Travel Rant: Fall in Love

Don’t be scared to fall in love. And no, I’m not talking about that cute backpacker boy or the hot local guide.

Fall in love with new places, the inspiring experiences and most importantly with yourself.

After that you can hit up with all the handsome and beautiful people you meet on your travels or in life generally. This may sound corny but loving yourself first is important. Trust me I know what I’m talking about.

Being scared of life is somehow been normal feeling for me as long as I can remember. It has been easier to follow someone and make sure you will never be alone. When pushed to experience something new my survival guide used to be: find new friend, follow them everywhere like a lost puppy, a little by little get attached to them too much and in the end get lost even more.

This changed when I did my first solo travel trip year ago. I took my 20 years old self to adventure I had always dreamed about but never believed to accomplish. For the first time in my life I followed my own nose and learned how to love myself.

It’s not easy but it will happen naturally. Just keep doing what you want and don’t always listen to others. Not even if they seem to be the love of your life. Being alone seems scary but it will make your learn a lot about yourself. What do you really like?

You have a whole day ahead of you. No one to tell you where to go. Your day is full of choices and you have to make them. Will you wake up early or sleep until the noon? Do you want to eat in safe McDonald’s or try something suspicious looking local cuisine? What do you want to do with your life?

Loving yourself seems so hard. For me it has meant to like the way I look, decide my own destiny and be proud of the things I have accomplished. At the age of 20 and before I left my home to wander neither of those were true. I hated my appearance and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was totally lost.

After I had spend some time alone and listened my own opinions there was change. I began to like the person staring me back from mirror. She wasn’t yet beautiful but something in her eyes screamed happiness and that made her perfect in my eyes. That made me love her, myself. Without even trying I had finally fallen in love with myself.

I didn’t still had direction for my life or any remarkable achievements. But I didn’t need them. Twenty years I had tried to form perfect me to fall in love with but it only took one month to realize that wasn’t what I needed. The perfect me wasn’t the one I would love.

What I am trying to say with this somehow confusing piece of my mind is to listen yourself. Love the person you are. Be with yourself before you give your soul to someone else. I have seen so many of my friends falling head over heels and then their relationships have ended because they don’t know their own self well enough.

Traveling solo is the way I figured this out and I think it is the easiest way. Alone in the country you don’t know and people speaking language you can’t understand it’s easier to get closer yourself.

Maybe I’m wrong but this is my opinion. This is how I see the world.

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I know I promised to publish the London travel diary today but I have been sick so here is old travel rant I wrote months ago. Suprisingly, travel rants have been quite popular posts in my blog. Also, I have the most fun writing these pieces even if they don’t make a lot of sense. So here is another travel rant and be aware that there will be even more of them in the future!

With love,

Viivi Severina

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Travel Rant: Insane Courage

 

I’m addicted to getting lost.

Walking unknown paths, not having map, getting scared of unfamiliar streets.

Some people would say I am crazy. And maybe that is why I keep most of my lost adventures secret from my loved ones. Traveling alone as twenty something girl looking all lost in country you have never visited before. Crazy? For me not.

It’s living. Having the feeling of something. Finding new places you would have never seen if you hadn’t taken the step towards scary and uncertain. Meeting people you would have never believed to know and finding unexpected friendships.

I used to live safely and never take the risks. My life was miserable and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. One quote changed my life. A couple of sentences that I chant in my head if I feel like going back to my safe but grim life.

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” -Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo

It took me twenty seconds to book my first three months solo trip to Japan.It took me twenty seconds to say yes when I was asked to come and visit people I didn’t even know properly to France. Twenty seconds insane courage to talk with stranger in train. (Later on because of her I got to see the local side of Tokyo.)

So when I go and don’t look my map. When I don’t know where I am or where should I go. I count the twenty seconds and follow the first idea coming to my mind. And then I go. Maybe I open the door of closest shop or take the small dirty looking back alley. I may be stupid doing it. I may even end up being scared for my life and safety. But never do I regret those twenty seconds.

insane

I hope you will remember this later on in your life. Some decisions don’t need thorough thinking but bravery. Now ask yourself what you want to do with your life. 20 seconds what comes to your mind? For me it’s to travel and if you are reading my blog I bet for you it’s too. So another 20 seconds, don’t think too much and make your life your own.

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I have been busy lately and got thrown to totally new environment without warning. So I thought this text was fitting one for me to publish now. It has been on my drafts folder for ages and I just haven’t found the right time for it to appear in my blog. No I needed reminder of that 20 seconds. It really helps.

With love,

Viivi Severina

Travel Diary: Camping with 17 000 People

Week ago I left to scout summer camp and had amazing two days. 17 000 people camping together in forest and having the best times of their life. And then I become sick and had to return home. How unlucky can I be?

Because I spend so short time in the camp this travel diary will be only 4 photos long. I hope those moments are enough to present you what it’s like to be in scout camp in Finland. More photos from the camp’s official website HERE.

camping

Huge scout camps are always interesting because you get to meet so many different aged, nationality and other way new kind of people. This time we has swedes sharing our small part of the camp. If I had stayed for longer I would been “working” with many different nationalities.

The first time went by building our camp and setting up tents. I was feeling a little bit unwell already but pushed the feeling aside. Fortunately I got to see the camp and everything build there. Tree houses and amazing gates to the sub-camps.

camp

The last thing on our first day was opening ceremony. It’s quite magical feeling when 17 000 people squeeze to look same stage in the middle of forest. There was fire show, music and funny moments. Different nationalities showed of their skills and introduced cultures.

Everything was okay but at the end (handsome) boys took over and everyone went wild. Usually scouts are seen as teens who help grandmas over streets and sell cookies. In reality we can be anything. And at this moment everyone were dancing, having fun and not caring about the world outside our own small city.

scouts

I was almost mid night when the show finally ended but fortunately in Finland we have bright summer nights. Then everyone tried to go and eat at the same time and everything was in chaos for a while. I was totally ready to go sleep at this point but I still had to line up to get in toilet.

I fall asleep quickly but woke up in the middle of night when someone tried to get to their sleeping place over me. After that I couldn’t sleep and was feeling super sick. I decided to take short walk and hope my state would get better. It didn’t but I got to witness the sleeping camp.

It’s magical to walk around in total silence. You know there is thousands of people around you but you can’t see anyone. It’s not dark but gloomy. Shadows and mist everywhere. I didn’t have my phone with me so no photos of that beautiful moment. Sometimes it makes good for you to just appreciate something without the camera ready.

forest

This is photo is from my first (and last) morning in the camp and also the moment when I felt so sick that I realized my only option was return home. It’s terrible feeling. You have been waiting for something to happen so long and then your body betrays you and there is nothing to do.

Well at least I get to experience the first night and meet some friends after long time. (I’m trying to keep being positive…) 

Have you ever been on huge camp? Or had to cancel something you have anticipated because of sickness?

I hope you enjoyed today’s travel diary and see you soon!

With love,

Viivi Severina

The Cool Hostel Worker

Like the title says I’m going to write about being hostel worker. I haven’t spoken a lot about my experiences volunteering in hostels so I though it would be useful information (and two stories) to share with you. Now I am going to tell one story and next week share another one and speak generally about working in hostels.

The story I am going to tell you today happened when I was volunteering two months in Japan trough site called Helpx. I had the best times of my life even if I was still shy at talking for people because of my broken English. The months working there taught me a lot and got me hooked to hostel living.

 

The Story Of Cool Hostel Worker

I had been one month in Kyoto and the work was becoming more and more like everyday life for me. In the mornings I cleaned for three hours, day time went exploring the city and at nights I socialized with the hostel guests. Usually I mentioned after a while for the people I met that in the fact yes I worked and lived in this tiny homey hostel.

One night I met this kind couple who told me they were touring around Japan. We talked a shortly before they went to sleep and I didn’t even realize how me working in the hostel hadn’t come up in the conversation. That was also normal thing because even if I took pride of my job (and if guest praised me I got free food from the boss) getting to know the people and their stories was the most interesting part for me.

Next morning the couple was just memory in my head and I started the cleaning with my co-workers. We were coming to my dorm room and also the room I had shared with the kind couple. I kept cleaning like always even if I heart someone from my room say good morning to my boss.

I finished cleaning the corridor and walked in the room to help changing the linens. The couple from last night was talking happily and backing their things. They of course greeted me and carried on their own conversation. However soon they both went quiet and I felt eyes on my back.

“Wait do you work here?” question I did hear surprisingly often. I answered shortly yes and kept answering to their follow-up interest about my working hours, how I ended up here, etc.

Soon they realized that they were going to be late if they didn’t leave right away. I said my goodbyes to them and continued the cleaning.

“You are so lucky and cool! I want to be like you!” I never would have guessed someone to tell me that so the boys last words didn’t even register for me first. His girlfriend agreeably shouted goodbye and good luck for me. Then they were gone and I never saw them again. I was so shocked that I couldn’t even thank them and wish good travels.

This is my small good memory. I wanted to share it with you because after that day I made huge realization. I was the person. With the person I mean the one who so many others just dream to be. Someone who sees the world, works in hostels and most importantly lives freely.

I had become someone I had so often wished to be. And so I started this blog, decided to make my life my own and promised to keep traveling.

 

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I hope you enjoyed today’s story. You are going to get the bad hostel working story on Tuesday and on Monday sum-up about the pros and cons of working in hostels. Like always if you have something to say the comments are open for you to share your thoughts.

And by the way you may have realized that I decided to change my username to my real name. So no more Neidotta. You can find me now with name Viivi Severina (and lostsneakers) from all my social medias and blogs.

See you soon!

Viivi Severina

“Beautiful” word from stranger

I have met kind people around the world. I have got new friends I will never meet again and memories staying with me forever. I wanted to share this story about the woman who impacted me greatly. I’m thankful to her and will be probably until the end of my life.

“Beautiful” How can one word change person?

It was my first week volunteering in Kyoto. I lived in small hostel free for working three hours day and it had taken only a couple of days for me to feel like in home. At daytime I explored the city and the nights I spend writing in the hostel’s common room. In one of those nights I met her.

She was older lady and I never really get to know what she did in the hostel. The language barrier between us was huge. I didn’t know Japanese and she didn’t speak English. However she kept talking to me and I tried to understand.

Soon I get to know that she knew one word in English. Beautiful. She told me just that. You beautiful. No one has ever called me beautiful. I have never felt particularly pretty. When I went to school people used to call me ugly and it has always stayed with me.

Beautiful. That one word and her kind eyes changed me. Nowadays when I feel ugly or worthless I recall that moment and feel better. That one moment and stranger impacted me for the rest of my life.

I didn’t see her the night after and come to the conclusion she had stayed only one night. I hoped I would have talked more with her. But like a magic and destiny I get to meet her once again. After two months and my last week in Japan we met like old friends.

I spend the night in common room like always and she came in. She put her things next to met and while she cooked we tried to talk like the last time. This time too she kept calling me beautiful and I even got to thank her. She was like angel with her bright smile.

Then she put plate in front of me and surprised me once again. She had cooked a miso soup for me. Even if I tried to say she shouldn’t or would she take some of my food as returning favor she didn’t take any of it. It was the perfect last week for my Japan trip.

I know I am probably not going to meet that woman again. I wil remember her. The kindness and the one word he was able to say in English. Beautiful. You just can’t forgot person like her.

 

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I didn’t have time to write anything long today (trying to back for my Sweden trip) so I came up with this memory. I have been thinking about writing “story times” or my memories once in while but I don’t know would those be interesting.

Have you met kind strangers? I think this world is full of kind people and I hope I will meet more of them while traveling. Maybe in the future I will write about all the people I have met on my travels.

With love and wanderlust,

Viivi Severina