How I book my flights?

One late night (or was it early morning) about a week ago I couldn’t sleep. Someone was having party in the apartment above mine and I could hear them too clearly. I was too stressed out and having too many thoughts in my mind. It was one of those nights when you go trough all your life decisions and regret half of them. It was one of those moments when you can’t decide what you want to do with your life and you can’t understand how doing decisions like this seems so easy for other people.

I was sipping tea, staring my maps and listening motivational videos. That’s something I have done lately a lot when I have no idea where my own life is going. And then between changing videos I somehow ended up doing another thing I have done lately. I opened skyscanner and searched cheap flights to anywhere.

I don’t know what was different this time. Maybe it was those screaming neighbors I could hear laughing too loudly and living too recklessly. Or maybe it was the inspirational voice speaking in my headphones and telling me to just do it. It may have also had something to do with all the international and exchange student talks my school has lately kept. And then again it may all be because of this blog.

I don’t know what was different this time but I bought the cheapest ticket to anywhere. To Gdanks, Poland and Stockholm, Sweden to be exact. Right now week later I am sitting in cruise ship writing this while a few older ladies sip coffee around me. Apparently Sweden trips aren’t that popular during winter and ice. Next week will be full of amazing solo adventures around Europe.

I do this literally every time. I end up booking my tickets without any proper planning. This same thing happened with my three months Japan trip and even with my recent London holiday. I just can’t keep myself from leaving and when I try it ends up like this. Flight tickets to foreigner country and surprised friends and family. 
And that’s my way of buying flight tickets and planning new adventures… With one small thought that grows to something bigger.

What about you? Do you ever do crazy stunts like this or do you prefer planning your trips properly beforehand?

 

With love,

Viivi Severina

Story Time: Problems with Police

The story of me in abandoned amusement park continues…

Part 1: Lost In Abandoned Amusement Park

Part 2: Abandoned Beauty

 

Like I said I had just visited the broken mirror house and was now walking towards the beautiful huge princess castle. It was amazing. I climbed up the stairs and was welcomed by graffiti and sunshine. Up there I was able to see the whole park. Even the gate I saw my two new friends walking towards. They were leaving and I thought it was my time to leave too. But like the saying goes curiosity killed the cat.

Abandoned Amusement Park Adventure

After taking in the park around me I decided to climb down and continue my trip around Nara. I was just ready walk outside from the castle when I heard some noises. Automatically I hid behind the abandoned castle’s door. I may have also chanted “there is no such a things as ghosts and paranormal” in my head while listening the suddenly too quiet park. I decided the noises must have been caused by wind and continued my way out of the abandoned park.

Abandoned Haunted House In Abandoned Amusement Park

Then I saw funny witch and haunted house. Of course I decided to take closer look! Probably bad decision but I am good at making those so get used to it.

After exiting the haunted house (super haunted and scary!) it was time to leave. I started to make my way towards the front gate when I saw other people between me and the gate. Once again I hid. No way I would go and say hi to randoms in abandoned place! I’m not that crazy…

So I walked towards the other way wondering what should I do. Then I saw car driving closer to me and I knew that I was in trouble. I had a few seconds to decide should I hide or stood there and wait for the inevitable. There was no way I would exit this park trough the front gate when there was people and I wasn’t going to hide in abandoned amusement park waiting for darkness. I stood there and was ready to panic when the car stopped right next to me.

Abandoned Amusement Park Japan Nara

Angry looking older Japanese man stared me and tried to communicate with me using word “stop” and Japanese that I couldn’t understand. I kept apologizing because I had no idea what else to do. The moment was totally chaotic and the man seemed to be as panicky as I was. Apparently tourist girls don’t usually get lost to abandoned amusement parks.

(Why only boys have privilege to do reckless adventures?)

At that point two more guards arrived with their cars and there was more angry babbling in English and all I could understand was that English speaking police was coming to make everything better. Great, I was totally in huge problems. We waited for a few minutes me apologizing and the guards trying to look angry before the first polices arrived.

Abandoned Roller Coaster Japan Nara

This duo of two males was like straight from Japanese crime dramas. If I hadn’t been too busy to apologizing I would have probably found it amusing. Of course these two man didn’t speak English except for few basic words.Another of them was talking to the guards while the other one tried to calm me down despite our language barrier.

Then a few more polices arrived but they didn’t speak English either. At this point someone was trying to inspect my passport while calling to someone and other polices where just hanging around. And then there was those two polices that had first arrived who still tried to come up way to communicate with me. It was total chaos.

Abandoned Amusement Park Nara Japan

Finally young police woman arrived with her perfect English. She explained that I couldn’t be here and tried to ask where my companions were staying. It took too long to explain that I was totally alone here and that I really wasn’t hiding someone somewhere. I of course told them that I had seen other people here today and they weren’t even surprised about that. Apparently they get asked to come and make people go away every day.

I have to say I was finding the situation rather strange than scary. I was standing in colorful wonderland with eight polices and three guards. Did they think I was some kind of super villain? I mean who needs so much forces to escort traveller girl out of abandoned amusement park? But I grant them that if I had decided to run at least they would have had enough people to catch me…

Abandoned Amusement Park Ride

After short interrogation (that felt more like friendly conversation) I was made to apologize once again. I had done it constantly after getting caught so one more time wasn’t problem for me. Then the two first police men and the English speaker promised to drive me to the shrine I had tried to find in the first place.

We went to the police car and right away I got asked too many questions. Why are you travelling alone? Why Japan? Where have you been and what you liked most? How old are you? Wait, you can’t be that young and travelling alone? Are you really travelling alone? What about your parents, aren’t they worried? And the questions went on and on.

Then we had to stop because two traveller boys were walking towards the amusement park. One of the two policemen opened his window to ask where the boys were going to. We all know what their destination plans were but of course no one said anything. Then the polices asked them to not visit the amusement park because it was dangerous and they would get in trouble. The policeman gave knowing look towards me and that must have scared the boys who promised to not go and continued their way quickly.

Temple in Nara Japan

After that I got some tips where to visit while being scared for my life. Japanese streets aren’t made for cars… And finally we found the shrine that just happened to be wrong one but I didn’t dare to tell the truth to the kind polices. However it was beautiful place so I have to thank them taking me there.

In the end the trio wished me good luck and made me promise to share this story with my friends. Apparently they wanted everyone to know how kind and friendly Japanese polices are.

 

So, yeah that was the too long story of me getting in trouble with police for the first time. I hope you liked it or at least enjoyed the photos. Next Friday I hope I can write something more travel related or Christmas themed. See you then!

With love,

Viivi Severina

Story Time: Abandoned Beauty

So last time I ended my story to the point where I was deciding should I go to the abandoned amusement park with these people I have just met. In the end it wasn’t hard decision (sorry mum…). Of course I went in! You only live once or something like that…

Part 1: Lost In Abandoned Amusement Park

Part 3: Problems with Police

I will again mention that you shouldn’t be like me. Later on this story I learn that visiting abandoned Japanese amusement park in fact is illegal and you will get in trouble. However I also learn that Japanese people and police are so kind and understanding. And I also may learn that there is something charming and special in abandoned places. It’s feeling I can’t even describe. So I hope you like this long boring story of me being totally lost like usually. Enjoy!

(In the first post I meantioned that I had lost almost all my abandoned amusement park photos. However, now I found a few photos more so I hope you will like them!)

Dreaming in Dreamland

abandoned roller coaster nara dreamland

So I was standing next to the abandoned amusement park and the couple I had just met stared me expectantly. After I answered for them all three of us approached cautiously the park’s gate. There was huge gap in the gate and we went inside without any problems.

My first look to the park made me breathless. Cute pastel houses, colorful plastic balls and eerie huge pink princess castle. It was perfect sight and I immediately knew I had done the right choice coming here. We started wandering around and checking what we could find. The couple was taking photos like professionals while I was just staring everything in awe.

After walking around for a while I decided it was time to part from that kind couple. After every minute I was feeling more and more like third wheel. After our goodbyes they continued towards the castle while I decided to wander deeper to the park. When their voices had faded to the distance I felt the scary “I’m all alone in this world” feeling hit me.

nara dreamland

I couldn’t hear birds, traffic or anything except my own breathing and wind. I have never really experienced anything like that so I decided to enjoy every moment and thing there was to see. First I found old roller coaster loop. I think photo of this exact spot is in every abandoned places article/video there is in internet. I hope I had all my photos because it was beautiful. (I don’t know how the heck did I lose half of my abandoned amusement park photos…)

I just stood there staring in awe and not even wanting to continue. How would anything I saw be more beautiful than that? Sun was shining behind the roller coaster and the sky was blue without any clouds. Once again perfect day and perfect moment.

abandoned_cars

After that I saw so many beautiful sights that lose the count of them. Huge swimming pool and water park are with its colorful slides and small food stands. Abandoned cars just being there behind every corner. Building after building full of stuff.  Park tickets, colorful props and dust covering everything except the foot prints wondering back and worth the floors.

It had been over hour at that point and I haven’t even seen half of the park. I saw some kind of  pond and decided to take closer look to it. The ride was adventure and amazon themed. There was sinking colorful boats in the small lake. Then I turned to look the ride’s ticket booth and at the same second started to run and hided behind wall close by. My heart was beating too loudly and for moment I was sure this place was cursed.

I tried to glance the sight that had scared me almost to death. It still looked same. There was someone sitting in the ticket booth. Someone without head and looking like rotten body. After I had evened out my breathing I decided to take closer look. My reasoning side told me there was no way that it would be real body. My more imaginative and scared side was sure it must be zombie or cursed traveller.

abandoned japanese amusement park

I went closer and closer and soon realized theobvious truth. The scary headless zombie body was just prop or decoration for the ride. Someone had propably stolen its head and arranged it there to scare all the intruders like me. The whole situation was making me laugh and I was letting out the sigh of relief when weird noices broke the silence and made me jump back to my hiding spot.

After listening closely the weird noices seemed to be car driving by except I didn’t see anyone. Later on I will realize that it must have been the guard but at that moment I just tough there may be road close by. The noice was gone almost as fast as it had began and I was ready to continue my exploration.

abandoned mirror house nara dreamland

I saw some more interesting thins: merry-go-round, more rides and another roller coaster. It was silent everywhere. Next spot I spend more time in was mirror house. Once again I was strugling with easy question: to go and adventure the inside or stay safely outside? The broken mirrors and messages left to the walls made the place look like scene from horror movie.

I had to jump over some broken pieces so I didn’t get wounds through my sneakers. I got totally lost. There was mirrors everywhere – some broken and some colored with spray paints. I kept walking around not understanding how would children’s amusement park have this place in it. Then I realised every now and then there was small arrows pointing the right way out.

After exiting the house of horror mirrows I continued towards the huge castle I had decided to visit last. I didn’t know how wrong the end of my happy day in abandoned amusement park would soon go! (Well, I had fun and can now laugh for the things that happened but at that time it was horrible…)

mirror_house2
“Not scared at all!”

So well… I may have problem with writing too long stories… Because of that you have to wait until next week to read the ending of my story (and also the main point where I get caught by Japanese police…) I’m sorry, I’m bad at not sharing too much boring things. But I hope you enjoyed my story or at least the photos.

I hope you are having an amazing week!
With love,

Viivi Severina

Story Time: Lost in Abandoned Amusement Park

Hello everyone! And mum if you are reading this you should probably stop now. Because today after a long time I am going to share with you fun story/memory/warning example from my travels.This is going to be story of me getting in trouble with Japanese police, getting lost in abandoned amusement park and doing everything solo travellers shouldn’t do.

So be prepared once again for too long story from my crazy adventure! (I accidentally wrote so long story that I will publish it in two parts… Sorry, not sorry! And because I have mystically lost almost all my photos from this adventure enjoy the other Japan photos I have picked out for you. Enjoy… )

Finding Abandoned Dreamland

Japanese Abandoned Amusement Park

Even after spending two months in Japan I still hadn’t learned to not trust the free tourist maps. Deciding to visit Nara was kind of quick decision (someone told me about the cute deers and I wanted to go and see them right away!) so I didn’t have a lot of time to research things to do in the city. Then one person from my hostel showed me photos of small Kurokamiyamainari shrine with beautiful long torii walkaway. He even showed me the place from my Nara map I had gotten from Kyoto’s tourist office. It wouldn’t be that hard to find before going to see the deers, right?

When I got off from the train and continued exploring Nara towards the shrine I didn’t have clue that my day would soon turn to thrilling adventure. I kept walking around and at first everything went well I knew exactly where I was and the Nara around me was charming like Japanese cities usually. And then I was lost.

Japanese Forest Path torii

On my left side there was huge amusement park and on my right side huge parking lot. Neither of them was on my map. Because I’m good at getting lost this didn’t cause a lot of panic for me. Confidently I walked the road I thought would be right one and ended to the huge parking lot. I think it was that moment when I realized this must be Nara Dreamland the abandoned amusement park everyone is talking about.

Because I had no idea where I was and around me was just wild abandoned looking area I decided to sit down and eat the breakfast onigiris I had bought from the station. There I sat with my map looking totally lost when group of locals at my age appeared from the same road I had used. Because I wanted to find my way out of this frightening abandoned place I decided to approach them.

Japanese red shrine
I have still million photos of Japanese temples and shrines that I have not shared with you. So here is one more of those photos!

I didn’t get a lot of help. Apparently they weren’t as interested about shrines as I was. But we had a small conversation and they told me they were going to the abandoned huge amusement park next to us. They even asked if I wanted to come with them but I declined. I was left standing alone to the parking lot when they walked in from the huge hole in the main gate. They had probably done this several times before.

I really wanted to go with them but decided to just find the shrine and not do anything stupid. So I continued walking around until older man stopped me and asked if I need help. Another thing I had learned but forgotten while in Japan: don’t trust blindly the people helping you. That old man gave me advice and because of it I got even more lost and walked for three extra kilometers until I somehow found myself again from the same abandoned parking lot.

Nara cute tame deer
Here is one of the so famous Nara deers. I think it wants to kill me…

So there I was again standing on that parking lot staring the amusement park’s gate. Maybe I should go in? If you had been next to huge abandoned Disneyland looking amusement park and the gate open what would have you done? There was no way I would not go in.  This was my adventure and even if I knew it was stupid I really wanted to go in.

Hostel life eating problems
This funny photo is my lunch. If you wonder why there is my name and room number, you have never lived in hostel!

Because I am coward I sat there once again eating and staring longingly towards the hole in the gate. Then I saw once again people coming towards the amusement park. I stood up to say hello (because I didn’t want to seem like suspicious person just staring at them). When they saw me they got totally spooked out. They hide behind one of the buildings close by and I was left there alone like an idiot.

For a moment they kept glaring me behind the building. (Maybe they tought I couldn’t see them?) And then they decided it was safe to come and say hi to me. We talked for a little and like I had guessed this American couple with design clothes and huge camera were headed to the amusement park next to us. 

Once again I was asked to come and do something probably not so safe. (Abandoned places are full of death traps…) If you want to hear the rest of this story I will publish it next Friday. Then you will get to know if I really went in to the abandoned amusement park. (SPOILERS: Of course I did! I’m a little bit crazy like that.)

img_5922
By the way this is first time I’m publishing my own photo in this blog. So, hello everyone!

Have you ever been visited abandoned places? And what would you have done in situation like this?

Part 2: Abandoned Beauty

Part 3: Problems with Police

I hope you will have an amazing weekend!
With love,

Viivi Severina

The Catastrophic Hostel Worker

I love volunteering in hostels but it’s not always fun and games. In my last post I shared one good experience I have had and today I have terrible volunteering story for you. It may not sound at first too bad but I wasn’t paid for working. Only thing I got out of it was small bed (without mattress).

 

Catastrophic First Week For Hostel Worker

My first days in Tokyo had been full of first times. Volunteering in hostel, solo traveling and trying to survive with my bad English. I had survived fine except the working conditions sucked but I naively though everything would get better.

It was my fourth morning and I woke early to be ready and clean. I felt quite good and nothing predicted the mess this day would turn out to be. It was sunny and I had only five more days until my day off. The cleaning went well. I listened music dancing and mopping around the empty hostel and took in the beautiful neighborhood from the house’s sun patio. Everything was perfect.

Until it wasn’t. I had to change linens on two rooms. The first one was easy. Empty room, two beds with dirty linens. The second one turned out to be my first nightmare of that day. One dorm room, four dirty beds and only one person leaving the room. My problem was how there was no way of knowing which bed I should change the linens.

As bright problem solver I decided to change all the four beds and go to get early lunch. My work day wasn’t yet over. I still had to wait for two people who were going to check-in. My boss had given me permission to be half hour away from the hostel when waiting for guests. So I spend exactly that time walking to nearby shopping mall.

Everything seemed fine again. I hoped I would spend more time on the city but I was still holding on to the promise of coming days off. So I returned and began my waiting. It wasn’t so bad to watch Netflix, talk to the other guest and write. So I waited until several hours later someone ringed the doorbell and I rushed happily to open.

Behind the door stood cute young Asian boy looking a little lost. I of course welcomed him in thinking he must be one of the guests checking-in. The answer I got was flustered “only Chinese or Japanese” and so I was in problems again.

I tried to speak with my hands, basic English words I hoped he would understand and trying to come up some way to talk with him. The boy looked more and more frightened after every moment and my own state of panicking was growing.

So I did only thing I know would solve the problem and went to ask help from my boss who in fact talks Japanese and Chinese and was in the room next door. Oh, the stupid me… I chose wrong option.

After knocking to her door I told to my boss that I needed translating help to talk with this guest. The look for me was deadly but she didn’t have other options than to come and solve the situation. She talked to him and then I showed him around the hostel. When I left the boy to his room’s door, we were smiling stupidly and wishing each other goodnight.

And then I returned to the living room where my boss waited for me arms crossed and angry face on. Then she shouted. Apparently I was useless and should never again ask her help in situation like this. She also dissed my English skills and working speed. Like usually I just kept kindly quiet and listened.

I though my bad day wouldn’t turn worse but of course it did.

I kept waiting for the second guest. I waited, waited and waited. The clock was eleven PM and I had been waiting for whole day. There was no way I was going to disturb my boss again so I just sat there in the living room and tried to find something to do. Then my boss came out to the kitchen to eat.

“The second guest of today hasn’t yet came…” I probably sounded pathetic but I had grown to be scared of that woman.

“She came already when you weren’t here and I checked her in.” Then she went back to her room and I was left behind to keep my anger inside. I had been waiting for hours that I would have spend exploring the city. She had been whole that time inside of her room and seen me many times. Why the heck hadn’t she told me that I was free to go?

That was first day when I started to seriously think about ending my volunteering and just renting a apartment. It took a couple of more days and bad experiences with my host before I sneaked out of the hostel and found charming dorm to live in.

.      .      .

So as warning example always talk more with your host before going. Ask specific working hours, look everything critically and hope for the best. And if you are not feeling good, safe or valued in the place no one is preventing you from leaving.

Have you had bad volunteering experiences? Or have you ever left the place you were supposed to volunteer?

Tomorrow I am leaving to huge summer camp so the next post is going to be written in forest. I just hope my internet will work. So on next Monday you will get pros and cons of being hostel volunteer. See you then!

 

With love,

Viivi Severina