You had me at hello.

You know the feeling of being untouchable? Walking down the street like you have all of it covered. You feel alive, ready for anything but at the same time blessed and grateful for all the things you have in your life. Top of the world, enjoying the day and the night. Then all of a sudden, just when you think that this is it, nothing can shake this state of mind, Universe comes and well, uses those tricks it is known for. It comes with a force, first you kind of don’t even notice the moves, it is like watching someone who is extremely good at figure skating making the jumps just at the right time, effortlessly. You continue speak from the truth that you have at the moment. Using words like ‘I never’ or ‘I don’t think I understand what that means’ and then the Universe pulls the rug from under your feet.991151900Stunned, on the ground you wonder, how did this happened? How can someone stole my cool? My ‘cool as a cucumber’ -mental state stolen, just like that without hesitation nor any particular tricks. You keep on pondering, how did this happen? All of a sudden the domino effect inside of you start to create some kind of heat map of the feelings that you’ve noticed arousing. What on earth is this?! You start to see all the scientific research running through your eyes. Brain scans, which will basically tell that ‘being crazy’ and ‘have a crush’ stimulates the same parts of the brain… craziness indeed it is. First, you try to make it seem alright, stating that the glow is due to a new bronzer. You try to push it away.2003362832Simultaneously your head keeps spinning ‘I just can’t get you out of my head’. You know, that you’re sinking into the crush land and hard. And you know that the other one feels the same way. Both of you running away from it, like ‘is this it?!?’, I didn’t sign to this when I met you. Running in circles just to bump to each other, again, again and again. Then taking a turn and continuing running. Seems like a reasonable thing to do in your late 20s. It is like taking two super balls (this was a thing also somewhere else than in Finland, right?) give them a little push and drop it into a cube and watch how they randomly bounces from one angle to another and hit each other. Rational? Maybe not but this might as well be one of those ‘you just go with the feeling’ types of things.1745318902 At the same time you try to act like a rational person. Doing the math, putting all the cons and pros into the situation. All those calculations making it seems like the most irrational thing ever but still you feel drawn to it. You ask yourself, what it is that makes me feel this way? And the question just sinks in, you really don’t get a coherent answer back. Reviewing all of it back and forth but there is something you can’t really put in other way than, you had me at hello.

Pics are from Helsinki, Finland.

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Resistance

Resonate with me, I’m trying to find the right tune. I’m falling back to that bottomless hole that sucks me in, I know. I know because nothing on my playlist doesn’t feel right, it is not in tune with me, my levels are somewhere else. Out of the reach, out of touch. I’m trying to grasp for an air because it feels like I’m suffocating. Where can I find air? Save me from myself.833087032I loop inside my head all the insecurities that I’ve created for myself. Shame giving its guidelines to the driver in the highway of not belonging. I take a deep breath, I know there is an exit coming. Anything else than this feeling, why I can’t pinpoint it? I would want to rip it out of me but it has lurked into every cell and corner of my body. It reminds me, irrationally, why there must be something completely utterly wrong with me. One exit passed by when the next one will come? As I drive by the land of not belonging, through the landscapes I know too well, roads which I remember by heart, I wonder where, when and how did I learn to be so violent towards myself?1990142753My heart skips a beat, I don’t want to accept it, violence. It would be easier to let the demons speak and just wait for the feeling pass away but that is like letting someone punch you in the face without saying anything. So, which one I would accept resistance or violence? Pondering, in whose benefit the self-hate is? Resistance, it feels like a right thing to do but I don’t know the road, it is unfamiliar, which is why it is so tempting to go back to the road I know by heart. Why is it so hard to let go of familiar? Nonetheless, it is good for us or not. But there is a shy wish within me that I would learn the roads of loving myself better than I do now, learn to know the person I’ve become. Hear myself better, hear myself out, do things for myself, learn to listen rather than feeding myself with assumptions and accusations that I’ve taken with me throughout the years.656443868

Pics are from Giethoorn, Utrecht and Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Virtual Reality

I could not do anything else than let it all go or was it only a brief idea to let it all go but I just ended up putting on virtual reality gadgets just to forget all of this. Nothing really matters as soon as I get rid of the emptiness that I carry, please give me anything that makes me ignore the questions and answers I’m supposed to have answers for or I think I should have answers for. You make me flow and I don’t even know you but I wish I could understand how you make my whole body bloom. How you make me get in lost in a moment where my past doesn’t mean anything and there is no future, yet. Nothing matters. What is the trick? I keep moving forward and ask myself, why? Soon as the reality kicks in I’m paralysed. One, none and thousand thoughts running in my mind and I try to catch the so-called voice within.

1585544370I fight against all of it and I tied the knot with my backpack a long time ago. It gives one that newlywed glow. Flying over the moon and back with the destined soulmate they write all the songs for. It seems that you’ve calculated the perfect trajectory to fly over life. Fly like an eagle, swim like a shark, do everything so effortlessly like it would be natural to you. You start to believe the illusion you’ve created for yourself until you’re caught without a guard. Who are you then? Do we just change the virtual reality glasses to another pair, tell everyone that we are now enlightened? That things we didn’t understand before are now clear. We develop, grow, move forward… or do we just stay in the same place and change those glasses to trick ourselves to think we are ‘developing’?697467482You’re pushed to change, you hear ‘only change is permanent’, it is like knowing oneself has become something you can consume. Meaning, that ‘being oneself’ is reduced to a concept that will give clear ROI numbers. However, at the same time, it reduces the way one is seen and packs all of it into tightly predetermined categories. I want to get rid off those chains I’ve created for myself and those once that lurked into my life by the idea of whom I’m supposed to be in this world. But I don’t want to rebel, I want to understand myself, not through commercialised images of ‘self-development’, out of context ‘empowering’ memes or books that will let you know that you’re or not special snowflake but by dropping myself into the ocean and seek deep. I seek an answer for; who am I? Not who I am through someone else’s virtual reality glasses.2053876094

Pictures are from Sant’elia and Scilla, Calabria, Italy.

København <3

Copenhagen, you’re a stunning little city. You amaze me every day with your colourfulness and petite outlook. The lively yet relaxed atmosphere in cafes, restaurants and cocktail bars gives a bit of an edge to this place. You’re welcoming but you’re a lot like your Nordic cousin, more than you probably realise. It is extremely hard to crack your ice and it takes time and hard work, in a way you seem a bit weird but different way than strangeness in Helsinki. But still, your strangeness is endearing and it makes you who you are. I’m extremely proud that I have stories to tell from two Nordic systems and I’m honoured to have the opportunity to live my life in countries that share same value ground. But it is time to say goodbye at least for now, therefore I decided to blast rest of the post with pictures from last year. Just because you’re awesome, look at you, you little big thing! Look how much you’ve given to me, more than I can express with my words. You will always stay in my memories as a place of growth. And yes, you did introduce intuition back into my decision making.

And to feel free…

CPH & Coffee pt.2

It has been a while since my last post about coffee. I thought it would be a good idea to start this year with another post about the cafes in Copenhagen. You can find my earlier post about coffee from Copenhagen in here (and two previous once from Helsinki in here and here)! And as per usual, if there is a place I should definitely visit, let me know. I’m always hunting ‘a damn fine cup of coffee’.

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I love small places with comfy atmosphere combined with a nice menu and good coffee. At the moment, I must say that one of the nicest experiences from Copenhagen in terms of service, atmosphere, and the food was in the Next Door Cafe. I love coziness, service that is welcoming but not too formal, this is exactly a place where you want to go to have that informal, unique kind of experience. You’re treated like a friend and what I loved about the staff was that they didn’t have a certain uniform or look, everyone was who they are and it just added a little spice into the mix. The place is like a good old rock song, it always gets you going, gives the boost you need and afterward you feel a bit younger. I had pancakes, juice, and coffee for a late breakfast. In terms of coffee, it was good a bit too hot for my taste (there is a high chance that steamed milk which is too hot will give a burn taste and diminish actual taste of the bean…) but in this case, it was nice cup of coffee, not perfect but hey, if the playlist includes classics like Video kill the radio star or The Passenger you can’t help but put that 4 star stamp on it.

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I’ve visited in several cafes from The Coffee Collective in Copenhagen. My latest try was in Bernikow shop, it is a nice place with also a cocktail menu. If we get back to music, Nina Simone’s tunes were playing whole time I was visiting, therefore I can only give credit to having one of my favourite singers supplementing my morning coffee. The place itself is a mix of harbour themed paintings, with wood and green from the plants that are placed all over the shop. I’m trying to find the words to describe the place, it somehow reminded me of an old jazz restaurant, with a hint from botanical gardens and spiced up with a bit of modernity. One could call it sophisticated, but by no means it is stubborn. It is a place, where you have life, but not too much noise, you can sit and relax, drink your coffee and enjoy some jazz melodies at the same time. Coffee is one of the best in town and croissant was delicious.

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Comparing these two cafes is like trying to compare Iggy Pop to Edith Piaf, both of them are great but in such a different way, that it comes more to personal preferences rather than actual differences in quality. If you’re looking for a place to have nice food in a relaxed, informal atmosphere you would choose Next Door Cafe, but if you’re looking for an excellent cup of coffee, you would go and get it from The Coffee Collective. Both of them are superb but on their own terms.

Hey Jude!

I was finding my way in London underground at the end of 2017 when someone in distance started to whistle a song. The melody of it was way too familiar but I or anyone from my group wasn’t able to remember the name of the song. It bothered me but I had so much to do back in the London town, so I let it be for a while until 1st of January 2018 to be specific. London has a special place in my memory land, I was 10 when I visited the town for the first time and since then I have created memories in the city with several different people. It has delivered for me so much, from my first musical experiences (Cats) to two memorable New Years and more than once it has served as a platform for experiences which has been far from ordinary, in good and in bad.

London represents to me a place, where everything is possible, it was the first stop back in 2010 when I started my internship in Birmingham, it was in my dreams as the next step in 2014 after finishing my exchange semester in Nottingham, but I ended up in Shenzhen and now, when the year of 2018 is still an open book it was more than natural to celebrate end of 2017 with group of friends I haven’t seen since our trip to Bali. But back into the song, we decided to see the fireworks on New Year’s Eve in Primrose Hill, this was actually a nice change. Back in the end of 2013, we were close to London Eye, this time we were far away from the center but the atmosphere in Primrose Hill was real and hopeful towards the new year with a hint of togetherness. And all of a sudden when the clock was 00.00 there was a group who started to sing a song…

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Hey Jude, don’t be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better

And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder… (The Beatles – Hey Jude)

…the song we had heard in the underground few days ago. It was a perfect way to start the new year and as an icing on a cake, all this comes to back into my childhood when I used to put my mothers Beatles albums into stereos and jam into the tunes. So, Hey Jude, don’t make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better. 2018 I’m ready for you!

Pics are naturally from London.

Paris & Wondering Heart

Paris was stunning, just like I remembered. It was magical to see 14th of July celebration in France. We started evening with picnic (including some cheese, crackers and champagne) and made our move to Champ De Mars afterwards. I remember Eiffel Tower’s surroundings quite well from 2013 when I first visited Paris. Back then I was amazed of it all but there was something special this time around. We walked whole day in a perfect weather from alley to alley and I had camera glued to me. You know, one of those moments you share with someone and you think still after days and weeks; were we actually there? Was it real? One of the best things about traveling is to experience something new, something that is different from what you are used to. 14th of July this year included the best parts of traveling and sharing it all with a good friend. Not much more you can ask for a memory?

First things first, you know that you speak Finnish on a ‘fast mode’ when security person asks: are you from Italy? This happened when we entered Champ De Mars. In Finland Independence Day celebration is devoted and quiet. It is about getting together, eating well, burning two candles and watching president shaking hands with people. Although, one factor could be that this day is in December, which of course makes it a tap too cold season to celebrate outside in our levels (and I do love the way we celebrate Independence Day). Which in contrast made Paris experience so special, because setting, weather and atmosphere were so divergence from Finnish way. Luckily I had someone with me to translate everything, it does make a difference to have someone with you that understands the local language. And well, those fireworks were stunning:

I’ve been thinking what it is with traveling, why do I love it? And I haven’t find the answer to that question yet but what I’ve come peace with lately is my wondering heart. My wondering heart is still exploring and it might continue this wondering for the rest of my life. But what is different now is that I’m starting to accept this, I’m on a process where I can accept that I don’t know where I see myself settling down. Accept that I don’t know where my place is. But I will keep wondering, I will keep exploring and maybe one day I notice I’m right there where I’m supposed to be. But before that, I will go back to memory land and post some pics from Paris ❤

Helsingør

Last weekend I went to Helsingør with my colleague. This little city absolutely stole my heart and will be on a revisit list for summer. Besides numerous ‘to be or not to be’ –liners I dropped the whole day, I literally could not let go of my camera. Kronborg’s castle is what Helsingør is known for (or at least one of those things) and Hamlet is pretty much present everywhere in the city. Kronborg’s castle and its surroundings reminded me a bit of Suomenlinna Sea Fortress in Helsinki (absolutely in top 3 places to visit when in Helsinki during summer time).

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You can see from Helsingør to Helsingborg and the ferries go between Denmark and Sweden regularly. I think it will be a good idea to make a short visit to Helsingborg next time, it has been a too long while since I’ve visited the neighbour (although Malmö might happen before Helsingborg). Besides the harbour and Kronborg castle what really strikes out in Helsingør is the old city. Buildings looks like they are from a cartoon, it feels like you would be inside of a story. Every building is different colour and it feels like you should take a picture of every single alley you see. It is a good idea to prepare a power bank and full battery for a camera with a decent size memory card in it for the day.

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City is easy to reach from Copenhagen central station and with a tourist tickets (24/72h ones for zones 1-99) it is cheap to get there and you can travel with the same ticket inside of Copenhagen also. Definitely a day trip you might want to squeeze in if traveling to the capitol of Denmark.

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Confessions of a single traveller

I started to write this post already a couple weeks back but because I had some difficulties to put it up in public it is here now. Pics are from Copenhagen from the past weeks, I will do separate post from Helsingør where I went yesterday. But now on to the post I kind of don’t want to and same time want to write.

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Today on this perfect sunny day I decided to pay a visit to some of the tourist spots here in Copenhagen (also I continued a search of that n.1 Café Latte in here more about that on next post). But while exploring the city and doing one of my favourite things (photographing) I did get that blue cloud above my head. And I could choose to ignore it and just write a post about what I did today, show these pics that I took on a perfect day. I just chose to take this post into another direction, maybe one could say to the shadows 😀

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Sometimes, it is just damn hard to do stuff alone. There it is, I said it. I’m that person who would want to act like that sentence is not happening in life, like that could be something that I can happily just put into a box and send it to somewhere (READ: meaning that this doing things alone would not get me, it does). Today was one of those days that as much as I enjoyed photographing (I got some sweet shots) and spending some quality time with myself, I just kind of wished I could have shared it with someone. This would not be the first time, I remember quite clearly one of the most overwhelming moments in my life when I was standing in Central, Hong Kong looking back to TST and just cried. Because I was somewhere where I always wanted to be. But inside I felt so lonely it was painful. As a consequence of equation of trying to cope with that pain and dream coming true I just didn’t find any other way to deal with that situation than being by the water and cry my eyes out. Today’s feeling was more like a whining undertone trying its best to ruin my day. But still, as far as I’m standing with my own two feet as an independent woman, I still can’t help myself of feeling isolated every here and there from the world because I do so much alone.

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Isolation is hard, it is that feeling of being an elephant in an antique store or that you would wear a cap with Las Vegas lights screaming in all colours and sparkles ‘WEIRDO’ ‘ALIEN’ ‘KEEP AWAY YOU MIGHT GET HURT’. Which of course inside of your head turns into behaviour pattern of trying to act as normal as you can (for me trying this is most of the time quite hard… in other words; I think I just don’t deliver this ‘normal’ well). As a consequence you might as well look like a lost little puppy, which is not helping that mission of not being noticed. And I’ve been going this thing over and under, sidewalks and highway and come to the conclusion that some of the traits I have in me, I can’t fully nourish when I’m alone (of course this goes other way around too there are things that I prefer to do alone).

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I’m a bit shy (everyone who knows me, yes this happens 😀 ) when I’m alone and this has an effect on me when I’m taking photos. Sometimes I might not take a shot just because I feel that I might disturb someone or will be out of my ‘normal zone’ and surprisingly I usually feel not to be in that ‘normal zone’ when I’m with someone I feel comfortable to be with. Feelings of excitement (which I personally get from anything like today when I saw two swans eating in a pond) are supposed to be shared with someone, they bottle up inside and withers without expression. Sharing parts of your life in somewhere else than in social media gives you a sense of belonging. Therefore, one of the most hardest things when moving a place or traveling a longer time alone is not how to do things by yourself. The hard part is when you feel like sharing a moment with someone else and you can’t.

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The Coffee Collective – Torvehallerne, Copenhagen

There has been a while since my last post, but to be honest past few weeks has been nice but same time a lot to adjust to. Copenhagen seems like a good place to live and today I finally started my search for the best coffee place in here. I just moved into my room near Nørreport station and I started my search quite naturally from surrounding areas. My first pick was not bad at all, I went to Torvehallerne and find my way to The Coffee Collective. Ordered my usual, meaning Latte & Croissant. I wish I could be that Espresso –person who would understand and appreciate all the tastes and richness of serving a coffee in such a pure way but well I’m not 😀  I like the taste of coffee when it blends with milk, that smoothness but same time, depending on the bean the taste varies. Although too many times you receive a bitter latte (there is something hypnotic of that first sip of the morning coffee, bitterness breaks the spell). I was lucky to have the best coffee so far in Denmark this morning, the spell did not broke! I’m more than sure after this experience I will visit also The Coffee Collective’s two other shops here in Copenhagen.

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Only minus I would give for this morning experience would be that the shop is small and because of its location, it is really busy. Therefore if you are looking for a place to spend time and relax I would not suggest this as the first place to go. Interior design was similar to a lot roasteries back in Finland, so really Nordic alike style, with clean lines. White, black and wood mixed in interior choices. Even though it was busy this morning, shop itself felt cosy and familiar, which was a good thing.  Also, they would deliver for a more demanding coffee drinker (I didn’t check the menu but based on the gear that they have there I would say that they can do pretty much everything coffee related). I think Torvehallerne shop will be a must go take away place when spring and summer hits here with full force. In that case the only minus I could come up with (and that is not necessary a minus, it is more related to the location of the shop) would not matter because there are plenty of places near Nørreport to enjoy the day.

And if someone knows coffee places that I should definitely visit here in Copenhagen let me know in the comments!