Matkailun parhaat palat: kulttuuri, ihmiset ja matka itsessään

Kulttuuri

Minusta parasta matkailussa on kulttuurierot. En ole ehtinyt elämäni aikana paljon harrastamaan vapaa-ajan matkaamista, mutta olen käynyt jonkin verran ulkomailla vanhan harrastukseni puolesta. Kisareissujen aikana varsinkin näki isoimpia eroja maiden välillä, kun ei valittu kaikista kalleinta hotellia aivan pääkaupungin keskustasta, vaan otettiin ”kohtalainen” hotelli ja vähän pienempien kaupunkien reunoilta.

Eroja huomasi myös esimerkiksi ruoassa, kun kisamatkoilla hotellit tai kisapaikat tarjosivat aina kisapäivän lounaan sekä päivällisen. Tšekissä ollessa hotelli tarjosi päivälliseksi keittoa, jossa oli riisiä ja herneitä, kun taas Portugalissa oli joka päivä erilaisia pastoja ja jotain lihaa.



Alankomaissa kannabiksen polton ollessa laillista, on siellä suomalaisena aika outoa kulkea kadulla, kun näkee turistien sekä paikallisten nauttivan kyseistä ainetta keskellä kirkasta päivää.



Ruoka eri maissa maistuu aina paljon paremmalle kuin Suomessa, voi tietenkin olla, että ruoka on aina parempaa pitkien päivien jälkeen.

Kulttuurista oppiminen on ollut aina iso osa erilaisia reissuja minulle ja innolla odotankin jo seuraavaa matkaa.

Ihmiset

Uusiin ihmisiin tutustuminen erilaisilla reissuilla on aina pakollinen ”suoritettava tehtävä” itselleni. Uusien ihmisten avulla voi myös oppia eri maiden kulttuurista. Parasta on, jos tutustuu kyseisen maan asukkaaseen, sillä hän voi toimia oppaana ja kertoa miten maassa kuuluu toimia hyvien tapojen mukaan. Ulkomailla ihmiset ottavat oman kokemuksen mukaan suomalaiset hyvillä mielin ystäväksi ja suurin osa porukasta on aina hyvin positiivisia.

Matka kohteeseen

Matkustus on aina rankkaa, mutta saapuminen kohteeseen palkitsee. Hotellilla lepääminen on rentouttavampaa kuin kotona lepääminen, koska tietää, että ei ole velvollisuuksia. Matkustaminen on hienoa, kun koko matkan ajan näkee erilaisia maisemia ja ehkä jopa nähtävyyksiä. Matkustusvälineellä ei ole väliä – lentokoneessa voi nähdä kaupunkien valoja ja vuoria, junassa kaupunkeja, metsiä ja järviä, linja-autoissa voi nähdä käytännössä mitä vaan. Matkustaessa voi myös saada uusia tuttavuuksia ja matkan aikana voi kysellä mihin muut ovat matkalla.


Matkallani Kroatiaan näimme paljon erilaista luontoa ja yllätyin siitä kuinka paljon vesistöissä oli merisiilejä.

Teksti ja kuvat: Ella Mäntynen, ensimmäisen vuoden Matkailuliiketoiminnan opiskelija


The Endless Allure of Travel Alongside Friends

There’s something undeniably fun and exciting about the idea of packing your bags and setting off for a well-planned holiday especially when it’s one, that you get to go on with your friends. It can be a set of experiences to help strengthen bonds and make new stories together. Travelling alongside friends is like setting off on an adventure with your chosen family. Sharing every moment together from the hits of turbulence on the flight to the evenings spent enjoying a delicious meal at a restaurant that you ended up picking together.

The joys of group travel

One of the biggest and greatest joys of travelling with friends is the number of memories you can create with them. Peculiar encounters, mishaps, heart-to-heart conversations after a night out, all these get engraved into our memories, helping create those lifelong bonds. Personally, my closest and dearest memories have all been created during trips with friends.

Besides making memories, friends offer a sense of diversity to trips. With varying interests and passions, doors for trying new things and activities open up. For example, trying new cuisines or going to multiple different museums to cater to everyone’s interests.

As someone who enjoys planning and prefers organized trips over spontaneous ones, friends also offer a set of helpful hands to assist with planning. That being said, it’s not always help that they offer. Having more minds working on planning might cause disagreements and different opinions on every aspect of the plan, but part of the fun and challenge is to overcome those mishaps and enjoy a lovely trip together.

Lasting memories

To showcase my adventures, I’ll use my trip to trip to the Netherlands as an example. We set off, with a group of ten people! Stayed in Amsterdam for four days, enjoying nights out, good food and fun activities. This was the first time some of us met in person. Undoubtedly, some of my dearest memories are from this time. The warm summer days spent at a lake in a park to the evenings spent chatting at a bar. This trip of course wasn’t without its challenges and mishaps, but they’re such minor parts of a great experience. I often look back at the pictures and get reminded of the fantastic time spent abroad.

Travelling alongside friends is so much more than just a journey from point A to point B; it’s an adventure to strengthen the bonds between you and your friends. While traveling together you create memories and weave your friendship to a much deeper level.

These experiences can help paint the canvas of your friendship and add hints of vibrancy to showcase all you’ve done and explored together. So I’d suggest grabbing a group of friends, get some planning done and go explore the world together!

Pictures and text:  Sara Puustinen, first year International Tourism Management student


Fuerteventura – kirosana vai ei?

Ystäväni tuleva puoliso soittaa minulle lokakuun alussa 2015 ja kysyy yllättävän kysymyksen. ”Haluaisin että lähdet Sallin (nimi keksitty) kanssa polttarimatkalle ulkomaille kuukauden päästä. Minä maksan tietenkin lennot ja majoituksen, onnistuuko?

”HELL YEAH!” Vastasin heti. Ei muuta kuin esimiehelle soitto ja matka oli sovittu. Ystäväni ei tietenkään tiennyt tästä mitään aiemmin kuin päivää ennen reissuun lähtöä. Matkakohdekin – Fuerteventura – selvisi hänelle vasta kentällä.


Väärä mielikuva

Kun itse kuulin reissukohteen olevan Fuerteventura, Kanariansaarista vanhin ja toiseksi suurin, kauhistuin. En ollut ikinä käynyt millään Kanariansaarista ja mielikuvani pitkin katuja kiemurteleviin suomituristien jonoihin ja huonosti käyttäytyvien englantilaisten ärjymiseen perustui huhupuheisiin ja tositv-ohjelmien sisältöön.

Onneksi sain kokea mielikuvani kohteesta vääriksi. Viikko Fuerteventurassa kului monipuolisesti mm. saaren vuoristoreittejä ajaen, kauppakeskuksien kauppoja kierrellen, saaren hiekkarantoja kävellen ja erilaisista ravintolakokemuksista nauttien.


Erilaiset matkailumieltymykset

Reissuparini Salli on matkaajana hyvin erilainen kuin minä. Hän oli mielellään hotellin altaalla paistattelemassa päivää, kun minä taas mielelläni liikun luonnossa ja urheilen. Saimme sovitettua hyvin erilaiset matkustuspersoonat yhteen esim. sillä, että lähdin aamulla auringon nousun aikaan kipuamaan hotelliltamme lähtevää vuoristopolkua pitkin ylös ja tein pitkän lenkin lähiympäristöä tutkien. Näimme sitten kaverini kanssa hänen herättyään aamupalalla, jonka jälkeen menimme hetkeksi yhdessä hotellin altaalle makoilemaan, minä lähinnä päiväunet mielessä.



Kaiken kaikkiaan Fuerteventura oli positiivinen kokemus. Luonto oli vaihteleva ja kaunis, ilmat olivat meidän puolella ja ihmiset ystävällisiä. Turisteja ei ollut liikaa marraskuun alkupuolella, joka on itselleni tärkeä kriteeri matkaillessani. En halua väkijoukkoihin. En muista näin kahdeksan vuoden jälkeen mitään huonoa reissusta – lähtisin kyllä uudestaan, ellei listalla olisi kasa käymättömiä ja tutkimattomia reissukohteita!


Teksti ja kuvat: Johanna Itälaakso, ensimmäisen vuoden Matkailuliiketoiminnan opiskelija


An eye-opening travel experience

I have always been passionate about traveling. My family has always traveled ever since I was a kid, so I think that has had a huge impact on my interest in traveling.

I used to think that traveling was just a way to relax and travel to another country to see the most famous landmarks, but during my early teenage years, I started viewing traveling as a way to learn and meet other people and cultures.


The eye-opener

The first trip that really opened my eyes was the vacation to London when I was 15. My friend and I designed our own trip and it was a huge change to holidays that I was used to doing with my family. It really opened my eyes to a whole new way of enjoying traveling. Obviously, we visited the famous attractions, but we tried to not be the most basic tourist stereotype. For example, we didn’t want to take any guided tour busses and wanted to explore London by walking and “surviving” on our own. Because of that we also got to hang around and play frisbee with the local teenagers.



What I have noticed after that trip is that I remember a lot more of that vacation than some of the most recent trips. The more I travel with my own freedom and with my own will the more memorable the vacation is. As a traveler, I am open-minded and spontaneous which is really contradicting to my day-to-day persona. I am really rational and I like to plan things beforehand but when I’m traveling, I really try to be a freer spirit.

When I was younger, I wanted to always have the most luxurious hotels and eat in the most expensive restaurants and we often did. I truly feel I was close-minded and later I realized how much I have probably missed during those vacations. But I’m glad that at least now I have the ability to experience more in the future.

My future plans

I chose to study tourism because of the passion I have for traveling, but also because of the reason my personality fits this field of study. I always wanted to study law and I applied for it too, but it felt kind of forced and I didn’t think I would want to have it as my professional career.



As a tourism student, I feel that I have more freedom and more opportunities in the future, and the freedom that I lacked in the law field. I don’t stress too much about my career but I do know that I want to travel and socialize with new people!

Text: Vera Karttunen, second year International Tourism Management student
Pictures: Pixabay


How solo travelling and moving abroad by myself has changed me

I have always loved travelling and exploring the world. My first flight was when I was 7 years old. We flew to Israel to have a family holiday. After that I have had beach holidays with family, city vacations with friends, and solo trips. All of these has its pros and cons but I would like to open a little bit why solo travelling has had the biggest impact in my life.

Poland

My first solo travel destination was to Gdansk, Poland. It actually happened accidentally. I asked some of my friends to join but when they were not able, I asked myself why I couldn’t go alone? I did and that was the best decision. You are free to have your own timetable and no need to make compromises with anyone. You can explore as much as you want or as little as you want, and maybe just focus on eating and enjoying the atmosphere. The second option was the one what I did in Poland. I did explore a little bit the city but mostly just wanted to relax. It is easy to make friends in hostels as those are full of people around the world. You can choose if you want to sleep in a big mixed dorm or if you prefer to stay in a smaller dorm with the same gender. In the best hostels I’ve also got free waffels 😊

Dubai

On 2015 I got frustrated to live in Finland and I moved to work to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Over there I worked in a customer service field. Having colleagues from four different countries and cultures increased my cooperation and relationship skills with people from different backgrounds. Middle East is definitely not the easiest place to experience living abroad but it gave me lots of self-confidence, memorable moments and a long-lasting tan.

Thailand and Australia

On 2018 I packed my backpack again and without any clear plan, I moved to Australia. I flew there via Thailand where I stayed one week. I didn’t know anyone from Thailand when I arrived but got new friends from there. Suddenly I found myself being part of a coreography performance on the street, arranged by a student group. So, you never know from where you are gonna find yourself when you travel alone.

Australia offered koala cuddling, easy going people, and surfing lessons. I lived in a city called Melbourne. Melbourne is very international and the city feels like a European city. Like in Dubai, I was working in a customer service field also in Australia.

Australian accent can be very thick and they abbreviate lots of words which was a little bit of a challenge in the beginning. Quite quickly I was able to understand more and more and after 6 months I found myself talking with abbreviated slang words myself.  So, Australia definitely increased my English skills but gave also memorable moments and lots of knowledge about life downunder.



When you’ve once experienced living alone in another country, you live everyday life speaking other language than your own native language, and solve problems independently, you grow a lot and you also learn a lot about yourself. Things are not always going smoothly and sometimes it is difficult to find the right attitude, but you gain a very valuable experience and it gives you the best education for life.


Text and photos: Matleena Knuutila, first year International Tourism Management student


Seven unexpected situations during traveling

It can happen to you anywhere, something unexpected. It can be something not wanted or not so funny. It can also be the cherry on top of the cake and the funniest thing ever.  An unexpected situation during traveling might be the one thing that you are talking about to your friends and family when you come home. You can still remember that unexpected situation after many years.

For me, those unexpected situations occurred in almost every destination I have visited. Maybe at that moment, every unexpected situation didn’t feel like the cherry on top of the cake, but after a while, they bring a smile to my face, because you know that’s life and hey, at least I have interesting stories to tell when I’m old in the rocking chair. Here are seven examples of the unexpected situations that happened to me during my travels.

Phuket, Thailand             

After sitting for about 11 hours on the bus from Bangkok to Phuket, my bladder was about to explode. We finally arrived and I rushed off the bus. To my horror, I found that there was nothing nearby that I could go to for necessities. Fortunately, however, I noticed this hair salon a little further away. I ran there with my backpack and when I got in the door, I shouted “Sawasdee ka!” and crossed my legs 😀 The hairdresser laughed a little and pointed with her hand to come here. We went to the back room and there was this room with only one hole in the ground. After seeing that hole in the ground I was in heaven. Best hole ever!

El Gouna, Egypt

I was just wandering around and found myself at this bag and shoe shop (surprisingly). I was just looking around and this man (the shop owner) came to me and he was showing me the bags and then he asked how long I’m going to stay in Egypt. I answered and then he was asking me if I was interested to work with him in this same shop where we were.

That wasn’t the last time some local offered me a job opportunity, even though I wasn’t searching for any job. It happened also in Cyprus and in the clothing store. I went to this clothing store, and I was just wandering around looking to buy some nice dresses. The clothing store saleswoman comes to me and asks how I can help, and I say thank you but I’m just looking. After a while, the woman comes to me again and asks how long I plan to stay in Cyprus, and when I answer, she asks if I would be interested in working in that clothing store!

Once upon a time in a cornfield far, far away

I was having a hot air balloon flight above the pyramids. When the flight came to its end and we needed to land on the ground, the hot air balloon man who was in charge of the flight was saying that we have to change our landing spot. So, in the end, we landed in the middle of the cornfield.

When we were getting out of the balloon, we were surrounded by local countryside children. They were putting their hands out in the way that they did expect that we had something to give them, like money. The kids surrounded us in a way that made it hard to start moving forward. We somehow managed to continue our way to get away from that cornfield as the man who was in charge of the balloon flight said that we need to go as fast as we can away from the begging children.


Bangkok, Thailand

What I have learned from these unexpected situations during traveling is that sometimes you just have to improvise.  I was wandering around in Chinatown and felt like eating. I found one stall where a local man sold skewers. The skewers looked and smelled really good. I wanted to buy it, but I can’t speak Thai. I asked the seller in English, is this pig? To which I got a response in Thai. The only thing I came up with was that I make noises of different animals, such as the sound of a cow and a pig, in order to know what meat the skewers are made of. So, I pointed at the skewer I wanted and made pig noises. The man laughed and nodded his head. At least one local had arrived next to me. Suddenly one of the locals could speak enough English to say that yes, it is a pork skewer.

Phuket, Thailand

I had a bus ticket with the seat number in my hand. When the bus arrived, I presented the ticket to the driver, and he gestured toward the back of the bus. I walked towards the back of the bus and looked at my ticket the whole way, which read seat number 67. I got to seat number 66 and then the bus ran out of seats. I wondered about it out loud in English and by chance, there was a man nearby who knew English, and he looked at my ticket and laughed and said that there was nothing he can do about it and to go and sit there and pointed to one empty seat on the bus. The whole way I was watching at my backpack like a lion mother, and I couldn’t sleep because I was absolutely sure that this seat belongs to someone. Well, it turned out that the seat didn’t belong to anyone, so I got off the bus in Bangkok, tired.

Edfu, Egypt

I was enjoying my horse carriage ride in Edfu. I had the privilege of sitting next to the driver and there were other people sitting further back in the carriage. We rode a horse-drawn carriage through the city. The weather was sunny, and we had fun. Until suddenly our horse had some kind of tantrum and started kicking the bag where the horse’s excrement was dripping. So, in the end of the ride we were all covered in horse poop!

Paris, France

I was traveling with my parents to Paris. It was a package tour, and we did almost all the traveling by our tour operators’ bus. So, we finally arrived in Paris and our bus was outside of our hotel. When we were heading out of the bus, our tour guide explained to us that we should take all our belongings with us to the hotel. It’s not safe to leave stuff on the bus overnight.

I was 12 years old back then and I thought that it didn’t matter if I left my camera there on the bus. Because anyway, we were about travel with the same bus around the city on next day. I thought it would be ok and it would be there waiting for me. Little did I know that the next morning when we were heading to our bus, our tour guide told us that there was a robbery that happened during the night and the robbers had broken into our bus. Our tour guide tells us to check if something was missing from the bus. Well, I didn’t see my camera anywhere. It was stolen.



Text and photos: Suzan Haikonen, first year International Tourism Management student



Routes to roots – from Sri Lanka to Europe

My name is Anupama de Silva, and I am a first-year degree student in International Tourism Management at SAMK. 

During my first semester studies in Tourism, I got the opportunity to learn about the factors that influence world tourism such as environment, economies, history, culture, religious importance and technology.  Among these, I found something very interesting that made me pay much attention to and drove me to gather information about, namely heritage tourism

The main purpose of this article is to bring attention to a related travel segment: a traveler who travels from one continent to another continent in search of the roots of his or her ancestors.

What is heritage travel?

According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, heritage tourism is “Traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present.  It includes cultural, historic, and natural resources.”  In other words, heritage tourism is a type of travel where you search for an authentic understanding of how something, or a people, was like.  (Jackson, 2020)

Why heritage tourism is important to a traveler?

Heritage tourism owns unique characteristics to create a whole new angle to the world’s tourism, and a traveler who is interested and engaged in heritage tourism will be surely benefitted from unforgettable life-long memories. 

Among the same, the opportunity to learn about places, maybe more exciting things about your own place and ancestors or roots, the history behind the lifestyles of people who had lived there and what is remaining to cherish, beautiful memories to bitter truths, wars and economies and the impacts of them to the world to many more.

Route to roots

How about a person that travels from one continent to another continent in search of his or her own ancestors, or roots, or to witness the family members who are remaining?  Yes, if someone traces the roots maybe back a few generations, a great-grandmother or great-great-grandfather who was born somewhere interesting, and their connectivity to that place or the region, would create the thirst of going in search of those places. 

Being a Sri Lankan myself, I have heard many stories related to children who were given away for adoption, especially to European couples due to the poverty of their biological parents during 1960 to 1980s, and the re-visits made by those children who are now adults.  Apart from adoptions, there could be many reasons that someone will find their roots in an interesting place.  But, I never imagined that re-visits of someone in search of their own identities have such an impact on tourism.

Real-life scenarios

One of my cousins, Lourdes, who is now 25 years old, was adopted and her parents lived in Europe, and they used to visit Sri Lanka from time to time to see the family members – my grandmother, my mother, her brothers and sisters and their families.

During one visit, they had decided to adopt a child but decided to keep the child in Sri Lanka as they wished to spend most of the rest of their life in Sri Lanka, and also as per them, at that time, due to strict visa formalities it was difficult for them to obtain visa for the child.

Hence, the child grew up in Sri Lanka but of course, my uncle and aunty visited both countries equally. My uncle passed away at the age of 72 in Europe, but aunty managed to come back to Sri Lanka after her husband’s dismissal and passed away some years ago in Sri Lanka.

My uncle Anthony Lowe and aunty Catherine Lowe and the life they cherished.
Catherine Lowe (lived as a Europe citizen but passed away in Sri Lanka).

With my cousin, we have one ultimate goal, and that is to visit where they have lived and witness the life they had, in fact, to witness the graveyard where my cousin’s dad (my uncle) was buried.  She reminds many interesting things they had spoken when they were alive, about the life they had, and the place they lived.

This photograph was taken during a visit to Sri Lanka, Lourdes standing in the middle, their adopted daughter as a child.  She was under my parents’ custody whenever they lived away from Sri Lanka till to-date.

So, a travel plan to visit the place they have lived and about things they have spoken about, their friends and families, are in the itinerary as we both wish to bid farewell to my uncle, who passed away in Sweden, behalf of the whole family. 

To conclude, heritage tourism, and travel in search of roots, helps discover one’s own identity and gives memories to cherish even if they sometimes reveal the bitter truth of their life. 

As humans we all visit and re-visit many places in search of our identities throughout the universe. I wish every person who travels in seek of their identities will find something to cherish in their lives. 


Text and pictures: Anupama De Silva, International Tourism Management student


References:
https://visiteurope.com/en/experience/discover-your-european-roots/
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-56390772
https://www.worthy.com/blog/next-act/family/heritage-travel/
https://www.goabroad.com/articles/heritage-travel

Opettavainen vierailu Auschwitziin

Kävimme perheeni kanssa reissussa, jossa vietimme muutaman yön sekä Tšekissä että Puolassa. Ensimmäisenä lensimme Prahaan, Tšekin pääkaupunkiin. Olimme siellä kolme yötä, kiertelimme vanhassa kaupungissa, kävimme vahamuseossa ja tutustuimme yleisesti kaupunkiin.

Prahasta lähdimme junalla kohti Puolaa, Krakovan kaupunkia. Krakovassa vietimme neljä yötä. Päivien aikana kiertelimme paljon kaupungissa sekä kävimme Auschwitzissa. Opastetulla kierroksella Auschwitzissa meille kerrottiin eri alueista ja mitä niissä on tapahtunut, kierrettiin vanhoissa kaasukammioissa sekä käytiin katsomassa paikkoja, joissa vangit nukkuivat.

Sisällä museotiloissa oli myös kasoittain kenkiä, vaatteita, laukkuja yms., jotka uhreilta riisuttiin ja jotka on säästetty. Hurja näky olivat ne kaikista pienimmät kengät ja vaatteet, joita joukosta löytyi turhan monet.

Auschwitzissä käynti opetti, kuinka hyvin asiat ovat tällä hetkellä, ja kuinka huonosti on mennyt Auschwitzin toiminnan aikaan. Yli miljoona uhria on surmattu mitä raaimmilla keinoilla, seassa myös lapsia ja vauvoja. Vierailu leirillä oli koskettava ja silmiä avaava, ja sai tajuamaan kuinka väärin toiminta on ollut. Siellä tapahtuneet asiat ovat karuja, eikä niiden julmuutta pysty käsittämään. Olen kiitollinen, että olen syntynyt aikakaudelle, jolloin kyseiset rajut tapahtumat ovat jo historiaa. Saamme olla rauhassa omia itsejämme, uskonnosta tai mistään muusta riippumatta.

Kierros leirialueella sekä kuvat ja uhrien vanhat vaatteet ovat karu näky. Auschwitz on kammottava kohde, mutta myös todella upea kokemus. En ollut perehtynyt asiaan kauheasti ennen vierailuamme siellä. Tiesin, että luvassa on kauheita ja järkyttäviä asioita, mutta en tiennyt missä määrin. Kierroksen jälkeen toiminta siellä alkoi kiinnostaa todella paljon, ja edelleen katselen kuvia ja luen artikkeleita leiristä. Paikkana ja matkakohteena Auschwitz saattaa olla sellainen, johon ei ensimmäisenä haluaisi mennä. Mutta uskon, että se juurikin tekee siitä unohtumattoman ja tärkeän. Kun kohtaa jotain, mitä ei oikeastaan haluaisi kohdata.

Suosittelen Auschwitzissa käyntiä kokemuksena todella paljon. Vaikka olen kerran jo kierroksella käynyt, haluaisin kovasti päästä uudelleen, ja varmasti tulevaisuudessa myös käyn. Paikka on merkittävä, ja paikan päällä käyminen jättää jäljen muistoihin ja tekee tapahtumista vielä tärkeämpiä. Astuessa alueelle, tuntuu kuin astuisi uuteen maailmaan, ja pääsee näkemään tapahtumat uhrien silmin.


Teksti ja kuvat: Sonja Vuorinen, ensimmäisen vuoden Matkailuliiketoiminnan opiskelija


Water nurtures, embraces and brings us back to life

Course that was only available in an online version seemed very interesting to me, althought I would have wanted it to be contact lessons. The course topic is something that could create discussion. Why water is so important for our well-being, not only for consuming but mentally also?

Sea and water itself for us Finnish people should be an important asset. Clean water is not that common in the world. We should appreciate it and cherish it. Swimming in the lake, or a fell stream should be lifegoals or even a way of life.

I have followed this one woman @jonna_saari in Instagram for many years and grown into admiring her way of life. She moved to Lapland and is enjoying life on it’s fullest. She goes for a morning swim in the small forest lake with the purest water and morning fog around her. She finds well-being from the silent morning and cold water. It makes her body feel alive and her mind focused.

In my opinion this is something that could be seen as an experience from the north. Something unusual and something so pure and natural. Oh and did I mention she goes there sometimes even naked, surrounded by the forest, the smells, the silent sounds of nature with nothing on, just the feel of the cold water on her skin. This feeling is not common for all of us but it should be at least once in a lifetime happening.

This is something that I have wanted to experience myself. The old ways of us in the wilderness, the lakes and the streams in my beloved Lapland. These wilderness camps could be one good way to bring people away from the modern hectic way of life. No phones, just you and the nature. It could be also a nice way to empty the head full of business ideas, worry and time.

Water is something that calms us, no matter what it is there. It is silent, but strong. It feels relaxing and forgiving. It feels nurturing, embracing and brings us back to life. It is something that we will always need and something we will always seek. Water is purity and inspiration.

Water is an element we feel, used in commercials, in various methods of marketing. It makes us thirsty, it makes us clean. It is part of us. The sound of water is used in relaxation and meditation througout the world, as long as we have lived.

We all have a relationship with water, no matter where you live or how.  It might be love, need, fear or for example respect. What does water represent to you? It has so many various sides to it and in tourism it can be used so many different ways.

One question could bring so many different answers. What is your well-being from the blue spaces?


Text and photos: Mai Virtanen, third year International Tourism Management student


Meitsi matkailijana – Sveitsi kohteena

Erittäin toimiva puheenaihe tutustuessa toiseen ihmiseen on matkailu; missä maissa ollaan vierailtu, millaisia kokemuksia matka on tarjonnut ja minne seuraavaksi? On mielenkiintoista kuunnella millaisia matkoja toiset tekevät ja kuinka paljon ne eroavat omasta matkailuhistoriasta ja -tyylistä.

Oma matkailuni on vasta aluillaan. Olen käynyt kolmessa eri maassa ja vieraillut niiden sisällä melkein kymmenessä kaupungissa. Jokaisella matkalla olen oppinut jotain itsestäni matkailijana ja saanut selvyyttä sille mitä matkalta haluan ja haen. Tulevaisuuden haaveena on matka Sveitsiin.

Yllätysvisiitti Pariisiin

Matkustin Pariisiin yllättämään parhaan ystäväni, joka oli saanut työpaikan Disneylandista. Saavuin hänen perheensä kanssa kolmen päivän lomareissulle, jonka aikana kävimme puiston lisäksi kiertelemässä Pariisin kuuluisimmat kohteet. Disneylandissa ja Pariisissa käyminen on monien ihmisten unelma, ja olen niin kiitollinen että se unelma kävi kohdallani toteen.

Tällä matkalla tajusin kuinka tärkeää minulle on matkustaa henkilökohtaisesti merkittävään kohteeseen läheisten henkilöiden kanssa. Ja myöskin sen, ettei kolme päivää riitä mihinkään.


Disneyland, Pariisi

Pari reissua Italiaan

Italiassa olen käynyt kaksi kertaa. Ensimmäisellä kerralla kävin tanssijoukkueeni kanssa esiintymässä eräässä kansainvälisessä tapahtumassa ja toisella kerralla matkustin lukioryhmän kanssa opintomatkalle Roomaan.

Ensimmäisestä matkasta on kulunut jo paljon aikaa. Muistan vain miten upeaa oli esiintyä taitavien esiintyjien kanssa isolla lavalla, ja pitää tanssitreenejä ulkona upeissa maisemissa! Viikon aikataulu oli kuitenkin tosi tiivis, ja tällä matkalla huomasin ettei liian kiireinen aikataulu ole mieleeni matkaillessa.

Toiselta reissulta taas olisi niin paljon kerrottavaa ettei kukaan jaksaisi lukea niin pitkää blogitekstiä. Matkassa mukana olivat sekä historian- että uskonnonopettajat, jotka olivat suunnitelleet meille mahtavan viikon pituisen reissun, jolla riitti mielenkiintoisia nähtävyyksiä ja kauniita paikkoja!

Heillä oli paljon kerrottavaa jokaisesta matkakohteesta ja opin reissulla paljon nippelitietoa, esimerkiksi sen että Rooman viemärin kansissa lukeva S.P.Q.R. tarkoittaa Rooman senaattia ja kansaa. Tällä reissulla oli mielestäni hyvin tasapainotettu yhteisen ohjelman sekä oman ajan määrä. Huomasin rakastavani enemmän kauniita maisemia ja mielenkiintoisia kohteita kuin pelkkää kaupungissa pyöriskelyä.


San Marino, Italia

Espanjaan vai?

Espanjan matka oli myöskin opintomatka lukioaikana. Suuntasimme Madridiin ja Salamancaan. Tämä reissu oli enimmäkseen espanjan kielen harjoittelua varten, vaikka kiersimmekin muutamassa suositussa kohteessa. Tällä reissulla opin itsestäni matkailijana sen, että pelkkä ’’tämä on kuuluisa patsas’’ ei riitä minulle, vaan haluan tietää mikä patsas se on ja miksi se on kuuluisa.

Matka oli enimmäkseen kaupungeissa liikuskelua, mutta onneksi bussimatka Salamancaan tarjosi upeita maisemia! Salamancassa itsessään oli myös kauniita kohteita, viihdyin siellä enemmän kuin Madridissa. Tällä reissulla tuli kuin kertauksena se, että tarvitsen kauniit maisemat ja mielenkiintoiset kohteet kokeakseni matkan mieluiseksi.


Salamanca, Espanja

’’Jokaisen on kerran elämässään matkustettava Sveitsiin’’

Mutta mikä siinä Sveitsissä oikein viehättää?

Ala-asteeni opettaja sanoi kerran (tai no, montakin kertaa) että jokaisen on kerran elämässään matkustettava Sveitsiin. Se on kuulemma kaunis ja upea paikka. Tämä jäi korvani taakse pitkäksikin aikaa, ja aina kun kysyttiin mihin haluan matkustaa, vastasin Sveitsiin.

Monta vuotta myöhemmin katsoin korealaisen draamasarjan nimeltä ’’Crash Landing on You’’ jossa kyseinen paikka on keskeisessä osassa. Olinhan katsonut kuvia Sveitsistä aikaisemminkin, mutta sarjassa se esiteltiin aivan uudella tavalla. Tämä paikka on kiehtonut minua niin monta vuotta, ja tämä sarja vahvisti sen, että sinne on pakko päästä.

Työpaikallani törmäsin kanssatyöntekijään, joka kertoi asuvansa Sveitsissä, mutta työskentelevänsä ympäri maailmaa. Hän vinkkasi minulle, että kannattaa majoittua Saksan puolella kaupunkiin nimeltä Bad Säckingen ja kulkea sieltä Sveitsiin, jotta kukkaroni kestää matkan paremmin. Suunnitelmahan on siis jo valmis?

Tuntuu ihan siltä etteivät kaikki tiet viekkään Roomaan – vaan Sveitsiin. Vielä en ole päättänyt onko tämä matka, jonka haluan jakaa rakkaiden ihmisten kanssa, vai olisiko tämä jotakin, joka tulee kokea ihan itsekseen. Aika saa näyttää.

Teksti ja kuvat: Katja Kalevo, Matkailuliiketoiminnan ensimmäisen vuoden opiskelija