Friday, May 17, 2013

It's Kind of a Funny Story

Actually, in hindsight, this story really isn't funny and if anyone learns anything from this blog, the beginning of this post post should be the one to learn from. Or maybe... You decide :) 

So, here's the deal: 

I have been dreaming about coming to Finland basically the greater part of my 18 (almost 19!) years. That adds up to a hell of a lot of dreams. Now, don't be fooled by this here blog. I am no world traveler.  I know, I know, it's hard to believe, but it's true. Before this trip, I had only been to Europe once (Germany) with my mom on some school trip, which was totally cool! But totally different. Obviously. 

That being said, I came here to Finland with every intention of just going around places by myself, doing my own little thing.

I had also never stayed in a hostel. 

The hostels that I have stayed at here in Finland are awesome. Like, 15 stars out of five, guys. Really well done! (I digress) Now, for those of you who don't know, what seems to be the routine at hostels is that you go, you check in, and you walk into a room with at least one other person. One other strange person. You say hi, I'm so and so, what are you doing here (that's a big one. What is anyone doing in Finland, I guess?) And then you might start chatting. 

Just to be on the safe side, I will throw in the information that we all know, we all should know, and if not, we all will learn right now:

Be very cautious of the people you meet in hostels or anywhere, wherever you are, particularly if you are traveling alone. You don't know them, they don't know you, and that could make for some messiness.

HOWEVER.

I know that (for me, personally) hearing that over and over again can get tiresome, daunting, and make you live in fear. When I got to Hostel Erottajanpuisto, and two of the people in my room started talking to me, I played it off (as I do, y'know...) but deep down I was like freaking out. What if these are the people everyone has been warning me about...?

They weren't. 

We had a great time talking actually, they had really cool stories to share about all these exciting world adventures they had been on. Well, somehow the topic of age came up and then there was the whole "I'm age (so-and-so) why, how old are you?"

Well, one was 34 or something, the other was older than me as well (I won't mention her exact age because I will be referring to her by first name) but you never would have guessed. I mean, I wouldn't have (I didn't). And they couldn't believe I'm 18. The 34 year old was flying back to LA the next morning, but Chiara was going to be in Helsinki for a few days still. She mentioned that she wanted also wanted to check out Helsinki night life (like me!) and then we decided to explore the Market Square for breakfast the next morning. Well, she's really chill and pretty much the superwoman of traveling it seems. She had it all down. Maps, routes, destinations. And she asked me if I wanted to join her on her walking tour of Helsinki! Seriously, she's awesome.

                                                                                  Photo: Chiara C.
This woman knows how to travel, drink Coca Cola, and have a grand time.
Like a boss. (She's also a wicked dancer..., fellaaas)

We walked well over 15 miles around Helsinki (I may be exaggerating  but I really loved her attitude of yes! Let's walk!) There are just so many things that you miss when you take the tram or bus, or... when you just aren't walking. We went all the way out to one of the marinas in search of a boat to take us to a little island, but, alas, there was no boat of the sort that day.

Didn't even matter.

Because we weren't going to let that dampen our day. See, ice cream seems to be really big in Finland 

                                Dishrag Diaries
Well, maybe not that big...

But by that point we were jonesing for a cone (even though we both had cups) Really, really delicious cups. Of ice cream. We took them to the rocks, not on the rocks, and had such a relaxing, enjoyable time just snacking on ice cream and chatting. And of course, the adventures only continued, but just imagine sunshine, feet on the ground, and seagulls overhead, and you've almost scratched the surface of our time in Helsinki. ;) 

Thanks, Chiara, for an awesome time! I hope we can travel again in Finland or wherever!!

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