in the country?
"One day at lunch, I thought I was eating your regular meat but it turned out to be moose. I couldn't eat it after I knew.
"I'm yet to try reindeer, but I hear that it's meant to be good.
"It's kind of like when they hear we eat kangaroo - same reaction, I'd say."
Are you managing to stay in touch with friends and family in Australia?
"Skype is a wonderful thing. Of course, it's not the same, but it does wonders to see familiar faces. I wish we had a pet here though, because I'm missing them a bit."
Apart from pets and the people, what else do you miss about Australia?
"How easy it is to get to the beach!
"And when the summer comes around in Australia, I can tell I'll be jealous here rugged up in five layers of clothing (I was watching Bondi Rescue on the TV here and they also have Australian Masterchef!)"
What are your average weekly volleyball commitments at present?
"We are training six days a week, two times a day, whether that be two ball trainings or one gym and one ball training session."
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced over the past couple of years?
"Switching disciplines and the mindset is harder than you think and takes time, which is hard when you are slightly impatient.
"Growing up, I've had the opportunity to play netball, volleyball and beach volleyball at a high level and it is only now that I have got clarity on what I am doing.
"I have gone into a coaching role also, so that makes me my own hardest critic!"
(Hynes moved to Melbourne in 2009 and went to Maribyrnong College, a specialist sporting secondary school. She went back to the college this year as an assistant volleyball coach, working under her former junior national coach Jenny Becker.)
What are your sporting goals now?
"I am definitely focused on taking out the championships here first, then I'll just take things one step at a time."
Anything else you would like to add?
"A big thanks to the Bendigo United Netball Club and Jamie Allan at Allan Accounting, who have helped support me. And, of course, to my parents and family, who have always been behind me with unconditional support."