Travel Rant: The Moments After Travel

Returning home is always as terrible and as exciting. After being away for a week or two your own country seems so different than before leaving. Safe and sound. You know all the streets and understand what people are saying. You know how to act, how to fit in. It is easy and for the first few days that makes going back home so amazing. After surviving somewhere else being back at home is like relaxation that holiday should have given for you.

However after those few days coming home excitement disappears. You are back at home. Nothing has changed. Everything is exactly same as before you left. So many things have changed inside of you but no one seems to realize. Your family keeps doing normal stuff, friends keep asking photos from your trip and neighbors probably didn’t even know that you were away. In the end you are left standing there feeling odd. It is like this city, this country, these same old circles aren’t enough anymore. You need something different.

You need new streets, new cities, new places to explore. You want to taste foods you have never seen before and that will probably make you regret later even looking towards them. You grave for new interesting people who can teach you so much about cultures and countries you have only read from school textbooks. You need adventure. In your heart is traveler who just wants to see as much as possible because our time in this planet is limited.

Watching all the photos you have taken and going back to all the new memories you have collected, just makes everything worse. “I would still be there…” If you just hadn’t taken the flight back. If you just had decided to escape your life. If miracle had happened and you would do whatever you want with your life. But then again, if you didn’t return back to home every now and then would this traveling thing feel as good? Would every new experience be as exciting as right now if you knew that you could have them endlessly whenever you want? Who knows…

Right now all we can do is to try to survive this after travel blues. Enjoy the few days back at home and then start planning new trip for another adventure. Because we are travelers and that’s what we do. Endless cycle of planning trips, traveling to new places and coming back.

 

Travel Rants are my series of random travel related thoughts and opinions. It is non-edited thoughts straight from my brain and heart. I just returned from my Bremen London trip so it was good timing to bring this post series back. Like always all comments are welcome! Have you ever felt like this? Or how do you cope with after travel blues?

I hope you are having amazing day!
With love,

Viivi Severina

Travel Plan: Bremen, London, Brighton & Rome

I may have made new travel plan that will make some people roll their eyes (sorry, mom and dad…). It is not bad plan but it includes a lot of traveling around and picking up the cheapest option. Also I would have had university entrance exams just now if I hadn’t decided to skip them.

Because this is travel blog but I have never really written anything about my trips before going I decided to start new blogging series: Travel Plans. Nothing extraordinary… Just me telling you about my plan beforehand and maybe asking some tips if anyone has visited the destinations I am going to.

Where did this plan start?

I knew that I want to travel either in May or June but about a week ago I hadn’t done any plans yet. Then I got promotional email from Ryanair saying that flight from Tampere (near the place where I live currently) to Bremen would be only 30€. How could I not buy that flight ticket? After that I had a small problem aka flights back to Finland were too expensive.

I was thinking and thinking until I found out that flights to London from Bremen were only 10€. Of course I had to go there then! But I just visited London and even if I love that city, I really wanted to experience something new. Buying train ticket to Brighton felt almost like a natural thing to do. I have wanted to visit that city for the longest time. I am not even sure why but it just seems like a place I would love.

After booking hostels to my destinations and travel tickets, I still had one big problem… No plan how could I come back to Finland. I am not going to lie. Never coming back may have crossed in my mind. However, I have university entrance exam at the end of May and my sister’s graduation party at June. There is no way I would skip those so I had to come up with non-expensive way of travel from UK to Finland. That’s not easy.

I had to do some planning, desperate searching and counting my budget for too many times before I finally found flight from London to Riga and from there to Helsinki. Not the most easiest one but cheap and the timing was perfect.

This plan was now ready but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t plan more travels during the current week. We have had been speaking about trip to Rome with my mom. After traveling a lot during the last two years I have finally collected enough Finnair points to get free lights to anywhere in Europe. Surprisingly there was also deal to get free lights using lesser points than usually. So, Rome here we come in August!

What to do in Bremen & Brighton?

I really don’t have idea what to do in Bremen but I have some ideas for Brighton. But I would like some tips if anyone knows something about these cities. If I have understood correctly Bremen is quite artsy city with not so many things to do except walking around the city. And then there is of course a few museums I want to visit. After watching some photos it looks similar to Poland’s Gdansk I visited earlier this year.

Then there is Brighton, one of my dream destinations. I have wanted to visit here for the longest time. Mostly because of the huge pier they have. But also because Brighton just seems like a city I would fit in and totally fall in love. It seems like city full of cute shops, cafes, street art and atmosphere. Oh, there is also the world’s oldest aquarium! 

I have also been searching some cool walking tours and events in both cities. For Brighton I have found maybe too many options (oh, my poor wallet…) but for Bremen no luck yet. Any recommendations?

 

Sorry for the odd post but today is Eurovision day so I didn’t have a lot of time to write! Like always all comments are welcome. Does anyone have any recommendations for Brighton, Bremen, London or maybe Rome? (Also thoughts about Eurovision are more than welcome. Anyone as big Eurovision freak as me?)

With love,

Viivi Severina

Tips For Solo Female Travelers

Happy International Women’s Day all fellow female travelers!

Traveling as solo female traveler is adventure not any man can even imagine. There is many small things you have to remember if you decide to do adventure as solo female traveler. Not all countries are as safe or as comfortable to go without male company or safe group. It’s kind of annoying that gender can affect our lives so much but this is our society and we have to deal with it.

Women’s Day is often seen as the celebration for independent and strong girls. And that’ why I wanted to share today some tips for all women who want to travel alone. I may not be the best person to give these tips but this text is based on my own experiences and observations.

I hope you will enjoy my tips. And I hope you will keep traveling even if many people seem to think that solo female travelers are just playing with the fire. Let’s show them some girl power, shall we?

1. Trust people but doubt everyone.

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Photos from: unsplash

I often hear that as female traveler I shouldn’t believe anyone (especially men). You may follow this advice blindly but I have one I think fits traveling better. Trust everyone but always doubt anything said for you. 

Trusting people has taken me to the most amazing experiences. Getting tour around Tokyo by super nice local girl, going around Helsinki with fellow travel blogger (when my friends thought I would surely get murdered) and maybe the funniest memory: forgetting my umbrella when it was raining and random person offering to walk me back to my hostel so I don’t get wet. If I hadn’t trusted those strangers I would have never ended up to the most memorable situations of my life.

Some people may call me starry-eyed and naive but trusting people doesn’t mean that I am not on my toes in these situations. I trust people but I doubt everyone. And when i say everyone I mean literally everyone because you never know what are the people’s true nature if you have only known them for a short moment.

2. Be ready to lie if needed.

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When you travel alone as girl you have to be ready to use all your actor skills. Walking alone at night? Talk to phone like you are having conversation with your beloved badass boyfriend. Too enthusiastic wooer? You are waiting for you best friend and can’t talk right now. Make stories ready before traveling so when you have to do some acting it feels natural to lie.

This may sound funny or stupid but sooner or later as female solo traveler you will feel need to escape some kind of situation. If you want to take this to next level some woman travelers use fake wedding rings to avoid unwanted attention.

3. Girls are confident, strong and cool.

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Whatever you were boy or girl acting like local can save you from many problems “normal” tourists have to face. One of the key features I think is important for surviving as solo female traveler is being confident, strong minded and seem cool but kind. The truth is that “bad people” try to find easy targets so you have to make yourself someone who will probably survive anything.

  • So how to act like you belong to this new unknown city you are visiting as solo female traveler? It is easier than it may sound like. (Maybe I should write longer post about this subject?) Walk like you know where you are going.
  • Throw away maps and download them to your phone so you can check them like you were just reading text message.
  • Always listen to music or act like you are listening to music. Put headphones on and listen to your favorite songs. It will calm you down but also make you fit in better. No lost scared tourist would close the world away with music. If you hate music or feel like you want to hear what is happening around you, you can just listen quietness and act like you are listening to music.
  • When in need ask help but continue your way after that like you own the whole city.
  • Practice basic words (thanks, sorry, etc.) and use them while smiling sweetly. If someone asks you something tell them confidently that you are not living here so you can’t help them. Being honest is the best in these situations.

4. Say no! (And yes…)

For me the hardest thing to learn has been how to say no. Believe me you have to learn and use that word a lot. No, I am not bying anything. No, I am not going to that shady looking bar you are trying to track me because they will pay you if I go inside. No, no, no… But between saying no to everyone you have to learn when is the right situation to use yes. That one small word will get you to the most amazing adventures. Don’t be afraid to say yes to other people but more importantly to yourself.

5. Check everything before going.

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Where is closest police station? From where you can get help if needed? What time sun sets? Is there any areas you should avoid or be careful in? Is there any known scams or other warnings happening in the area? When does the last bus/metro leave and if you miss it what can you do?

You should do some research before going. Not only about the places but also how to survive in bad situations or who to trust when in trouble. Not police can be trusted in all countries and not all places are safe to go alone as female traveler. Even if you will probably survive without checking things before your trip knowing as much as possible will calm your mind and make the travel experience more enjoyable.

6. Trust your instincts.

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At first this may sound funny but I think it is the best safety net one can have. Our instincts are usually the first thing telling us that something is wrong or that we should definitely run from this dangerous situation. If you feel like person isn’t trustworthy or that you are taken to place you don’t want to go just say no.

Even if you don’t realize it your brains keep reading other people and their body language. If someone is acting threateningly or if the situation quickly changes to weird, it is your instincts that make the alarms go off in your head. Sometimes our instinct may be wrong but it is better to be safe than dead in side alley because you didn’t trust your own judgement.

7. Know the risks and dangers.

It may feel uncomfortable and unpleasant to think these thing but before deciding to travel alone you should truthfully tell yourself all the problems you may have to face or risks you are taking. If even after thinking trough all of those you feel like traveling is the only option for you, you are ready.

8. Don’t think too much and just go.

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You will often meet skeptic people and probably your own family or friends will try to change your mind about traveling as solo female traveler. Lonely woman who is traveling is often seen as crazy person who is just trying to find the trouble. Our society even now thinks that women can’t travel the world alone like men.

You shouldn’t listen these people. Of course there is some dangers and risks that only female solo travelers have to face but other than that girls are as capable to travel as boys. If world is place where women have to stay in kitchen just so we can live and not get in danger, I don’t know if I even want to be here anymore. Is staying back home and not risking it by traveling life worth of living? Maybe for some people but definitely not for me.

So, I will keep solo traveling as lonely totally risk hazard female and I courage you to do the same. Let’s enjoy our lives and not believe those who don’t believe in us. Happy Women’s Day everyone!

 

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Like always feel free to tell your thought and tips on the comments. Have you any bad or surprisingly good experiences as female traveler? Or if you are man what is your view to this whole “female solo traveler” thing?

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

Lost Viivi

 

Photo Diary: Lost in Finnish Forest

So, when you are short of time (because I may have got invited suddenly to summer job interview) and you live in Finland there is one subject you can always write without any problems. Our beautiful forests. Where ever you go in Finland you can find forests. It is our tourists magnet and beloved part of our lives.

I could not imagine my life without small trips to isolated quiet forests. I have done something like this before but I don’t think there can ever be enough photos of Finnish beauty. I hope you can enjoy these winter photos from Finnish forest.

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Have you ever visited Finnish forest? Or has your home country/city a lot of nature? Like always all comments are welcome. (And you would make me the happiest person on this planet if you followed my new Facebook page.Thanks!)

Best regards,

Viivi Severina

10 Quotes That Inspire Me To Travel

I am addicted to quotes. What would be better way of using my love for quotes than sharing my favorites with you? So here is 10 travel quotes to awake your wanderlust.

1.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. DREAM. Discover.” – Mark Twain

2.

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“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

3.

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place,  like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.” – Azar Nafisi

4.

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

5.

“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” – Isabelle Eberhardt

6.

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“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

7.

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” – Oscar Wilde

8.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

9.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller

10.

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal.” – Paulo Coelho

 

So, what are your favorite travel quotes? I am always happy to find new inspiring or motivating quotes to help my wanderlust. Also sorry for this short not so good post. School is killing me slowly and painfully…

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With love,

Viivi Severina