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

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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

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Different side of Rome

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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!

Don’t forget to follow my InstagramFacebook and Twitter!

With love,

Lost Viivi

Great Plans & Lost Motivation

I am here again. Maybe I am back, maybe I am not. At least I am trying and that’s the most important thing, right? I wanted to start blogging again by sharing my future travel and blogging plans with you. I just returned from Italy and I am leaving again next week so that alone should tell you that the rest of my year is going to be full of adventures.

Budapest and Something More

So, next week I am flying to Budapest. I will stay there a few days before continuing to Bratislava and Prague by bus. I still haven’t planned the last week of my two weeks adventure in east Europe so if anyone has any recommendations of cities to visit I would be more than happy to hear them. Budapest has been on my “visit as soon as possible” list for some time now so when I got good flight deal there was no way for me to skip this possibility. The other places I am going to visit are just extra thing to make this adventure perfect.

Iceland and NEW YORK

I have wanted to visit Iceland for the longest time but combining it with my first USA trip is like a dream come true. I am going to New York. NEW YORK!! Can you believe that? I surely don’t. My trip happens in November and December. I will be staying almost week in Iceland and after that a few weeks in New York. Once again if you have any recommendations or travel tips for these destinations I would appreciate any help. The trip is going to be even better because I will meet one of my travel blogger friends in Iceland. It’s always so amazing to see someone else who is as passionate as I am about traveling and writing about it.

Copenhagen and Malmö, maybe?

Because I have long free period between this east Europe adventure and my trip to Iceland and USA there is enough space for one more bigger trip. I have been thinking about going to Copenhagen and Malmö. It’s not that expensive from Finland and both of these cities seem interesting. Has anyone visited them? Are they worth of going? Or then if I can get cheap deal I will literally go anywhere. We will see…

Remote Open University

And for those who don’t know yet… I think that I have finally found the right university path for myself! This autumn I will start studying towards creative writing degree in Finnish remote open university. After I have used about three years (if I don’t run out of money first…) to studying I will transfer to “real university” and graduate from there. Then I just have to start looking for interesting master’s degree. For the first time I think that this will be the thing I can study for the next three years or even longer.

Working, working, working…

To live this life style I have decided (paying for open university tuition and traveling too much for my own good…) I have to earn money. Currently I am working on Fiverr and have my main income coming from there. I have also been thinking about finding other freelancer sites like Fiverr to get even more customers. I haven’t yet found way to make money with my blog but I am not even sure if I want.

Plans for my blog

And finally we can talk about some plans for my blog. I am currently trying to make proper time for blogging in my not very busy schedule but I have lost my motivation. I think it must be because so many people are reading what I have to say and it’s stressing me out too much. I will try to return to my two times a week schedule. I have already planned a posts for the next few weeks and I have at least one guest post coming up here in my blog next Wednesday. There is also many travel stories I haven’t yet shared with you so hopefully I will find my motivation and write about them.

Also don’t forget to follow my InstagramFacebook and Twitter!

Like always all comments are welcome and I would appreciate all travel tips for the destinations I have mentioned. What do people do when they have lost blogging motivation? I truly want to write more but it is just so hard to start…

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

Lost Viivi

Travel Rant: Dear Mom & Dad…

Warning! Very personal rant ahead…

 

Dear mom & dad,

(and all other family members, friends and curious strangers),

you can’t stop me so please let me do my own thing. Sorry.

I didn’t know how to tell this for you face to face so here I am writing my blog. You know me and that’s why this may not be so huge surprise. I have booked a trip. Or well several trips to be exact. Adventures around the world. I have done some planning and that’s never a good thing from your point of view.

This coming autumn I will do a few week trips around Europe. I will go to Iceland because it has been my dream to visit that cold country as long as I can remember. I will finally visit America for the first time in my life. And if I get a good last minute deal to anywhere, I will take it.

But don’t worry. My autumn won’t be just all fun and games. Or well it kind of will be but in the good way. You already know that I will start studying creative writing in remote open university. During this autumn I’m planning to write a lot. And when I say that I mean A LOT. The last week I have been planning my autumn’s time management. I want to give even more time for blogging. Because I need money to do all this I will take even more jobs from internet. I have everything planned out.

I know you hope that I would just “get a job” or “go to real school” but it’s not that simple.

Why do you think I have been changing my plans so much lately? Veterinary, translation, literature, business, media studies. The universities I have been applied to have been all over the place. And then for some reason I have never found the strength to study enough to get in. I am not stupid, I just don’t have any motivation to get in any of those schools.

After reading about this creative writing course I felt like everything just made so much more sense. Can you even understand how excited and happy I am right now? I don’t think I have been waiting anything this enthusiastically since the time I started in high school. And even then it didn’t feel as right choice as this one does.

I know that creative writing isn’t exactly the most paying job. And I know that using all my savings to travel sounds immature and just plainly stupid. This won’t be the easiest route and there would probably be a lot better choices I could have made. BUT I will regret the rest of my life if I don’t try living the way I want right now.

The point of this small post was to tell you that this next year and probably during the rest of my life I will be doing a lot of decisions that may seem idiotic to you. The way I spend money traveling may seem reckless. And the things I decide to study will probably sound as useless as possible. But I hope you remember that this is MY LIFE and that I have to do this because if I just accept the normal path everyone else is taking I will never know if taking the crazy path would have worked out just fine.

So please, just accept the things I do. Because even if you aren’t here for me during this crazy adventure, I will keep going towards the future I want.

With love,

Your oldest child
Viivi

Travel Diary: Bremen

My Bremen-London-Brighton trip is already over but I enjoyed every moment on the road. I am again a little late but today I want to share with you my days in Bremen. Are you ready for another probably boring travel adventure? I hope you enjoy!

Day 1: Wait, Bremen is COOL?!

After reading things from internet and seeing some photos of Bremen I truly thought it would be just city I was passing by quickly to get somewhere else. The photos I saw looked so dull and gray. Why didn’t I find any photos of colorful street art, charming tiny alleys or beautiful parks when researching? Apparently many people travel to Bremen because it is cheap but this city doesn’t get as much recognition as it should.

I really want to return there because I liked the feeling of being traveler in Bremen but two full days were quite enough to see the major attractions. If anyone is now planning Bremen trip, I recommend staying for a weekend. It seems like perfect European weekend gateway destination. However, for longer time it may be a little boring if you don’t decide to do day trips to cities close by like Hamburg.

Travel Blog: Bremen

But now back to my first day! This trip started totally differently than my travels usually do. No early wake up or long way to the airport. I had evening flight from Tampere to Bremen. My flight only costed 30€ and it is one of the reasons I decided to go in the first place. I am all for the cheap trips and budget traveling.

My dad drove me to the airport and I may have been a little surprised of the size of Tampere’s airport. I knew it was small but never thought THAT SMALL. Surprisingly I have lived my whole life near Tampere but have never visited our own airport! In addition to being amazed by the small size of the airport I soon noticed that I had to share my flight with too exited group of teens on field trip. Fortunately, they didn’t sit next to me on the plane even if Ryanair gives the seats to you randomly.

Travel Blog Flying

Instead I got very talkative man next to me. One of the first things he told me was that he got parachute in his bag right above us so if we crashed he was ready to save me. I didn’t know should I feel comfortable or even more scared. And he never made clear if it was normal thing for him to fly with parachute or if he was going to use it in the destination. You never know about people you meet during traveling.

After my short flight I arrived to Bremen’s airport and literally walked trough the customs without any slow downs. The place seemed dead. There was only people from our flight, a few staff members and no one else. Then outside of the airport I was totally in trouble. Everyone, remember to research how to get from airport to your accommodation before you are in foreigner country without internet! 

Travel Blog: Bremen

Fortunately, I wasn’t alone. Next to me was this Asian girl who later told me that she studied in Finland and she was here to meet her boyfriend. We tried to find the tram together and then she even taught me how to buy right tram tickets (not as easy as it sounds like). She seemed nice but I lost her after getting on the tram.

My problems continued in the tram but once again I had nice people who were able to help me. I don’t know why but in Bremen’s tram your ticket won’t fit in the ticket machine where you should mark it. Who the heck has designed thing like that? Friendly group of local boys fortunately shoved me the logical solution: fold your ticket. I would have never figured out that by myself!

Like I said before, I wasn’t expecting a much from Bremen. Maybe that’s why it was love in the first sight. I stepped out of the tram in city centre. Old buildings all around me, students laughing and running over the tram tracks, trams passing by in lines. The last straw for me to be amazed was weather. You know that moment before storm when everything looks so fresh and vibrant. Sun is still shining but you can see dark clouds in the horizon.

Travel Blog: Bremen

I started walking to the direction I believed was right one (probably the first and last time in my life when I was right!) I had to walk past old buildings and old bridge. Then between two sides of the amazing park going through whole Bremen. And lastly to the area full of graffiti and artsy cafes. Later on I will tell you that this artsy area I totally fell in love with wasn’t as nice as I believed but first let’s talk about my hostel.

My hostel was nice and cozy. I got my key and basic information easily before going towards my new room for the next three nights. I scored lower bed but had to take bed that was in place where you will literally see everyone when they come to or leave the room. As shy person that’s good and bad thing. Why? Well, it is the easiest way to make friends in hostel. Just greet them with smile. However, after a while it will get tiring to not have your own hiding place.

Travel Blog: Bremen

It took a few hours and one trip to close-by convenience store (I may have bought too big bag of candies that took over my backpack and that I still have somewhere even if I gave them as souvenirs for my family and friends…) before I began meeting people in the hostel. There was a lot of people who had been on same plane as me. Finns talking everywhere. Surprisingly, I didn’t make friends with any of them but rather talked a little with some German guests. Pro tip for any traveler meeting Finns. We usually want to talk but we are just super quiet and don’t want to disturb anyone so you have to talk for us first.

Day 2: My Inner Science Nerd

I woke up late. Like breakfast was already over late but that’s wasn’t really problem for me because that food was expensive. However it was problem for a older hostel guest who was staying in same dorm room with me. He kept telling me that I should go to eat because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I have no idea how the old hostel guests always want to take care of me. I feel like there is always someone who gets worried for my bad eating habits or wild adventures.

pink_cafe_bremenAfter my late start for the day I walked towards the closest metro stop. On my way I bought some food and ate it on the go. My tram trip was towards Universum Bremen museum. I love science museums but usually skip them while traveling because of the high prices. Visiting Universum was one of the best decisions I did in Bremen. That place was amazing! I can totally recommend.

16 euros (11 euros if you are student) sounds high but with that price you could stay the whole day in this interactive museum. Definitely better place if you have friends with you because then you can truly embarrass yourself while trying all the thing. For solo travelers this is quicker stop but still fun way to spent your one extra day in Bremen.

Bremen museums Universum

Only bad side was that it’s not the easiest place to find. I may have jumped of the tram like two kilometers too early. There is so many stops that have similar names. And then I couldn’t of course wait for the next tram because it would have been embarrassing! So, I did what any awkward traveler who is too scared to take public transportation would have done. I walked.

When you come to the Universum building, you will recognize it from the whale like shape. However the main door isn’t in that building but on another one across the street. This museum has three parts. The first building with changing exhibitions and lobby. Whale looking building with the interactive exhibitions. And lastly outside area with adventure park. All of them are worth of checking out but I would use most of you time in the interactive area.

Universum museum BremenHere is small list of my favorite things in Universum:

  • Playing with small artificial tornado. It was like normal tornado but a lot smaller and you were allowed to touch it.
  • Dark labyrinth. There was room where you couldn’t see anything and then you had to walk towards trough all these strange rooms. There was sounds, weird materials, soft floor, different objects, smell and all kind of things expect sense of seeing.
  • Intelligent computers. I totally fell for the computer area. There was all kind of tests for you and computers who knew things. Well, at least they tried to know things. This one computer was meant to tell your age, gender and current emotion if you stood in front of its camera. Wanna guess what it told about me? Apparently I am middle-aged angry man… Yeah, so correct…
  • Aquariums and turtles! As person who used to study animals you can totally charm me with just showing me some animals. Aquariums and turtles have always interested me. I could spend hours just looking at them.

This list was just short example of things you can find from Universum. The interactive area has four floors so there is a lot of things to try.

Universum_park

Maybe the funniest thing during my visit here was that I had expected children and maybe teens but the museum was full of old ladies, a few romantic couples and me. So, I can recommend this for people of any age. Everyone I saw was having a lot of fun.

After taking another tram trip back to the city center I meant to go back to my hostel and rest for a while. Didn’t go as planned. When I exited the tram the old narrow streets just attracted me too much. I had to go and adventure a little more.

I can’t really say anything about the old city expect that it is worth of visit. Aesthetically appealing would be the right term. Especially when it’s sunny. So, I spent a few hours just walking around and visiting small shops. Then I ended up to newer part of the center and shopping small. That took even more of my time!

Travel Blog: Bremen

Bremen has a lot of shops selling cards with cool texts. I of course had to buy one travel themed card but later on was disappointed… Why? My mom told me that they sell exactly same card in her shop… She takes all the joy out of my travel shopping. Every time I find something cool I realize that I could get the same thing from my mom’s shop.

After walking all day my feet were literally dead. Wearing high-heel sneakers wasn’t probably the best possible choice. But hey at least those shoes look super nice? I returned to my hostel and felt wanted just to sleep. Instead of sleeping I went on my computer because as basic member of my age group day without computer would be impossible. Also I had some writing jobs to do and after traveling too much this year every penny counts.

I am happy that I decided to surf around the internet for a while because one of my roommates happened to leave the room with his computer in his hands. Surprisingly we had exactly same computers and having something identical with your hostel roommate means that you are automatically new best friends. We talked a little but then he had to work and I had to work and we decided to talk more later on.

Travel Blog: Bremen

I knew that I should rest for a while but my feet took me out of the hostel. I ended up visiting the close-by art museum. I have always loved art so I have nothing to complain about. Except well I may have accidentally interrupted some kind of art therapy yoga class. The last room of this museum had big windows and it was huge open space. There was art on the walls and a few sculptures on the floor but about five people in the middle of the room made me freeze.

One of the five was walking around and speaking while the rest of them had their eyes closed and stood in odd positions. For a moment I didn’t know if I should exit or just keep going. You never know in these modern art galleries if people are doing something important or if they are performing art as part of the exhibition. I think that one person who was walking around saw the horror in my eyes because he smiled and motioned me to continue my way around the museum.

Travel Blog: Bremen

Do I even have to say that I left that last room too quickly? I don’t even care that I paid to see the exhibition. That situation was too awkward for me to worry about lost money.

After the frightening museum experience I decided to walk a little bit around the are full of pretty graffiti before returning to my hostel for the second time on that evening. This time I stayed, spend some time in the common room and then went to bed too late.

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Have you ever visited Bremen? Or have you had anyone interesting sitting next to you in plane? All comments are welcome like always! And sorry for my blogging silence. I have had total lost of inspiration but I think I am slowly getting over it. Thanks for all the old and new people who are reading my blog. I will come back soon with another as boring and long travel article.

Have an amazing day!
With love,

Viivi Severina