Traveling the rest of my life?

Today we are going to talk about how I plan to travel around the world for the rest of my life. My dreams may be stupid and some of them impossible but I’m just not a person who can stand in one place for too long. Until the end, I will always be a traveler or wanderer who just can’t live life without adventures! (Be prepared for long and boring writings by me. For those who don’t have the patience to read check out just the bold sentences.)

Two weeks ago I talked about my plans for the future and how I would like to travel the world rather than live the life others call normal. ‘Hasan asked on that post:

I have a question though, you mentioned about deciding to take university or not cause it might get stuck in the way of your travels, how do you manage everything? Like I think if I start going around the world I will HAVE TO abandon the work and everything and if I do that, there is no way I can earn enough to be able to travel around the world or at least some places which I intend to.
I will love to get your thoughts and suggestions about it, thanks.

After I started to think how to respond I realized one life-changing fault in my own travel dreams. I have never written down what is my plan and how could I keep traveling full time for years. It’s quite funny because I am usually the person who scribbles her every thought in whatever paper she finds. That’s why I’m a writer, blogger and well dreamer.

So today I am going to tell you my plan. (I am making this up right now so let’s see how it goes…) Maybe this will help other travelers reading this, maybe not. I think everyone has their own path of coming nomad and this is just how I have planned to do it. There is no wrong way of coming traveler or so I hope…

1. Save Money to Travel

The harsh reality is that you can’t start traveling if you don’t have money. For me, this is the easy part. I don’t drink alcohol (no offense to those who do but it just tastes terrible for me) so I can save the money I would hypothetically spend to drinks. What are you ready to give up to achieve your travel dreams?

I’m cutting down the costs of doing fun things when not traveling. For example, I spend extra time to answer panels that reward you with movie tickets. Earlier this year I started doing mystery shopping which rewards me with present cards. So basically try to spend as little money as possible to the not essential things. It’s good to make a habit of saving money because you have to continue to save money while traveling.

2. Make Money If You Don’t Have Any

I have of course thought possibilities to start traveling even if I don’t have any savings at the moment when I decide to go. How to travel for free? I have many plans but my favorite ones are these two…

Working Holiday. Growing your amount of money to spend traveling seems so boring to do at home, right? So why not do it in Australia or New Zealand? I can’t come up any negative answers for that. So one year working and experiencing a new country with the benefits of being able to start your lifelong travels afterward. Not so bad deal.

Work on a cruise ship. Who wouldn’t love waking up every morning in a new place? Even if cruise workers’ life sounds like a dream it is hard work and long hours with not so good pay. However, you get free housing, food, etc. and get to see the world. For me, this sounds the perfect way to raise my travel savings. And it’s basically a way to travel for free!

Funny fact: Both of those are on my bucket list.

3. Save in Travel Expenses

I don’t need business class flights or fast trains. It’s okay to take a cheap night bus or walk around cities. Planning your route from city to city through the cheapest route is important.

For example, flying from Finland to London would cost me over 80 euros but is there a way to travel cheaper? I can start by taking 20 euros flight to Gdansk, Poland. From there it only costs 10 euros to get in Berlin by bus and from Berlin pay 8 euros to get Cologne from where it would take 8 euros to get in Brussels. And in the end from Brussels to London 14 euros. You still with me? After counting everything together it would take 60 euros from Finland to London and I can stop in many places on my way! It’s not easy to travel with almost no costs.

4. Travel & Save in Living Expenses

Work to get free accommodation. After working in a hostel I found from Helpx I was totally hooked to this way of traveling. If you are not familiar with the site let me shortly introduce the idea for you. You work for the place (usually hostel) for 3-5 hours per day and they give you free accommodation. Travelers can easily find free accommodation!

Last year I stayed two months in Kyoto, Japan and didn’t pay anything for the hostel I was staying in. Traveling and living in Kyoto for two months would have cost me almost one thousand euros if I had rented a place or stayed in hostels. For addition to the free stay I got some food, tickets to museums/events and insider tips to the city.

I, however, didn’t fall in love with this way of traveling because all the money I saved on my travels. Every night I met new people in the hostel’s common room. Listening to their stories was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. And their reaction when they heard I was working in the hostel made me realize I was living the life of travel I had been dreaming for: the cool person who works and lives in the hostel and knows all the secrets floating around the city.

5. Find Your Thing

Now when I have theoretically cut down my travel expenses and saved some money I need to find the job I can do while adventuring in the faraway places.

How do I want to spend the rest of my life? What things do I want to do to get money? What am I good at or better than others? Let’s make that your job. As list lover, my way to approach this question was to write down all my skills. Here is part of the list:

-Writing. I attended many years to a creative writing course.
-Solving other people’s problems.
-Making travel plans, finding interesting places from the internet
-Doing web searches and finding the answer to any question
-Reading tarot cards (btw anyone needing their future predicted? :D)
-Taking decent photographs
-Traveling and writing a travel blog about the places I have seen.

6. Work, work, work

Time to make my list sound more like real working opportunities. There are two ways for that: what I hope I can do in future and what I am ready to do. You see, I have always had two dreams. If you have read my travel blog, you know the first one is to adventure around the world. And maybe you can guess that the second dream is to make living by writing.

Writing is something I am going to do even if no one would read my writings. There, however, is almost no change for that to be my income. So what is the real plan?

In the best case scenario I would be able to get some money from this blog, maybe start a youtube channel and review products/holidays/travels from brands I love. In addition that little money I will get from those things a freelancer writing is my keyword. Translating from English to Finnish (after I master my language skills also from Finnish to English). Writing articles, blog posts and whatever. Want someone to write you travel blog post? Feel free to ask!

Making my own writing course is also in a planning stage. I know millions of writing practices and prompts. Maybe selling my problem-solving skills or tarot card readings in Fiverr? People sell crazy stuff there so I would come up with more. Every cent counts.

Writing to Finnish travel magazines is also a big dream with no guarantee to never happen. But girl can hope and dream as much as she likes… Someone, please hire me? (I’m not desperate but millionaire husband would be also a good idea?)

7. Just Travel and Believe in Yourself

Sounds stupid but if I don’t leave because of being scared of not succeeding there is no way of living the life making me happy. I may return back home crying after traveling for a few months but it’s not stopping me from trying. This is the way I want to spend the rest of my life.

EXTRA… Survey Sites

Did I already mention these? Oh, yes in the first point. Before you call me stupid or something I will reveal to you that I am totally hooked to survey sites. And if you pick right ones you will (slowly) collect points towards travel gift cards! So it’s a good way to get some extra spending credit for your adventures.

Just as an example I have been on this site (sorry everyone I think it is only in Finland) starting from the year I turned eighteen. So soon three years. I have had long periods when I haven’t done any surveys so maybe approximately survey once a month during that three years. Guess how many 20 euros gift cards have I received? Six. So if I had used those to get travel gift card I would have enjoyed holiday costing 120 euros.

.    .    .

I hope you enjoyed today’s travel blog post and hearing about my “dream” plan. And like always I would be more than happy to hear your opinions. Do you have any tips for me? Or what kind of plans do you have?

I am now leaving towards Helsinki (Finland’s capital) and boarding a cruise ship towards Sweden. I will see you soon with more travel stories!

With adventurous mind,
Lost Viivi

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Surviving Finland: Music

One of the Finnish stereotypes is heavy music. I mean it is kind of true. We have heavy metal bands more towards person than anywhere in the world. We won Eurovision with hard music and Lordi. It’s normal to see people in band shirts and men with long hair.

Even if the stereotype is kind of true Finnish music is a lot more. Not everyone likes metal, rock or even music at all. Currently rap has taken over Finland and a sad music is always fitting to listen in our dark country. We have many kind of music here and today I am going to introduce some genres for you with sample songs!

 

Let’s sing melancholichally and cry together girls

This used to be one of Finland’s biggest music genres but rap has taken over. Don’t get me wrong we still have many beautiful sad songs singed by desperate women but now we have at least as many rapping strong females.

The example is older song from well-known Finnish artist Jenni Vartiainen. The song literally tells about her ex putting their sex tapes to the internet. Sometimes Finnish hit songs have quite special lyrics but it doesn’t mean it can’t be a sad and melancholic. Vartiainen is perfect example for this music genre.

 

The strong independent girls

Don’t let the tender female voices lead you on because in Finland we have some power ladies. And I say some I mean a whole lot of amazing powerful singers/rappers. The video I recommend you to watch is from Sini Sabotage and presents perfectly the powerful women of Finland.

Just as extra mention this is the song I listen when feeling home sick. When I am trying to sleep on the other side of the world this definitely makes me feel better. This is from far the songs you would except from Finland put this was a huge when it was released. Rhythmic and strong.

 

Rapping about money, girls and odd hairstyles (???)

Rap has always been on Finland but recently rap artists are grown one of our biggest celebrities. When I was young one of the popular artists was rapper Pikku G (nowadays disappeared, probably somewhere not so luxurious…) and teen were totally in love with him. There is list of current rappers: JVG, Nikke Ankara, Prinssi Jusuf and Elastinen.

The one I am going to put as example is Cheek. He is the most popular rapper (and maybe person) in Finland. Our first artist to have Olympia stadium concert and loved by everyone. This video (even if Cheek’s) has other important and famous Finnish artists.

 

The old Idols stars

Our music scene is quite small so same artistes come and go. We had idols contests in years 2003-2013 and many singers have gotten known by it. The music video is from Antti Tuisku, who came to third in our first ever Idols, was forgotten for a long time. Last year he made huge comeback with different style and has charmed out whole gray land with the happy go go songs.

 

The “I don’t even know what our children listen” genre

This first band above is called Hevisaurus (means something like heavy metal dinosaur) and has been quite popular for sometime. Yes our children listen heavy too. Do you have problems with it?

The second children’s song is from Titinalle. This bear has been known for forever. I can sing sll the older songs (I know because I just singed along while trying to find the video to show you). The video looks old because it is old (like it was once VHS old…) This used to be my favorite song so don’t even think of dissing it! (Who can guess about what this song is?)

The third children’s artists I want to mention are called Ella and Aleksi (in Finnish Ella ja Aleksi). This duo has song called Kakkaa Lumella (meaning poo on the snow) and the song tells just about the thing its name is about…Ella and Aleksi is older music and is something I listened when I was child.

 

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Surviving finland heavy metal music

There would be a lot more music genres to explain and introduce but I’m fearing all these videos will slow my blog down. Tell me if you want to get more Finnish music recommendations! If someone wants I will come up way of linking the videos without slowing my blog. (Google please help me…)

I hope you learned something new today about Finnish music and maybe even enjoyed some of the songs (???). I’m sorry you can’t understand the lyrics but to tell you the truth many of our songs have the most absurd lyrics.

For those who have followed me after my last Surviving Finland post. Firstly thank you for reading my blog! I would have never guessed so many people decide to read what I have to say and where I am traveling. Secondly this post is part of my series telling about my home country Finland. Don’t take anything too seriously!

More Surviving Finland posts you can find from HERE.

With pride for her home,

Viivi Severina

13 Free things in Montpellier

Montpellier is a cozy old city full of students and local French tourists. Perfect place to spend summer weekend or visit while in south France. For broke travelers like me, all the free attractions and museums are like a heaven. If you are on a budget but still want to do something fun in Montpellier France, this travel guide is like made for you. Here are the best attractions for those who want to experience Montpellier without a lot of money (or just want to see some pics from my trip…)

1. Office de Tourisme Montpellier

Start your Montpellier trip from here. Check out what free event will be held in Montpellier and decide where you would love to visit. The staff is very helpful and you can get many good tips from them. Locals working in Office de Tourisme are the perfect resource for the current most popular free things to do in Montpellier. And don’t forget to take the free map!

2. Place de la Comedie

The key place of Montpellier. This plaza never sleeps and even at bad weather people walk through this main point of the city. Different performers from clowns to break dancers entertain tourists on weekends. However, Place de la Comedie is still must to visit in Montpellier on not as busy weekdays. Take pictures of the beautiful fountain or relax in any of the countless cafes, bars, and restaurants circling Place de la Comedie. Perfect for people watching and getting to know the local life. It’s also one of the things locals do in Montpellier. (They just happen to people watch the tourists while tourists keep their attention in locals!)

Night in Montpellier
At night Esplanade Charles de-Gaulle is light up beautifully

3. Esplanade Charles de-Gaulle

Starting from Place de la Comedie and ending up to Le Corum (the new opera house) goes boulevard totally worth of your time. Three major Montpellier attractions are situated on this road: Musée Fabre, Le Pavillon Populaire photography museum, and the Office de Tourisme. If you’re on a day trip in Montpellier and don’t want to learn how to use the Montpellier trams, this is a perfect place to start.

In addition to these tourist attractions of Montpellier, funny artsy playgrounds, interesting old sculpture (painted in bright colors), and cute small cafes/shops make this street one of the must-see places in Montpellier and South France. Don’t miss the cool graffiti that are visible after you walk down the Le Corum’s stairs. Like we later tell you, one of the free and funny things to do in Montpellier is going graffiti hunting!

4. Le Pavillon Populaire

Free photography museum. Do I have to say anything else? When I went to Montpellier it wasn’t open so I wish you good luck. Apparently, Le Pavillon Populaire is closed for long times between exhibitions. This is must place to go in Montpellier if it happens to be open. You can see exhibitions from local photographers but also from artists well-known all around the world. Those who love museums should visit this free attraction in Montpellier. Even if you don’t usually travel like an art freak, drop by Le Pavillon Populaire. It’s a totally free thing to do in Montpellier! Just walk in and that’s it.

Wanderlust Wednesday: Montpellier Urban Travel Guide
If you don’t cross any tram tracks, you are still in the central area of Montpellier. You will always find back to the Place de la Comedie using the trams.

5. Montpellier’s Old Town

In between Montpellier’s tram lines is the central part of this old city. Tiny alleys, cute gift shops, tasty cafes, and the newest fashion trends – that’s the old town of Montpellier for you. It’s like a mecca for free sights to see in Montpellier and even if you don’t want to visit anywhere just wandering around the streets is a cool experience. Locals, as well as tourists, love this area perfect for getting lost and doing some souvenir shopping in Montpellier.

Tram system in Montpellier is ridiculously easy to learn. Firstly, all the trams lines are designed in their own ways. Secondly, there are only 4 main lines and you can access all of them from Gare Saint Roch. The tram lines also make your day in the old center of Montpellier a lot easier. Why? Just don’t cross tram tracks and you won’t exit the old town. In case of getting lost just follow tram lines not crossing them or take a tram to the Gare Saint Roch station. Traveling using the beautifully designed trams is also one of the funny musts to do things in Montpellier. Not free but the day ticket for tram won’t cost you much!

6. Le Carre Sainte Anne

Changing contemporary art exhibits for free! As an environment for modern art, this former cathedral is perfect. The new art and old settings make a funny contrast that the artists often use as their advantage. Go to the tourist office and ask them what exhibition is currently on. Or just walk around the Montpellier’s old town until you can find the beautiful cathedral of Le Carre Sainte Anne. If free art isn’t enough for you, watch the video above to see what kind of exhibitions you can experience. Without questions one of the best free things I did in Montpellier.

Oh and don’t get lost while trying to find this cathedral!

Free to see Antigone in Montpellier
I won’t admit being like a kid and running over that fountain while avoiding the water… Nope! Why would I do something like that, right?

7. Montpellier’s Antigone

I heard many rumors about locals hating this part of the city. For me, it looked massive and I took pictures in awe. I don’t know how to describe this Antigone for you. It’s a big building/buildings between Polygone shopping mall and Le Lez river. Ricardo Bofill was the architect for this neighborhood of Montpellier and apparently, he didn’t like normal straight houses (or at least Antigone is full of houses in circles!)

There are some fountains and restaurants. Maybe not one of the must see places in Montpellier but if you have some extra time, it’s a good place to take rest. And don’t forget to go to see the river (you can even cross it!)

Montpellier alley
This is a small alley somewhere near museum La Panacee… My map said it should be right here at this place but like you can see it wasn’t! (Or maybe I just suck at reading maps?)

8. La Panacee

Another free museum! Changing interesting exhibitions and cozy sun patio. The only negative side is how hard it’s to find (even when using map and GPS!) Worth of getting lost and maybe never finding your way out of Montpellier…

La Panacee was once – before its path as the Montpellier’s free contemporary art museum – the Royal College of Medicine. However, La Panacee isn’t just an art gallery but rather place for artists and art lovers to mingle. Their all you can eat lunch may not fit your budget but the patio area fits perfectly for having a small break from a long day exploring the free side of Montpellier.

9. Odysseum

Wander around shops or visit local French Ikea. And don’t miss the small plaza full of statues called the park for “great men of the 20th Century”. You can also get free postcards of famous people like Lenin, Nelson Mandela, and Gandhi. (This plaza is located in the opposite direction of Ikea and left side when coming out of the shopping mall.) Odysseum is one of the best places to go shopping in a more modern atmosphere during your stay in Montpellier. Even if you are on a budget trip in South France and don’t want to buy anything, the interesting restaurants and almost a theme park like settings make this one of the must to visit free places in Montpellier.

Statues and art in Montpellier, France
There is my friend Louis XIV. I heard a story of how the statue spend some time on the bottom of the ocean because the ship originally transporting it sank. But now it’s here in Montpellier!

10. Place du Peyrou

Big plaza starting from Montpellier’s Arc de Triomphe and ending to the city’s old six kilometers long water pipe. A good place to take pretty photos and maybe snap a selfie with Louis XIV statue. They also hold big antique flea markets here every now and then! Most locals and visitors name Place du Peyrou as their favorite free spot in Montpellier. It’s not hard to understand why… This park with only a few trees and more sand and hard stone paths charms people with its idyllic atmosphere.

If you’re here trying to find free local things to do in Montpellier, I recommend buying some fine literature from the last century and reading it sitting under Louis XIV’s watching eyes. Or just enjoy the panoramic view to Montpellier from Place du Peyrou like every tourist in Montpellier should!

11. Montpellier Zoo

Go and see animals for free. Who wouldn’t love that? Montpellier Zoo may not be one of the must-see places if time is an issue but it’s still a great place to visit for totally free of the charge. Over 140 species and thousands of animals will keep you occupied for a whole day. Most of the zoo area is totally free and so you can see local or foreigner animals.

beautiful beach and seashell in Montpellier

12. Trip to see the sea

What would be a better way to spend a sunny day than a trip to see the sea? At summer you can blend in with people spending their holidays and at winter time just walk around the deserted seaside of Montpellier. Maybe gather beautiful seashells to souvenirs and build sand castles on the long white sanded beach. Montpellier is a well-known summer holiday destination amongst French and maybe that’s one of the reasons why the city hasn’t found its way on global bucket lists. 

Montpellier Graffiti and street art
Montpellier’s cradle for street art is totally an Instagram worthy place!

13. Graffiti in Montpellier

Montpellier is the capital city of street art. Just remember to look up and there will be graffiti in the walls wherever you go in this idyllic city. And don’t forget to look down because there is graffiti painted to the ground. Even in Montpellier’s tourist map (get it free from the tourist office) they have marked the most amazing street art spots. Whatever you love or hate art, seeing at least some of the most popular street art pieces is a must do free thing in Montpellier. Well, I guess even if you didn’t want it would be impossible to leave Montpellier without seeing at least one of these wild masterpieces!

There are not many cities in this world where you can find amateurs and professionals making street art side by side. Every street and neighborhood has street art to brighten the day of locals and tourists alike! Combining street art and ancient ruins Montpellier truly places itself on the list of places everyone should visit in Europe. Don’t forget to add this forgotten gem on your own bucket list.

 

Have you ever visited Montpellier or France?
What are your thoughts on this country of love and pastries?
I hope you enjoyed my post and like always all comments are more than welcome!

With adventurous mind,
Lost Viivi

Grutto Pass – Tokyo Cheaply

Grutto Pass costs 2 000 yen (in 2016, about 16€) and with it you can visit most of the Tokyo’s museums and sightseeing attractions. It’s valid for two months starting from the first use and you can buy it from the most of museums and places where you can use it. You can also buy it in set with day train ticket. When buying the pass you get small notebook of places where you can use it or get discounts (and it is in English or at least was when I bought mine in 2015).

http://www.rekibun.or.jp/grutto/pdf/grutto_pass2016.pdf

From the link above you can find places where the Grutto Pass is valid in year 2016. Below the ones I went and liked the most…

 

 

mitsuoaida

tomatoes, you know, are real
that is, if they remain tomatoes
if they try to be melons, however,
they then became fakes
though everything and everyone is real
in their own way,
it seems we always try so hard to become fakes
-Mitsuo Aida

Mitsuo Aida Museum

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 800 yen. Even if the poems are at Japanese are they beautiful to look and every poem is translated.

 

 

Ueno Zoo PandaUeno Zoo

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 600 yen. Go and see pandas and other cute animals!

 

 

Tokyo Sea Life ParkTokyo Sea Life Park

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 700 yen. Who doesn’t love aquariums?

 

 

Tokyo Innovation MuseumMiraikan

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 620 yen. The national museum of emerging science and innovation. From the first look it may seem like museum for children but it’s a lot more. Go there to see robots and space ship.

 

 

fortuneShitamachi Museum

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 300 yen.  Get to know how Japanese people lived in the past. They have free English guided tours and you can even get free fortune like the one above.

 

 

Tokyo National Museum of Nature and ScienceNational Museum of Nature and Science

Normally 620 yen but with Grutto pass you get 100 yen discount. This museum is huge and full of things to see. For example 360 theater, dinosaur bones and information of japanese nature. I recommend for science and nature students.

 

Should I buy Grutto Pass?

My opinion is yes. If you are going to spend more than day or two in Tokyo then definitely yes. You don’t need to go many places before Grutto pass pays itself back.

Also was fun how people always commented that I must be professional tourist because I have the Grutto pass. Apparently normally non Japanese speaking people don’t know about Grutto pass. Using it made me have many funny conversations with museum guides and other local people.

I hope me sharing my experience with Grutto pass makes someone else to safe their money! For me staying over month in Tokyo it saved a lot of money and made me go places I maybe wouldn’t have gone with out the free admission.

Follow my blog to read more of my adventures!
With love and passion,

Neidotta