It’s the second last day of year 2017 so I think it’s time to take a look back and reminisce.
I’ve spent about third of the year traveling in 20 different countries. The first trip of the year was to Vancouver to spend two weeks with my boyfriend. It was a very memorable holiday probably because we did so many different things and activities. We went skiing and snowshoeing, went to movies three times and so many delicious and cozy dinners. However, my favorite part was when my boyfriend surprised me with a helicopter flight over the mountains. The views up there were crazy beautiful!
In the beginning of March I spent a long weekend in Salzburg with my family. Even though the weekend was supposed to be about business, it turned out to be just pleasure. For me the best part was to get some spring sun in the middle of the darkest months in Finland.
After going back home my boyfriend came over to Helsinki for the rest of the month. I still had to study and work the whole time but we had a good time regardless. We even spent a weekend in Tallinn, which was super nice. I didn’t like Tallinn when I was younger because I found it too small but today it might be my favorite city in Eastern Europe. I love how vibrant and modern yet historical it is.
On the first of June I packed my bags again to spend the summer traveling. I flew to Salzburg, picked up my boyfriend from Münich the next day and spent two weeks with him and my family in Salzburg. After that we embarked on our two-month Eastern Europe and Balkan tour.
Backpacking for that long starts to really show you the good and bad sides of traveling, especially if you’re on a strict budget as we were. Staying in hostels and traveling by buses can be very exhausting. We only stayed 2-6 days (mostly just 2 or 3) in each place so after a while it started to feel like we’re just constantly packing our bags. We could never know if we’d be able to get any sleep in the hostel room, if the toilets were clean at all or if there were bed bugs. Sometimes it was very hard to find privacy anywhere and after a while watching Netflix in peace and quiet started to feel luxurious. In addition, sometimes it was super hard to find anything gluten free to eat except chocolate covered rice cakes.
Even though we were happy to be back in Salzburg in August, I’m super grateful for the whole summer. We saw so many nice places, experienced lots of new things, hiked in beautiful sceneries and met some amazing people on the way. Some small cities, such as Wroclaw, Vilnius and Mostar are places I’d be happy to visit again whereas for example Kotor didn’t impress me too much. My favorites places were Žabljak and Ždiar and I wish that some year we could just spend a few weeks hiking across the Alps and stay in huts or a tent.
After coming back to Finland after Salzburg we visited my grandmum as well as two cottages with my friends and family. It was nice to get to enjoy a little bit of Finnish summer as well. After that it was time for me to go back to studying and for my boyfriend to fly back home. We spent 3,5 months apart (never again :D) which felt like eternity after just two weeks so now I’m more than happy to be here in Australia. Now when I’m here it feels like the fall went by quite quickly with parties, my birthday, yoga, the bachelor seminar and just life in general.
All in all I think that year 2017 was very good. Besides finishing my degree I feel like I achieved quite a few things. But most of all I think that throughout the year my worldview has changed a lot as well as my attitude toward life and myself. And dogs.