Travel Rant: “Must things to do”

I don’t want to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York feels just unnecessary.
Why should I use my time to sunbathing on paradise beaches in Thailand?

People expect us to do certain things in cities and travel destinations we visit. All the places have some kind of attractions that are “must to experience”. Of course, I understand why. The most popular things are also usually somehow unique, have a long history behind them or you just can’t see anything like that back at home.

Most people will tell you that traveling is all about experiencing new things and learning about different cultures. I’m not saying that people visiting the Eiffel Tower are stupid or that travelers telling you to collect new experiences are wrong. I would be dissing myself because I’m also one of those adventurers and tourists. But in situations like this, there are always many point of views. There is always that “but” in the sentences I say.

I want to visit tourist attractions. I want to experience new things like a true adventurer. I want to be someone who sees as much as she can and travels as fast as possible. BUT sometimes I just want to sit in small cafes, write endless stories of imaginary characters and eat too many local sweets watching Netflix in my hostel bed. These two sides of me constantly fight with each other. Should I explore the city? Or should I just relax today doing nothing? Should I sit for hours in this small unknown cafe? Or should I wait in line to see one of the most important tourist attractions?

When I started this blog and my life of traveling, I told everyone that I was following my heart. But sometimes our hearts change their minds. I want to travel but at the same time, I don’t. My dream used to be the life of traveling full time. Now, I don’t know anymore. Being on road month after month for your whole life just seems so tiring. Going for a month, coming back for a few months and then going again. Doesn’t that sound a lot better?

I want to follow my heart. But it’s not telling me to see and experience the must things to do in new countries. My soul is craving for writers retreats, reading books in a hammock and getting lost in cities I have already seen far too many times. 

Often I lay awake at night thinking that my life is balancing between two expectations. Everyone at home wants me to live normally. Get a job, study the business degree and rent an apartment. Follow the same path everyone else does. The time of having the wild adventure of your teen years is over. Come back home. If you don’t create a career, life, and future now, it will be too late to ever start. You are destroying your own life.

Then people reading my travel blog, friends I have made on my adventures and the travel community as a whole is following my decisions expectantly. Either travel and do it properly or stop altogether. Going to new destinations and just reading a book on a beach or writing in old cafes isn’t enough. When I tell traveler that you didn’t go to the must-see places and just sat in dozen different cafes, they frown, won’t believe me and end up always asking why. Why would you give away the possibility to experience something unique? You could just visit cafes and write or read books back at home.

Both of these possibilities seem so dull. My feet are too restless to stay in one place but my mind is too lazy to keep traveling all the time. Can there be something between? Balance that is made for me? A few years ago I would have said no but now I’m starting to believe that everything is possible. When you do once something against all the odds, it gets easier. Out of nowhere, everything seems reachable.

What do you think? Is there something you have always wanted to do but everyone else seems to think that it’s a bad idea? Like always all comments are welcome. And sorry for this blog post that is a total mess. It’s how I write so get used to it. You can also read my daily posts from LostViivi.com

With love,

Lost Viivi

How to survive a lethal case of wanderlust?

Every now and then I may have a quiet few weeks from blogging when I don’t even answer any comments. I’m always sorry for that but it’s usually because of a terrible writing blog. I’m always having a lethal case of wanderlust. It’s endless longing to travel that gets even worse when there aren’t any sure travel plans waiting for me.

Wanderlust
A strong desire to travel and wander around the world. Longing to see new places and experience new things.

When I was thinking the subject for today’s post one idea stuck out of everything else. How to survive wanderlust and longing to travel if you are in a life situation where you have no way of traveling anywhere. If you have been reading my blog for some time now you may know that even I have had life situations without any means or money to travel

I am sorry to inform you that there is no cure for wanderlust but you can always try to ease the symptoms. These next tips are something I keep doing when a bad case of wanderlust tries to take over my mind. I know there are many people reading my blog who can identify with me. Some of you may be in school or work, maybe you don’t have the money or you just are too shy to even try yet. Whatever the reason is I hope you find help with these tips.

Plan Future Trips

travel_plan

One of the best and easiest ways to help your wanderlust is to plan the trips you are surely going to make when you can travel again. Choose new destinations and add them to your bucket list. I have always believed that imagination is the strongest weapon human can have so why shouldn’t we use it? Daydream. That is my biggest secret of surviving the lethal case of wanderlust.

Read more from How to survive lethal case of wanderlust?

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!

tourists_rome

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.

iceland_waterfall

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

Story Time: Very Naked Swimming Team

My three weeks traveling around eastern Europe are over and I am ready to share the first story from my trip. This story is about odd roommates I had while my last night in Bratislava: men’s swimming team with a habit of walking around without anything else except their tight underwear! Yes, you did read that sentence correctly. During those 24 hours, I probably saw more naked bodies than my brain could handle.

So, here is funny travel story of how I survived 24 hours in a small room with 8 half naked swimmers. Enjoy!

bratislava

It all started when I returned earlier than usually from getting lost around the town. I had been on free walking tour and my legs were literally killing me so all I wanted was a nice evening drinking tea and watching Netflix in my hostel bed. Like usually that didn’t go as planned. I walked to my floor and there was odd smell like I had just arrived in swimming hall. I just thought that someone was cleaning. Nothing can be wrong at afternoon in a hostel, right?

Then I opened my dorm’s door and expected to see the empty room like every other day. My mouth was probably hanging open because there in front of me was about eight dudes jumping around only in their underwear. Okay, maybe I am lying. Only two of them were in their underwear while the rest of the boys had jeans on but no shirts. For a few seconds, I just stood there but was woken up from my trance quickly after they greeted me happily in unison. Yep, in unison…

It took me about five seconds to grab my computer and run out of the room. My relaxed movie night was totally destroyed because there was no way I was going back to the room while they were there hanging out nakedly. Those boys were literally sitting in front of my bed so, me trying to watch a movie there would have been more than awkward.

Like it hadn’t been clear from our first encounter I quickly realized that these boys truly didn’t have any restrictions. They were walking to the shower and back using only small towels. They also showered together in the small shower stalls. There was a lot of screaming and laughing coming from the shower rooms. I don’t even wanna know what happened there and if I believe the faces of my fellow hostel guests neither did they.

graffiti_bratislava

This is also the point where I decided that they must be swimming team or in fact, my friend suggested so. They didn’t have a problem being almost naked, they looked exactly like swimmers, there was that odd swimming hall smell from earlier and let’s not even talk about the showering thing. Definitely men’s swimming team!

However, I wasn’t the only person sharing the room with them even if I was the one who “got most of them”. Meaning that all the beds next to and above of mine were taken by them. There was also one Australian girl sharing room with us. When she returned back from the city about half an hour after me I was just going to warn her but did it too late. She had opened the door to our hell (or heaven?)

She just stood there, like I had, staring inside not knowing what to do. After finally going inside she came out of the room even faster than I had. With the scandalized look, she sat next to me and neither of us knew what to say. After we ended up laughing too much for the situation we were stuck in (aka both of us too scared to spend time in our room) she left back to see the city while I continued eating. We were totally in trouble with our new roommates.

I had time to watch one full movie on Netflix before the swimming team left our room fully dressed looking like they were going to bar. For a few hours, I was able to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Then the hell broke again.

hostel_bratislava

Boys were back. And so was the chaos. Let’s just say that I saw a lot of butts. For some reason, a few of them went back to the showers and the rest of them jumped around my bed. In the end, I decided to escape the awkward moments by playing dead. It may sound stupid but playing dead is the best way to escape any situation for those who live a lot in hostels. Just face the wall and close your eyes. Maybe even put headphones on. Everyone thinks you are sleeping and you don’t have to be part of any social encounters.

My morning didn’t differ a lot from the night before. Swimmers woke up before sunrise, some of them earlier than others because they wanted to shower, surprise, surprise… Usually, I am the roommate who isn’t disturbed by anything but a bunch of naked guys screaming at each other at six am almost made me snap. They were slapping each others’ butts with towels and wrestling only a few centimeters from my bed.

For a moment I considered asking them to let me sleep but it would have been too embarrassing. So, I turned to face the wall and put my lifesaving headphones on. I woke up again just before the check-out time and the swimming team had disappeared like they had just been one messy dream. If I didn’t have my panicky messages for my friends as a prove, I would probably think that it was all just my imagination.

bratislava_castle

Why do I always get the odd ones to room with? Maybe I should write another post full of small stories of my roommates? Would anyone be interested in reading that? I haven’t even told you about the time I shared a room with men having a bachelor party or when one nice man taught me how to learn Japanese Hiraganas if you know how to speak Germany.

Like always all comments are more than welcome and thanks to everyone who has waited patiently even if I have been depressingly inactive lately. I won’t promise anything but hopefully, my blogging motivation has returned.

With love,

Lost Viivi

Photo Diary: Rome

Welcome to yet another photo travel diary! This time we will visit Rome and I will share some photos from this trip I made with my mom a few weeks ago. This time I won’t add any text or explanations but just let the images tell you the story of our trip. Be prepared for too many photos of old buildings but also some sides of Rome you won’t see as often in travel diaries. Enjoy!

airplane

rome

tourists_rome

summer_rome

rooftops_rome

Rome Pyramid

rome_breakfast

rome_metro

rome_history

ancient_rome

rome_colosseum

colosseum_rome

sidestreet_rome

church_rome

spanish_steps

rome_spanishsteps

Different side of Rome

streetart_rome

Street art Rome

Side street of Rome

Different side of Rome

And there was some photos from my Rome trip. If you look at the closely, you can clearly see in what part of the trip my mum left back home and I was left behind alone to Rome. (I will give you tip: street art is my passion!) Have you ever visited Rome or do you maybe recognize any of the places seen in my photos? Like always all comments are more than welcome!

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With love,

Lost Viivi