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