My travel year 2017

The year 2017 is ending soon and like last year it’s time to look back at the amazing (and not so amazing) moments I had the privilege to experience. When 2017 was starting I promised myself that this year would finally be the year when I start truly traveling and will take it seriously. This may have been the first time when I kept my New Year’s resolution. Anyone who knows me or has been reading my Twitter knows that year 2017 was full of adventures and travels.

Travel Blog Flying

Starting my travel year from Travel Expo

I started my travel year 2017 with something inspiring and unbelievable. I went to Finnish travel expo “Matkamessut”. There I took part in this seminar meant for travel writers where they taught everything from writing a travel blog to taking better photos. Afterwards, I walked around the expo and collected a huge bag full of fliers from different travel themed companies and countries.

This all made me want to be a bigger part of the travel community. If I was writing Finnish blog, it would probably be easier. But at least during this year, I have made more traveler friends and even met a cool blogger from the other side of the world twice during 2017. Isn’t that amazing?

Travel Blog Gdansk

How to travel cheap?

Most Finnish people think that flying out from our lovely country is super expensive. In fact, this year I must have heard “How do you have enough money to travel?” at least hundred times from the mouths of my family and friends. Even randoms comment the amount I travel. One of the funniest comments this year must have been “Are you some kind of heiress with endless fortune?” Those who are wondering: I probably make less money than most normal people right now and everything is about budgeting.

During 2017 I have learned more and more ways to travel cheaply without giving up the best sides of traveling. I made my own schedule so that I can leave whenever and where ever flight tickets are inexpensive. Hotels are also out of the equation (if we don’t count traveling with my amazing mum!) and I have to skip some of the most touristy experiences. Traveling to so many places during this year has been possible because I’m not a tourist, I’m a traveler.

Travel Diary: Bremen

Cities that surprised me

Because I had decided to travel cheap and my budget wasn’t great at spring, there wasn’t a lot of choices while picking out the destinations to visit. At first, I thought it would be a bad thing but surprisingly it just meant that I fell in love with cities I might not have visited on my own. During 2017 I was lucky enough to travel to three cities that took me by surprise. Bremen, Gdansk, and Bratislava.

All these three cities were sold short for me. The photos of Bremen I found online were dull and painted picture of an industrial dark city. Gdanks seemed like a place made for tourists and nothing else. While many people told me that there is nothing to see in Bratislava. In the end, all three of these cities ended up on my list of places I have to visit again with more time. Surprises make traveling so much better.

travel Brighton

I found home from Brighton

Some places you just know that you will fall in love even before visiting them. Brighton is a place like that for me. I saw the photos of its huge pier, idyllic streets, and endless beach. That’s all I wish for a perfect travel destination. Even if you know beforehand it always surprises you how one unknown place can make you feel like you have finally found your home. Dark alleys, colorful buildings and people so happy its ridiculous. I fell asleep listening to too loud live music playing under me in the hostel’s bar. Brighton felt like home.

Cherry Blossom Trees in Stockholm

Too many times in Stockholm

Stockholm, city probably 99% of Finns have visited at least once in their lifetime. Even if my statistics aren’t the truth, Stockholm has been known as the easy and cheap destination amongst Finnish people for a long time. Stockholm cruises are always a popular way of traveling. I have taken this form of traveling to the next level because it just happens that flights from Stockholm are nothing when compared to the flights leaving from Finland. Because of this, I have visited Stockholm too many times this year. If I counted correctly I have visited Stockholm 7 times during the last 12 months. 7 TIMES!

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Adventures with family

I am all for solo traveling but it doesn’t mean that adventuring with my family every once in a while wouldn’t be on my budget list. One of the first trips of 2017 was with my mom, siblings, and cousin to Sweden by cruise ship. The idea of this trip was to see the pinkish cherry blossoms for the first time in our lives. If I wasn’t planning a return trip to Japan before, after seeing cherry trees in Stockholm it came one of my most important agendas.

This cruise wasn’t the only trip I did with my family during the travels of 2017. At autumn I went to Rome with my mom. That trip interesting. Not bad but definitely torturous because of the endless sun and hot temperatures. We saw a lot of local history like Colosseum and Vatican but also just walked the idyllic streets full of tourists. After traveling together my mom flew back to Finland and I continued by bus to Venice.

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Two longtime dreams

I believe that every traveler has a few dream destinations that have always wanted to visit. Iceland and Venice have been dream destinations for me as long as I can remember. I’m not even sure how or when my mind decided that going to these places would be dream come true. It must have been primary school and something to do with geography homework.

2017 was a lucky year for me because I was able to visit both of my longtime dreams. After spending a week in Rome with my mom, I continued by over-night bus to Venice. I arrived at early morning hour and fell in love right after exiting the train station. Getting lost is my thing and in city full of canals, narrow alleys and ending roads it’s easy. Iceland was almost an opposite experience but still as breathtaking. Alone traveling around Iceland’s south coast would be boring but with a good friend and easy bus tour, everything felt perfect. I even hiked on a real glacier!

adventure_blogger

Around East Europe by busses

Between my trip to Venice and Iceland, there was time for one more adventure. I think you know what that means! Time to do one more dream of mine. I booked a flight to Budapest and first bus from there to Bratislava. After that my plan was just to improvise and travel around East Europe by busses.

During the following two weeks, I had the privilege to visit four new countries and return to Poland. Like always traveling gave me more than enough funny memories, new stories and moments to share. However, I also experienced the most moving moment of my 2017 while taking a bus trip to Auschwitz. They teach us about it in school but really visiting this sadly famous place you truly could feel the pain and terror.

New York Travel

Taking over the USA!

The last trip of my travel year 2017 was to the USA. It was my first time crossing the Atlantic and visiting America. After Iceland, the first few days didn’t feel as marvelous as I would have probably felt if coming straight from Finland. It doesn’t mean that New York didn’t charm me. I loved running around with Starbucks mug and fancy paper bags. The museums I visited were unique and full of famous artists. Let’s not even talk about the three-story high bookstores or writing endless stories to my new notebooks in small cafes.

travel blogger

Starting something new 2018

And that’s my travel year of 2017. Adventures, adventures and little more adventures. I will now start my year 2018 with a new theme. There will still be travels around the world – I don’t think there is any other way for me to live – but at the same time I have decided new goal. During 2017 I wanted to travel as much as possible but in 2018 I will give everything I have for blogging.

Laugh if you want because this year my blogging schedule has been just sad. Feel free to not believe me but remember that when I once decide something it’s hard to change my mind. Next year I have decided to do daily blogging. It may sound crazy but I think that’s just fitting for my current life. Just follow my lost side blog and there I will tell you more about this plan later this week.

What hopes or resolutions do you have for 2018? Or what were the most memorable trips you did during 2017? Like always all comments are more than welcome!

With love,

Lost Viivi

Photo Diary: Cherry Blossoms in Stockholm

Cherry blossoms are usually seen as Japanese thing but suprisingly you can see these beautiful pinkish flowers even in cold northern countries like Sweden. During our day trip to Stockholm a few weeks ago the most important thing we wanted to do was to see the popular cherry blossoms on Kungsträdgården.

Earlier today, I asked my sister if sharing post full of cherry blossom photo would be okay. She said no… Apparently this is boring idea. So, here is post full of only cherry blossom photos I took in Stockholm! I am always been kind of rebel and not so good at listening others’ opinions. I hope you enjoy.

Cherry Blossom Trees in Stockholm

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

We were scared that there wouldn’t be any cherry blossoms left because it was cold day in Stockholm (and it was even snowing at one point). Luckily for us half of the trees were still blossoming and we got to see these beautiful flowers.

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

We weren’t the only one who had came to central Stockholm to see cherry blossoms. Under the trees everyone from families to excited tourists were taking photos and admiring pink flowers.

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

Here I am looking totally lost and awkward like usually. But hey, we traveled to Stockholm to see these trees so at least I can share one photo of me with them.

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

cherryblossom_in_stockholm

I have to say that seeing a few cherry blossoms in Stockholm made me want to travel back to Japan. Maybe next spring? I love pink and pretty things so seeing even more cherry blossoms would be like a dream. Now I just have to plan this trip, right?

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

Have you ever seen cherry blossoms? Or what are your favorite beautiful travel spots? Feel free to comment anything like always.

With these cherry blossom photos from Stockholm it is good to start spring. It is snowing today in Finland but my summer holiday started yesterday. Because I don’t have school anymore before autumn I will have more time to write this blog. So, wait for better post next Wednesday! I will come up with something interesting.

With love,

Viivi Severina

The Fascination with Bucket Lists

Hello everyone! Today I have my first guest blogger here in my GoTravelGlobal blog. I find Ilona’s blog super interesting and totally fell in love with this article she wrote for my blog so be sure to check out her blog. I hope you enjoy her inspiring bucket list themed post.

Ilona is an avid traveller from Northern Germany who explores the world through holidays in far-away countries and weekend trips throughout Europe. You can follow her adventures and see her bucket list on her blog.

The Fascination with Bucket Lists

I have a confession to make. I am obsessed with bucket lists. Especially travel bucket lists. I can spend hours looking at other people’s bucket lists. Some of them are very simple, merely a collection of places whereas others include specific experiences around the world. Many of them, like Viivi Severina’s bucket list are a mixture of both.

But what exactly is a bucket list and why are so fascinating?

A bucket list is a list of all things you’re hoping to accomplish before you die. The Bucket List Guy says that there are several possible origins of the word ‘bucket list’. The one I’ve seen the most often is that it is derived from the term ‘kick the bucket’. You see, in the middle ages, when someone got hanged, they would stand on a bucket with the noose around their necks. The hangman would then kick that bucket and the poor person would die.

Not the nicest explanation, is it?

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It still doesn’t keep me from being fascinated with bucket lists. I’ve set my wordpress reader so that whenever I go online, all posts tagged with ‘bucket list’ are shown to me. I’ll browse through them and see if I get inspired to add items to my own travel bucket list. I do have a bucket list for other areas in my life as well, but let’s focus on the travel aspect here.

So why is a bucket list so fascinating and why should everyone have one?

Bucket lists will help you focus on your goals. Everyday life will try to throw as many distractions at you as possible. Do you know that feeling of just making it from day to day, reacting to what is happening to you? A bucket list can help you focus on what you really want in life.

This goes for travel bucket lists, too. Everybody knows a destination that is safe and easy to travel to. And we all know how much easier it is to stay at home. No flights to book, no risks to take.

Deep down, you’ve always wanted to see the gorillas in Uganda. But somehow, you never got around to looking up tours and flights. A bucket list can help you focus on what you want to achieve, so you don’t end up spending your holiday sitting around in your apartment, wondering what to do.

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Come on, those gorillas are waiting for you.

A bucket list can also help you focus on areas of the world you’ve previously overlooked. I put down pins on a map for every place and experience that was on my bucket list and quickly saw the ‘white spots’ that I didn’t know much about.

Western Africa, for example. I did a bit of research and quickly stumbled on Voodoo ceremonies – attending one was exactly what had been missing on my list. And on that note, if you need more inspiration for Western Africa, the westernmost point is located next to Dakar and very easy to access. Plus, Senegal is an amazingly easy country to travel through (I highly suggest you go in November so you won’t miss out on the pelican migration).

For me, travel bucket lists are not just about location-specific items. I also enjoy adding experiences that can be done all over the world. Sleeping in an ice hotel, ziplining and hang gliding are just a few examples.

Those items will help you focus on enjoying life. Maybe you can tick off one of them while you’re at home. It’ll shorten those months that are left until your next vacation. Or maybe you’ll realise that your next trip takes you to a spectacular hang gliding location that you shouldn’t miss.

No matter what’s on your bucket list, you will want to work on achieving your goals. I think part of the fascination of bucket lists comes from putting a difficult goal on the list and then not having to think about it anymore. Needless to say that this is not the purpose of a bucket list.

If you end up with all those amazing experiences on a list and then never look at it again, you’ll have the perfect excuse to go on with life as it is. Instead, what you should do, is take out your list over and over again and look at it. Read through the goals and pick one or two to focus on. That is why I highly recommend not only to create a digital bucket list but to also write it down on a piece of paper. That way, you can take it with you wherever you go and it’s always available to look at.

The next step to achieving goals on your travel bucket list is to set a time frame. Those goals you picked, choose a specific date to accomplish them. For example, let’s say you want to visit Easter Island. It’s a remote location and deciding to go there within the next two weeks probably won’t work. But it’s achievable if you set a time frame of two years.

As soon as you start ticking items off your bucket list, or even sooner, you should start adding new ones.

Bucket lists aren’t set in stone. You can add whatever you want. There are no rules for what goes on there and what doesn’t and I think that makes up half of the fascination with them. If you want to learn how to scuba dive, add it. If you want to stay in a tree house, that goes on there, too.

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Here’s another suggestion: Volunteer to help nesting sea turtles

Even travelling to remote and inaccessible places like Somalia is a possible goal. There are no limits because no matter how impossible the goal, if you work hard enough, you will get to that place and you will have that experience.

So what are you waiting for? Go and write your own bucket list. Or just browse through existing ones until you’re so fascinated, you’ll automatically reach for pen and paper to make yours.

A photo by Aaron Burden. unsplash.com/photos/xG8IQMqMITM

 

30 Before 30

As person who loves writing lists I did one to calm myself down. Let me introduce you 30 trips/things I want to do before turning 30. I have nine years left so hopefully enough time to do them all. I was going to put out my Sweden travel diary today but I have been too stressed out. (University exam results can come out at any moment.) I hope you enjoy this random travel list!

 

1.Return to Japan

If you have read more of my blog you know I went  to Japan for three months last year. I left part of my lost soul there and that’s why I should return. Just kidding. I felt like in home when in Kyoto and want to experience that again. Japan has so much more to offer and see for me.

2. Go to Caribbean cruise

3. Volunteer and help animals

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before but I have training as animal career. I wouldn’t do animal careering as job but am passionate about helping animals. As extra to that exotic country and new culture would be great.

4. Go to USA

5. Start Youtube channel

Wanna hear secret? Writing has always been my dream but making videos isn’t far behind from that. In fact I made promise for myself that if my blog ever gets thousand followers I will make this dream true. Well I did that promise when I though no one would read my writings… Now I have over 200 followers and the count is rising threateningly. (BTW welcome to all new followers!)

6. Interrail/around Europe trip

7. Road trip around Finland

Who wouldn’t like to drive around their home country?

8. Working Holiday in Australia or New Zealand

9. Long time travel with friends or family

I’m solo traveler by heart but being with friends and family is always something I hope to do as much as possible.

10. Inspire someone to travel

11. Extempore travel

Decide to go and leave without second thoughts. No planning, no time to stress, just buy the tickets and adventure.

12. Go to South Korea

13. Do guest post on someone’s blog

If someone ever finds me good enough writer to invite me to do guest blog post. It may take time but I have more than enough before 30.

14. Learn new language

German or Korean?

15. Befriend fellow traveler

And travel with them to place both of you haven’t been before

16. Couchsurfing

17. See pyramids

No need to do this before 30 but before this heritage disappears.

18. Backpack in Asia

19. Go to somewhere abandoned

Done this already but second time would be nice.

20. Keep blogging about your travels

I have history of starting blogs and ending them before the first year is over. This time I want to keep writing until the end of my life.

21. Travel to another country to see band

What other reason would you need to travel than to see your favorite band?

22. Live in hostels

23. Visit Star Wars film locations

The way to show of my inner nerd. I may or may not state Star Wars movies as my favorite ones. And the locations are cool even if you haven’t seen the films. So this is win-win situation for me.

24. Visit Venice

25. Do Pilgrim or long hike

26. Earn money by writing to travel

Even better if the earning is by writing my own book. However any writing (blog, freelancer, etc.) is okay. Use that money to travel.

27. Learn to dive

This is probably the one I will not get done. I am scared of deep waters but love the colors under sea. (But it’s hard to come up with 30 ideas so I can try to do this.)

28. Write a book

29. Fly in the business class

30. Find Happiness

Learn to be happy. I care too much about others’ opinions. Live my life for myself and find the way I want to spend the rest of it.

 

List of 30 things (travels) I want to make before turning 30.
(If you liked my list, share this image in Pinterest!)

So do you have some traveling destinations you want to visit or experience before certain age? I have had this “years are running too fast” -crisis lately because the uncertain future. And so I am back to my question… What to do with my life?

Oh and I almost forget that the Sweden diary will be out at Sunday. It’s almost ready but I should pick out some photos, write about the last day and proofread it. And if you want to know how it goes with my university thing I will tell the results right away in my personal blog. Sorry about this random post and see you (hopefully?) at Sunday!

With Love,

Viivi Severina

My Travel Bucketlist

My birthday is in couple of days and I just realized I will turn 21. The numbers grow faster and faster after every year and I just stay same. There is so many things I want to do before dying, places to visit, people to meet and dreams to achieve.

I have never done official bucket list for myself. Until now all the things have just been on my head. Today I put all my dreams on paper and now I want to introduce my official bucket list for you!

 

  • Visit all the continents (Currently: 3)
  • Go to at least 30 different countries (Currently: 10)
  • Don’t have permanent home but live in hostels
  • Couchsurfing
  • Around the world trip on cruise ship
  • Ride hot air balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey
  • Swim in infinity pool
  • Travel to 15 different Finnish cities and make blog posts about them
  • Go to safari
  • Travel around Europe by cheap buses
  • Visit the Amazon
  • Spend night in the glass igloos (Finland)
  • Visit abandoned amusement park (maybe will share this story with you in future)
  • Do volunteer work and help animals
  • Wash elephants
  • See the pyramids and ride camel  (I rode camel once on family vacation)
  • Hike E10 trail/Finland from South to North
  • Be up all night on beach
  • Island hopping on Thailand, Philippines, Singapore
  • Live week without internet
  • Travel through Russia by Trans-Siberian railway
  • See a broadway musical
  • Get lost in big garden labyrinth
  • Spend night in lighthouse (did this once when younger)
  • Visit Easter Island
  • Bungee jump (with my fear of highs this may never happen)
  • Interrail around Europe
  • Be vegetarian for month
  • Sleep in an ice hotel
  • Add a lock to Love Lock Bridge in Paris
  • Go to fashion show
  • Spend night in a tree house
  • Hike to top of the mountain and see sun set and rise
  • See Venice by gondola
  • Do Working Holiday year in Australia or New Zealand
  • Hike to Mt. Fuji
  • Go to kpop concert in South Korea
  • Visit North Korea
  • Luxury holiday in beautiful seaside resort
  • Road trip through USA
  • Go to Disney Cruise (because why not?)
  • Live at least three months in Germany
  • See cherry blossoms in Japan
  • Get five hundred readers for my blog (it’s good to have impossible goals right?)
  • Attractions to see:
    • Machu Picchu
    • Taj Mahal
    • Stonehenge
    • Grand Canyon
    • Berlin Wall
    • Dead Sea
    • the Great Wall of China
  • Festivals to attend:
    • St. Patricks day, Dublin
    • Floating Lantern Festival
    • Halloween treck, Transylvania
    • Oktoberfest (learn to drink beer)
    • Las Fallas, Valencia
    • Festival of colors/Holi Festifal
    • La Tomatina, Bunol (Spain)
  • Cities to visit:
    • Brighton, UK
    • Busan, South Korea
    • Berlin, Germany
    • Budapest, Hungary
    • Sydney, Australia
    • Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
    • Moscow, Russia
    • NY, USA
    • Bali, Indonesia
    • Krakow, Poland
    • Jerusalem, Israel
    • Havana, Cuba
    • Reykjavik, Iceland
    • Bangkok, Thailand
    • Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

 

I’m more than happy to hear about your bucketlists and places must to visit! Did I forget some important destinations from my list?

Starting from today my bucketlist is accessible on the upper menu. I will try to remember update it and cross the things I have accomplished.

With love and big age crisis,

Viivi Severina