Holiday Inspiration

Gilis, Indonesia

This week I got the dates for my summer holidays finalized. Because I have a new job, I only get a 6 day holiday, but combining them wisely with my shifts, I managed to get 12 days off. That’s already a good “time-out” of work, and of course a great chance to go somewhere. 😉

My summer holiday won’t be until the end of August, but I guess I could already start planning it, to make most of the twelve days. The question is, where to go? Somewhere cheap but nice? Somewhere when I can lay on the beach but still do and see stuff when I get bored? Right now I’m thinking Croatia or Greece etc. But a holiday by a lake in a cottage in Finland isn’t totally out-ruled yet either…

Some inspiration from previous travels from recent years. On my holiday, I wouldn’t mind sunny weather and this kind of views!

Miami Beach, USA

Miami Beach, USA

Santa Monica, USA

Santa Monica, USA

Nice, France

Nice, France

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, USA

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, USA

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

Masaya, Nicaragua

Masaya, Nicaragua

Bali. Got to love the sunsets over there!

Bali. Got to love the sunsets over there!

Gilis, Indonesia

Gilis, Indonesia

This Year

IMG_7308Looking back, this year seems to have been mostly awesome. So many great experiences, some amazing trips, and a few dreams that came true… Feeling quite blessed! What I tried this year, was to follow my heart and dreams. And as I have noticed myself and with few of my friends that have been doing that too, it really pays of.

The year started with K in Nicaragua with a freelance-work trip. Then I continued for week in Minnesota, and I'm glad I did.

The year started with K in Nicaragua with a freelance-work trip. Then I continued for a week in Minnesota, and I’m glad I did.

For example, to tell you the truth, when we booked to the flight tickets for the mini US-road trip with K last spring — that’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years all ready — I wasn’t sure I’ll have money to go through with the plan. Then, like a miracle, I got a job for fall and the problem was solved.

In February I got to spend couple of days in my all-time favorite: Stockholm.

In February I got to spend couple of days in my all-time favorite: Stockholm.

Next year seems busier than ever work-wise, so I’m happy I have had the chance to see so many great places this year. That’s always the dilemma with traveling: no work, no money, and if you have money, no time because of work. So I’ll doubt I’ll be a lot more on Finnish soil the following year, even though I wouldn’t mind a few get-a-ways… We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. 😉

In May we escaped to Poland, Gdansk for an extended weekend with my parents.

In May we headed to Poland, Gdansk for an extended weekend with my parents.

summer passed by living and working in Helsinki but we managed to match our days off with J, and escape to the other side of the bay, Tallinn.

Summer passed by living and working in Helsinki but we managed to match our days off with J, and escape to the other side of the bay, Tallinn. Next summer I’ll spend the vacation from my permanent job for working in Helsinki again.

September, living the American dream, or more like my dream, with K!!!! <3

September, living the American dream, or more like my dream, with K!!!!  I counted we spent a month together on American grounds with K this year, if you count Nicaragua and the time in the US. Hope there’s new adventures ahead of us too, even though it will be hard to compete with the places we saw this year!

Since September I've been firmly in Finland. But it's okay, because from the beginning of February I've had this pile of hair to brighten up my days. Life never get's boring with a chihuahua.

Since September I’ve been firmly in Finland, but it’s okay, because from the beginning of February I’ve had this pile of hair to brighten up my days. Life never get’s boring with a chihuahua.

What to Expect When You Are in Nicaragua

I’ve tried to make sense of all the pictures I took from Nicaragua, but it will probably take me at least a year to go through all of them. Looking at some of the thousands of photos has reminded me about few things people might come across in Nicaragua. So I decided to collect a small list for future travelers. What to expect when you are in Nicaragua?

1. The change rate is what it is. Sometimes 4 dollars get you something worth of 100 Cordobas. Sometimes you need 5 dollars for it.

2. The taxi rates are what they are. If you take a taxi the prices may and will vary. And some taxes double their prices after dark. Considering part 1 on my list, it makes recognizing a rip off really hard. The good thing is that not so many people try to cheat you (compared to Asia at least…), and people are sincerely helpful. It takes time for a suspicious Finnish traveler to get used to it.

3. You’re beautiful. James Blunt got this one right. In Finland, even if you are as beautiful as I am, you don’t hear it so often. But in Central America my pale western skin seems to be appreciated even when it’s red and sweaty from the heat and when my whole essence is sleazy from the trip. Interviewees weren’t afraid to tell how pretty we look. Some even wanted a picture to remember us by.

4. Buses are really handy, or not. Sometimes the trip starts right away accompanied by Rihannas voice and flashing lights. Other times you have to wait for the bus to leave for ages; they might wait for the bus to be full. And while you are waiting for the departure, expect to hear anything from a performance by a blind harmonica instrumentalist to a lecture about politics, president and gay-marriage, and to different kinds of food offerings. Anyway, the trip will be cheap.

5. Finally, but most importantly, expect to speak Spanish. I regret that I can’t because people would very much want to say something to you, and only few can speak English so my ¿Habla Inglés? -phrase didn’t get me too far. It will stay as an eternal mystery for me, what the smiling grandmas or enthusiastic children wanted to say to me. Maybe they wanted to sell me something, maybe they were making fun of me, or maybe they just wanted to say “you’re beautiful”…