I don’t need no beach vacations, as long as I have the sea!

Airplane’s tires hit the ground. I get out of the plane, and the humid warmth hits my face like a wall. It’s almost midnight, but it’s so warm. Finding the right taxi that was ordered for us is a challenge. 40 minutes’ drive after the flight feels like ages. Can’t wait to get to the marina. Smell the sea and the fresh air.

I haven’t travelled much. Just your occasional cruise to Sweden and Estonia. A few trips to Russia were pretty mind opening. A car trip to Copenhagen through Sweden was fun. I haven’t been to any beach holidays, but I might not even want to take those, after I have been sailing several times in the Mediterranean Sea.

I can’t swim properly. I’m afraid of water, but yet, I feel the connection to the sea. The power of it is so strong, you must be very humble in front of it. But then again, it’s so calming. You can look at an ocean for so long and have no idea how much time has passed. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have lived my entire life by the sea.

If you have the possibility to go on a sailboat, I highly recommend it. And even better, if possible, to go on a yacht abroad and sail away…

I don’t recommend big cities. The large tourist traps. Sail the sea and visit the small villages. The ones with the real heart of that country. The little villages you want to visit all over again, because of the authentic people. The authentic music. The authentic nature.

There’s nothing better than drinking your morning coffee on a boat’s deck. Feel the warmth of the sun as it rises.  Or at night, when the sun has come down, sit on that deck. Listen to the little waves touch the boat and hear the happy noises from the village. Whenever I’m sad or stressed, I go back to those memories. And those memories confirm that yes, that is where I want to go again. I don’t need no beach vacations, as long as I have the sea.

I went sailing first time in 2001. My parents had gone a few times before that. I had never heard about that kind of possibility. Never even seen an advertisement on this subject. So, I’ve been thinking: How much different possibilities does traveling have? Why don’t people know about these things?

Hopefully, in my future career in tourism, I will have the chance to change that and show the people how wonderful our world really is.

Text and pictures: Heli Kulju, first year International Tourism Management student