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

Travel Rant: Victim Of Travel Fever

“Is it time for your next trip?”
“It’s time to start packing!”
“Enjoy the sun, it’s time to travel?”

I am victim of advertising. How could I not book a trip when all these emails with crazier and crazier titles keep inspiring me to just leave? And in the end it’s not just these emails, it’s life as whole. When all you want to do is travel it’s easy to find ‘signs’ everywhere.

Someone speaks about New York with me right after I saw cheap flight deal there. I find abandoned travel brochure from bus stop. Somehow going to library, bookstore or shelf full of magazines means seeing travel themed magazines and books right away. I don’t even try but for some funny reason I always find myself standing in front of them. And then there is this blog. Every now and then I start to think that maybe, just maybe, I should stay at home this year and not travel anywhere. And then someone in comments tells me about new place or says a few inspiring words. I can’t stop.

Having soul full of wanderlust means you will see these signs everywhere. It’s like the world around you kept telling you to travel, travel and just travel. You may know about the phenomena of buying car and starting to see similar cars everywhere or getting a puppy and starting to see dogs everywhere you go. It’s same with travel.

Once you began traveling and you fall in love with it you start seeing indications to travel more everywhere you go. Even the smallest things come reasons to book your next trip and do something others would describe as crazy.

So, I am victim of travel fever. These adds in my email make me crazy. I am like alcoholic smelling the world’s finest wine. I keep staring these adds, these tempting title. Sometimes I even visit the travel websites and almost end up booking these trips. But I can’t. Not right now. Wait a week, maybe two, I keep telling myself. It’s like torture and I don’t know when I will break up. 

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Today’s post was just short thing I wrote after waking up too early. I am currently in the “how to be good enough for all these people reading my blog” phase because there is so many of you and writing is getting harder and harder. I will try my best (and try to finally write all those travel diaries I haven’t…) so please cope with me.

And like always I will now push this odd subject towards you. Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever been in situation where you can’t book a new trip even if you desperately need to? All comments are appreciated.

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

Viivi Severina

Travel Rant: The Moments After Travel

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

I hope you are having amazing day!
With love,

Viivi Severina

Photo Diary: Street Wanderer in Stockholm

So, I know this post is late but for once I have a good reason! I spent Saturday-Sunday night in death trap some may call cruise ship without internet. (I may have some Titanic traumas, but who doesn’t?) But now I am here and like usually let’s start with photo diary because I am too lazy to write anything. I will publish those full Stockholm and Gdansk travel diaries later on but today I am going to share some photos from my first three days in Stockholm, Sweden.

stockholm_graffiti

For me one of the most important aspects of city is its collection of street art. In my scale Stockholm is quite high. You can find graffiti from the most funniest places. One daring and pretty place I fell in love with was Norra Järnvägsbron bridge. These masterpieces may not be the most imaginative or elaborate but the colors get along perfectly with pastel colored old town seen in the distance.

stockholm_oldtown

Story of this photo? Well, I may have walked to the wrong direction seen these buildings and walked a few kilometers more to the wrong direction just because why not. It wasn’t the most touristy area so trying to take nice photo to share with you got me a few wondering glances from the locals.

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Things I love to photograph: sky, reflections, colors and icy water. Stockholm was like heaven for me…

stockholm_city

After going to blogging seminar earlier this year I have started to actively search for spots to take photos in. Apparently the best way of learning is to take million photos and fail miserably. Any good tips for beginner? This photo is me trying to practice straight lines going from the corners towards the center. It should make travel photo interesting to look at but I am not so sure if it works… But at least the locals had fun time watching me to take too many photos of empty bridge on place no tourist should be.

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readers who have been here for some time know that I have never ending love for old towns. Stockholm’s Gamla Stan is one of the originals old towns I found and fell in love with. All those small alleys, colorful buildings and cute little shops. How could I not walk here for hours and be on total tourist mode with my camera?

stockholm_photography

I used my whole first day alone in Stockholm just walking around and taking in the city. I have been there several times but this was my first solo trip to Sweden. (No, I don’t get bored to visiting Sweden over and over again even if you wondered that in my last post!) I love traveling with my friends and family but going alone gives you different perspective of the city. You have time to look at things and visit places you wouldn’t have with other people.

urban_stockholm

So this odd photo is me being totally lost and not panicking at all.Okay maybe a little panicking because sun was setting and I had walked three kilometers to the wrong direction. Don’t even ask how that is possible… I have good sense of direction but I am even better at getting lost.

stockholm_streetart

 

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Even after visiting Stockholm several times I have never before seen the changing of the guards. This time I was lucky because they were just starting and marching around the castle when I happened to be there. As first time experience this was quite nice because there wasn’t so many people.

sweden_photo

And so we are at the last photo. Have you ever been to Stockholm? Or maybe you are planning trip to there? Any comments and your memories are always welcome.
I hope you are having amazing day!

With love,

Viivi Severina