Posts tagged “europe

Revelry and a Robbery: Finnish Music Festivals

Posted on 11 November 2014

  Summers in Finland are magical and bright. The northern sun, barely setting, electrifies the air. Everyone feels this and revels in it, spending time in summer cottages, eating ice cream outside, and enjoying the variety of music festivals that the country has to offer. I’ll admit, I’m obsessed with Finland and can’t keep away—I’ve been seven times. I first went to meet friends, and the country has gripped me ever since. I’ve been back to visit them, and even managed to stay an entire summer, studying at Helsinki Summer University. I’ve planned the timing of other trips to and within Finland around music festivals. I’ve been lucky to attend a number of different Finnish music festivals—Provinssirock, Ruisrock, Qstock, and Flow Festival. I went…

World, You’re Too Large – But Don’t Ever Shrink

Posted on 5 July 2014

Travel planning for me is at once an exercise in imagination and restraint. I have to be forcefully focused in how I approach my daily research in order to make concrete plans, because reading about how to get from Klaipėda to Riga can quickly turn into wild desires to visit Cape Kolka during my limited schedule and then dreaming about spending months bicycling through the Baltics. Weeks turn into simply not enough time. The more I learn, the more I want to see for myself. Hey world, you’re making me ravenous. Given my propensity for distracting myself with ever more grandiose plans, travel research becomes my primary activity, and it occupies by far the most brain space. I can connect almost anything I do to travel planning. Reading? Well,…

The Art of Broadening

Posted on 22 June 2014

The raw rock in my stomach grew firmer as the plane flew higher. I peered out of the window and watched my familiar Finland, my friends, sink further and further beneath me. I was 19. I had flown internationally on my own plenty of times. I had just spent a semester in Russia. But I hadn’t truly traveled alone before. And here I was, on my way to the first of four countries I planned to visit before my summer program began in Berlin. Soon enough, we would be landing in Vienna. I waited for my baggage and fiddled with my mostly useless, not-smart cell phone. Unable to confirm my plans, I took a breath, stomached the fact that there are no certainties in travel,…

A Day In A Place That Should Be Known

Posted on 15 February 2014

I have been thinking of Estonia recently. Lately, the few times I’ve mentioned it, I’ve been faced with bemused replies of “Estonia?” My disappointment is misplaced. They are the ones who are missing out. I’ve only spent one day in Estonia, in Tallinn. I took a ferry from Helsinki, where I was visiting a host of friends for spring break during my semester abroad in Russia. Not entirely content to spend all my time in one country, I squeezed Estonia into my schedule—not at all difficult given the ample amount of ferries shuttling back and forth between these two glorious cities. Perhaps I’ve been thinking of Tallinn because it has been a bit cold here. Once again, an episode of Leah’s Left Arm Turns…

Helsinki Behind Our Apartment

Posted on 12 September 2013

I was never truly bored in Finland. All through my computer-less months, when I was home by myself after Finnish class while friends were still at work, despite multiple re-reads of the English books on hand (luckily I can read Harry Potter endlessly), my oft solitary afternoons weren’t dull. I lived in Helsinki, see, and it’s too pleasant for boredom. Behind our apartment sprawled Kaivopuisto. Puisto, for those who don’t speak Finnish, means park. I needed only meander a few serene blocks away, and I would be striding by the gulf under the bluest skies. So, if I had nothing pressing to attend to—which was often—on went my shoes (never worn in the home) and in went my headphones (Ismo Alanko already queued up)…