I flew out late from Riga heading to Turku, west of Helsinki Finland. I landed just after mid night and the sky was still bright outside, the sun only just setting, incredible! I was planning to stay with my new Finnish housemates family, which I was really looking forward to. I love staying with a family when I travel, this way you get a really authentic local experience.
I was starting to feel a little tired after being on the move for close to a month, having already powered my way through London, Manchester, Scotland, and Latvia. I was looking forward to exploring but also having some down time.
Vesa and Pia, my friends parents, live in a beautiful rural home, surrounded by rich forest, twittering birds and blossoming flowers. I was in heaven! Living in this quiet piece of natural paradise was a dream for me. I would love to have a home just like this one day!
On the first day Vesa kindly drove me around to see the sites of Turku. We went out to the port where they construct ships, to the castle, to a botanic garden and drove through the centre of town. We saw a lot! In the evening Pia made a delicious dinner of salmon smoked on the bbq Finnish style, with big green healthy salad and boiled potatoes; very European and just like my Dad would make!
With full bellies we decided to go for a walk with their cute little doggie around the surrounding tree lined streets near their home. It was so peaceful and relaxing, and if that couldn’t be more relaxing I was in for a real treat when we returned home. We had a Finnish sauna! The heat was great, and then we dunked quite happily into the cool little pool right next to the sauna, all completely nude, strangely I was getting quite used to being naked. It felt so natural to swim naked too, why can’t we do this more I wonder? It felt so liberating! We repeated this process 3 times and felt rejuvenated, happy and relaxed at the end of it all. My skin felt so soft and I was ready for a restful night sleep.
Time goes by so fast. Just this morning a memory popped up of my Mum, I couldn’t believe it had been 9 years since this one very sweet image of my beautiful Mum. I remember the day so fondly, we had gone on one of our usual day trips, where we jumped in the car and just decided to ‘go by feel’. We would head to Fremantle, then find a random coffee shop and stop, take a small walk somewhere, or go wherever else we fancied. On this day we stopped in the city for a coffee and perhaps shared a slice of cake on the way home from one of these Sunday drives. My Mum didn’t want me to take the photo, she was usually camera shy, and in this photo she looks coy, whimsical, and forever this image will stay with me. I miss her so much. Her memory, energy and love is with me and I carry her in my heart everywhere I travel.
The reason I like to travel so much is simple. I love to enjoy new experiences, I love to seek out nature and colour in new places, and I am simply craving to cram in as much as I can into my earthly life. I know more than most, how quick life can go. I am already planning out my next big trip and think it will include New Zealand, America, some national parks and Hawaii!
Turku has been super fun so far and so nice to have a homely experience. I love the way of life here in Finland, having nature on your door step is wonderful, and the fact every home in Finland has a sauna! This is a way of life here. And I am pleased to have had this experience first hand.
My final day in Turku I spent walking around downtown, visiting a museum where I saw a curiously bad Picasso, and some cool modern art. I also went to a medieval market which was awesome because everyone was dressed in gowns and old style robes, fitting in with the theme. I could have bought a number of things but due to an already crammed backpack I could not fit in anymore. I found some beautiful pottery in awesome bright blue colours, but ceramics are not a good thing to travel with!
I had another grief day sadly; I miss both my parents, and it seems some days it is Mum other days Dad. I am pleased that she came to visit me in my dreams that same night, comforting me by her presence, knowing she is okay, just across the invisible veil of another world. One day we will all be reunited.
Next stop is Helsinki! Here I will be catching up with a friend I met in Estonia a few years ago and explore more of another cool city. And then it is onto Greece!
Stay tuned for more travel stories, come travel the world through my words. I hope you are enjoying my journey so far. I would love to hear from you, drop me a line and say hello!