Travel Rant: Being Scared of Taxis

I’m going to start this post with confession:

I’m scared of taxis!

I know this sounds crazy for some of you so let me explain a little bit before we start. In Finland we don’t really use taxis that much. It’s more something older or drunk people do. So I have driven taxi in my home country only for few times. Because of that I haven’t been very eager to use taxis in foreigner countries.

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I never planned to talk about this insane fear of mine. Well at least not until I got email from company named Ride.Guru. You see the closer I have come to my one thousand readers the more I have started to get emails from different brands. I read all of those messages and see if there is any I want to introduce for you.

Ride.Guru was the first one that caught my eye enough to make me mention them for you (and no this is not paid post. I just really fell in love with their idea!) I think because of them I will more confidently use taxis starting from now on. And their ‘ask the guru‘ section has already helped me to get know more about the “new things” like Uber and Lyft. I may soon be there asking too many questions…

However today we talk about my experiences using taxis while traveling and why my fears are quite insane (like fears usually are…)

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So my main reason for being scared of taxis is the price. How the heck can you know what will the ride cost?!? Using taxi seems expensive even if in some countries it may be cheaper and easier than public transportation. And it also is safer than using metro or bus at night time (especially for solo travellers).

For example taking taxi from Paris’ airport to our accommodation with my family was much cheaper than using train. The whole taxi ride I was in fear of huge bill but got happily surprised when it didn’t cost almost anything. Before our trip I had tried to find how much it would cost from different internet sites and forums but found nothing.

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Another fear of mine is how to get taxi. Should I call or wave my hand around for all taxis on street? Well I can say now with some experience that this depends on where you are. Getting taxi from airport is easy. Getting taxi somewhere else is super scary (or is it just me?)

Apparently it isn’t as hard as I am imagining… Nowadays you can just use apps like Uber or websites or whatever to get taxi for yourself. And now when I can search from net the prices I think I can start using taxis more. Maybe even on my trip to London next week! I will update you later on if I did or did not have courage to try taxi travel in London.

Do you have any insane fears with transportation like I do? Or am I only one fearing taxi rides? And also if you have any good websites to recommend like Ride.Guru I recommend for you just mention them in comments. I’m always trying to find new places to research for my travels.

I hope you are doing well.
With love,

Viivi Severina

Photo Diary: My New Home

Hello everyone!

How are you? I hope you have had amazing adventures lately because I have only been exploring this new city I’m now living in. And I’m sorry if nothing in this post makes sense because I have currently fever and flu.

Today I’m going to share few photos from my new home town. So like usually there is photos and captions for them. In addition to those I will be talking about something else between the photos. (My blogs future… Almost serious stuff…) Now let’s begin!

 

trainstation
I want to start with this train station photo. It starts to be too familiar building for me because when I want to go see my family and friends I need to take three hours long train journey. Tiring but fortunately I have traveller’s mind and can handle long transportation times.

I have been super busy lately and not only because of my new life as full time student. If you know the site Fiverr I just recently started to earn some extra money there. (Takes unexpectedly a lot of time!)  Like you may have realized there hasn’t been many post to this blog and I have been quite stressed to come up with some easy to write ideas.

Before I promised to publish new bucket list destination every Wanderlust Wednesday but now I have to eat my words and just promise to publish something interesting every Wanderlust Friday. (That doesn’t rhyme like with Wednesday… Maybe Fearless Travel Friday?)

hostelroom
Unfortunately this majestic place isn’t my home. But it is from hostel room I lived in my first week here in Kokkola. I recommend Villa Carleborg for everyone. 

So now you can expect new post every Friday. Next week I am going to finally publish that long waited Tallinn travel diary that has been waiting in my drafts folder for too long. I’m also planning a lot of weekend trips in the future so wait patiently for those travel diaries.

busstop
This photo is my closest bus stop. Oddly I haven’t seen any buses here in my first moth. Is there even any of them?

Another thing I wanted to talk about today is my YouTube channel. No, I don’t have one yet but if you have been following me long enough you may know that at one point I promised to start making videos when I get 1 000 readers.

Honestly I though it would take at least year to get so many readers but somehow it has only taken a few months. Thank you everyone who likes to read my blog! And especially the people commenting! It always makes my day when someone drops comment for my text.

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This is Kokkola’s public living room or something like that. It’s full of art and you can leave your own piece there or just sit down and enjoy what others have done. 

Yeah, but now back to the YouTube subject. Is there any videos you would like to see? I have many ideas myself but I would love to get tips what you would like to watch me doing. Also I will probably make two channels.

One channel for travel videos I can then share here with my blog posts. And another one for random videos about literally anything. I will inform you more here in my blog when I get to the point where I have enough time to really make the channels. (Maybe next weekend?)

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Local church in sunset.

 

I think this was everything I had to say today. Thanks for reading and I hope you liked the photos!

And by the way you can also follow me in Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I try to be active there but I’m a lot better blogger than I am with social media.

streetart
And today’s photo diary is going to end in this photo of local street art. I totally love it and will take better photos of it for you later on. See you again next Friday!

 

With love,

Viivi Severina

 

 

The Fascination with Bucket Lists

Hello everyone! Today I have my first guest blogger here in my GoTravelGlobal blog. I find Ilona’s blog super interesting and totally fell in love with this article she wrote for my blog so be sure to check out her blog. I hope you enjoy her inspiring bucket list themed post.

Ilona is an avid traveller from Northern Germany who explores the world through holidays in far-away countries and weekend trips throughout Europe. You can follow her adventures and see her bucket list on her blog.

The Fascination with Bucket Lists

I have a confession to make. I am obsessed with bucket lists. Especially travel bucket lists. I can spend hours looking at other people’s bucket lists. Some of them are very simple, merely a collection of places whereas others include specific experiences around the world. Many of them, like Viivi Severina’s bucket list are a mixture of both.

But what exactly is a bucket list and why are so fascinating?

A bucket list is a list of all things you’re hoping to accomplish before you die. The Bucket List Guy says that there are several possible origins of the word ‘bucket list’. The one I’ve seen the most often is that it is derived from the term ‘kick the bucket’. You see, in the middle ages, when someone got hanged, they would stand on a bucket with the noose around their necks. The hangman would then kick that bucket and the poor person would die.

Not the nicest explanation, is it?

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It still doesn’t keep me from being fascinated with bucket lists. I’ve set my wordpress reader so that whenever I go online, all posts tagged with ‘bucket list’ are shown to me. I’ll browse through them and see if I get inspired to add items to my own travel bucket list. I do have a bucket list for other areas in my life as well, but let’s focus on the travel aspect here.

So why is a bucket list so fascinating and why should everyone have one?

Bucket lists will help you focus on your goals. Everyday life will try to throw as many distractions at you as possible. Do you know that feeling of just making it from day to day, reacting to what is happening to you? A bucket list can help you focus on what you really want in life.

This goes for travel bucket lists, too. Everybody knows a destination that is safe and easy to travel to. And we all know how much easier it is to stay at home. No flights to book, no risks to take.

Deep down, you’ve always wanted to see the gorillas in Uganda. But somehow, you never got around to looking up tours and flights. A bucket list can help you focus on what you want to achieve, so you don’t end up spending your holiday sitting around in your apartment, wondering what to do.

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Come on, those gorillas are waiting for you.

A bucket list can also help you focus on areas of the world you’ve previously overlooked. I put down pins on a map for every place and experience that was on my bucket list and quickly saw the ‘white spots’ that I didn’t know much about.

Western Africa, for example. I did a bit of research and quickly stumbled on Voodoo ceremonies – attending one was exactly what had been missing on my list. And on that note, if you need more inspiration for Western Africa, the westernmost point is located next to Dakar and very easy to access. Plus, Senegal is an amazingly easy country to travel through (I highly suggest you go in November so you won’t miss out on the pelican migration).

For me, travel bucket lists are not just about location-specific items. I also enjoy adding experiences that can be done all over the world. Sleeping in an ice hotel, ziplining and hang gliding are just a few examples.

Those items will help you focus on enjoying life. Maybe you can tick off one of them while you’re at home. It’ll shorten those months that are left until your next vacation. Or maybe you’ll realise that your next trip takes you to a spectacular hang gliding location that you shouldn’t miss.

No matter what’s on your bucket list, you will want to work on achieving your goals. I think part of the fascination of bucket lists comes from putting a difficult goal on the list and then not having to think about it anymore. Needless to say that this is not the purpose of a bucket list.

If you end up with all those amazing experiences on a list and then never look at it again, you’ll have the perfect excuse to go on with life as it is. Instead, what you should do, is take out your list over and over again and look at it. Read through the goals and pick one or two to focus on. That is why I highly recommend not only to create a digital bucket list but to also write it down on a piece of paper. That way, you can take it with you wherever you go and it’s always available to look at.

The next step to achieving goals on your travel bucket list is to set a time frame. Those goals you picked, choose a specific date to accomplish them. For example, let’s say you want to visit Easter Island. It’s a remote location and deciding to go there within the next two weeks probably won’t work. But it’s achievable if you set a time frame of two years.

As soon as you start ticking items off your bucket list, or even sooner, you should start adding new ones.

Bucket lists aren’t set in stone. You can add whatever you want. There are no rules for what goes on there and what doesn’t and I think that makes up half of the fascination with them. If you want to learn how to scuba dive, add it. If you want to stay in a tree house, that goes on there, too.

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Here’s another suggestion: Volunteer to help nesting sea turtles

Even travelling to remote and inaccessible places like Somalia is a possible goal. There are no limits because no matter how impossible the goal, if you work hard enough, you will get to that place and you will have that experience.

So what are you waiting for? Go and write your own bucket list. Or just browse through existing ones until you’re so fascinated, you’ll automatically reach for pen and paper to make yours.

A photo by Aaron Burden. unsplash.com/photos/xG8IQMqMITM

 

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.

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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.

.        .        .

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

Bucket list: Golden Pavilion

Today I’m going to introduce yet another Wanderlust Wednesday place based in Japan and Kyoto. This pavilion is mainly on my must recommended bucket list attractions because of its photogenic looks but also because of the amazing experience I had visiting there.

So let me make sure you will fall in love with Golden Pavilion and add it to your Japan bucket list! It may seem too expensive to visit and there isn’t a lot of things to see. However, if you want to brag in social media using amazing photos from your Japan trip this temple is the must place to go in Kyoto and take the new charming selfie…

Golden temple autumn Kyoto

Golden Pavilion

Other Names: Kinkakuji

Where? Kyoto, Japan

How to get there? Direct buses leave from Kyoto Station

When to go? I think the prettiest times to visit are when there are autumn leaves. Kinkakuji is open from 9AM to 5PM. Go early so you have enough time to get charmed by the golden wonder.

How much does it cost? 400 yen

Why should you add Kinkakuji to your bucket list?

Like I mentioned this temple is the place to take your best travel photos. Or well probably just that one photo with you standing in front of the water and golden building. If you are lucky there are no photobombing tourists next to you.

But in reality, I’m just kidding. The golden pavilion did impress me. I would not recommend it for you if it was just for that one selfie. I had never seen quite anything like Kinkakuji. Beautiful gold pavilion.

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My Visit to See Kinkakuji in Kyoto

I had some challenges trying to find the entrance. There was huge construction site between the bus stop and line for Kinkakuji. Finally, I found the right place following group of students. The closer I got the more students I saw. Apparently, there was field trip going on.

I walked confidently to buy my ticket, saw how much it costs and ran away in panic. 400 yen to see one building. Why would anyone pay that much? With that money, I would pay dinner of the day. I didn’t know what to do so I kept walking back and forth among the students.

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In the end, I decided it was just money and walked again confidently to buy my ticket to Kinkakuji and went through the entrance. There was a lot of tourists and I was starting to regret my decision. Until I saw the Golden Pavilion. How can one building be so beautiful?

I took some photos and probably appear in dozen holiday photos others have taken. It was crowded in the perfect photo spot and guards were making sure no one stood on the walking path but rather in the photography area. That one not so perfect selfie with Kinkakuji was quickly taken and I walked ahead.

There was some other buildings and things to see but nothing would be worthy of mention after seeing the main sight. In the end, there was some small shops (and a lot of free food samples…)

kinkakuji_forest
The other things to see in the area were nothing when compared with the golden building.

It was a hot day so after exiting the park I bought ice cream from vending machine. I had just eaten it and decided to leave when a group of students (probably under ten years old but I’m really bad at guessing ages) approached me. Behind them stood their teacher who smiled warmly at me.

“Hello, can we ask questions from you?” one of the students finally dared to ask me. Their teacher explained that they were English language students and had this mission to ask one tourist things about them. Of course, I agreed.

kinkakuji

They asked shyly about my name, nationality and other things. I gave Moomin pins for them because I used to always carry them with me in the case I met someone special. After they had asked all the questions I, of course, got sticker decorated business cards from them. So Japanese and extremely cute that I had to keep myself from laughing.

It was a fun experience and I got really surprised how good English they spoke. Perfect ending for my Kinkakuji visit.

Like always feel free to comment below your thoughts. What are some of your favorite destinations you have added to your Japan bucket list? Or maybe Kinkakuji is one of them?

Wanderlust Wednesday: Kinkakuji/Golden Pavilion
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With love,

Viivi Severina