New York Highlights

New York 2018-11Finally had the time for putting together the best things I managed to see here. I easily could have spent three weeks in New York, but as I only had two weeks of vacation (and wasn’t ready to spend all my money on traveling) I only had four full days in the Big Apple. And as sadly, my flight from Florida was delayed for 18 hours, so I lost pretty much a full day of time.

Also, I would have loved to just stroll around the city with my camera without too much planning. And the bad weather had an impact on my trip too. Next time I might skip the sun and beaches of Florida and head straight to New York, everything you can ever want is there. I actually lived in Larchmont, about 30 mins from Manhattan for a year, working as an Au Pair, so I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the city back in the days and never got bored. So this is what I managed to see and experience!

Public library

New York 2018-2I actually ended up here after escaping the rain into a clothing store in the next block… I started checking on Google Maps to see if there was anything interesting near by and The  New York Public Library seemed like a nice option. Luckily, I didn’t get stuck there for too long like the group in The Day After Tomorrow. But it was amazing to see, would love to study in a place like this. New York 2018

Chinatown

New York 2018-3Something I wasn’t particularly interested in when living in the US, but something I became super interested in after living in Shanghai. Felt a little bit like home with so many people not speaking good English, everything written in Chinese and shops full of Chinese souvenirs. My brief exploration of Chinatown was amazing. I had lunch in a Chinese restaurant and simply explored the Chinese culture in the middle of New York City. New York 2018-4

Coney Island

New York 2018-5Another thing I never visited back when living in Larchmont. I love amusement parks and fairs. Sadly the weather ruined everything as it was super cold and nothing was open. But Coney Island was, for sure, one of the prettiest places I’ve seen in the US. Would love to visit it properly on a better weather. New York 2018-6

Museums

 Museum of the City of New York  I took a quick visit here after reading there was an exhibition of photographs by Stanley Kubrick. I was interested to see how one of the greatest film directors of all time started his career by working for Look Magazine. I really liked the photographs documenting the city life in New York back in the late 1940’s.  New York 2018-7

New York 2018-8As my time in New York was very limited, I had to choose carefully which museums to visit. I didn’t want to visit the ones I had already been to, and having always had an interest towards the Native American cultures, I chose to visit National Museum of the American Indian.New York 2018-9It was mostly native american artifacts and I found it interesting, but most likely wouldn’t visit again. Instead, I definitely would visit again American Museum of Natural History and Metropolitan Museum of Art, which I visited years ago. One day just isn’t enough for either of them, but I wanted to focus on new destinations this time.New York 2018-10I also did a bunch of shopping at Macy’s after realizing how much better the prices were there than here in Sweden… And I took day trip to Larchmont to visit the family I lived in back in the days. It was crazy to see how much the kids had grown and to realize how fast time flies. And after all this, with just under 1 000 000 people, Stockholm felt tiny.

Florida Adventures

FloridaI wrote previously how it’s been a few years since I traveled properly and how I previously spent years living abroad and traveling! So I finally got a chance to travel outside the Nordic Countries: Florida and New York. So here are the highlights of the trip from May. As the trip was quite hectic I didn’t have a chance to write an update on everything I got to experience. But here are the best parts of Florida combined into one post. New York coming up soon. 🏙

Tampa

I originally booked flights to Miami, but as the plans changed I rebooked it to Tampa. I had to pay for the rebooking, but the cost was more or less the same as booking a new flight or other transportation to Miami. The reason for all this was that we were a group of 6-10 people and finding suitable Airbnb housing was a bit of a challenge. So the locations we traveled to were basically based on where we could find housing.TampaI had been in Florida once before and visited Disney World and Kennedy Space Center, so for this trip I didn’t have much wishes. And with a large group of people I simply find it easier to go with the flow. We rented a car, so we drove around quite a lot. And the first evening the rest of the group picked me up from the airport and we drove straight to a beach. The sunset was one of the prettiest ever.

Fort Mayers

IMG_8960This was basically a day trip to the beach. We took some fun pictures and had drinks, but that was pretty much it. Fort Myers isn’t really a major city in Florida, but I guess there would have been other interesting things as well. On the other hand, coming from the Nordics, sun and beaches were pretty much exactly what I wanted. Fort MayersAt this point we were 6 people, so we could still fit into one car and the group was pretty easy to manage. Florida_2018-42

Everglades

I would have loved to deeper explore the Everglades National Park, we only had time to see just a tiny piece of it. But maybe next time I’ll manage to get on an airboat and drive deeper into the swamps. Though we were pretty lucky to see several alligators!Everglades 2018We had a brief tour with a local guide that taught us a lot of new about alligators and other species of the area. Most of the stories we’ve heard about alligators are scary and they’ve been portrayed as beasts that eat pretty much anything they come across isn’t exactly true. Humans aren’t easy food for alligators so they attack mostly when threatened or if humans have fed them and they’ve developed an association between humans and food. However, you should keep a safe distance!Everglades_Alligators.jpg

Key West

For me, this was probably the highlight of the trip. I visited Key West on my last trip, but the only thing I could remember was that it was HOT. So during the warmest months it might not be the most comfortable place to visit. But this time the temperature was perfect. Although I’ve lived most of my life in the northern parts of the planet, I really enjoy hot weather and about +28 C is perfect. Key West-2.jpgI knew about the southernmost point of the continental United States, but something I didn’t know about Key West was that it has a large gay community. And I also hadn’t realized that even the crosswalks had rainbow colors.

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Of course the beach was also very nice

Fort Lauderdale 

The final destination of our trip. The reason for traveling was actually my friend’s birthday  And this is where we celebrated. The Airbnb house right next to the water with a pool was super nice. Fort Lauderdale2-2 copyThe house also had a barbecue place and a terrace, so we could have a nice dinner with some drinks. We then went to a bar for some more. That was actually the only time I went out clubbing during the trip. I definitely can’t deal with alcohol the same way as I did in my early twenties and prefer sleeping and waking up early, which is kind of nice. Although I kind of miss living a party life like I did back in Paris and Korea. Fort Lauderdale-2I’m hoping to do some more traveling soon (as soon as I stop my seven-day-workweek routine). I’d love to head back to Asia for some Korean cosmetics and bubble tea! Fort Lauderdale4-2

2015 Parhaat

Keräsin tähän 2015 parhaat muistot! Vuoteen on mahtunut yllättävän paljon, olen oppinut uusia asioita, tavannut mielettömiä ihmisiä ja muuttanut pois Suomesta. Oon miettinyt, pitäiskö tehdä joku uuden vuoden lupaus, mutten vielä keksinyt mitään erityistä mitä haluaisin toteuttaa… Ehkä yrittää puhua ruotsia edes vähän joka päivä.

Matkustus: 2015 alkoi Etelä-Koreassa. Käytiin ensin Busanissa, jonka jälkeen juhlittiin uutta vuotta pääkaupungissa Soulissa. Asuin Soulissa vajaa puoli vuotta vuonna 2013 ja ikävä on edelleen kova. Korealaiset on ihania ja nähtävää ja tehtävää riittää aina. IMG_9262Uuden vuoden päivänä matkustettiin Filippiineille!IMG_9608

Palapelit: Kasailen palapelejä aina kun tulee tilaisuus, tämän hetkiseen asuntoon ei kämppiksestä johtuen oikein isommat palapelit mahdu, mutta Suomessa olen kasannut palapelejä vanhempieni luona. Ajattelin tulla kesäksi Suomeen ja kuvata taas jonkun massiivisen palapeli-timelapse videon. IMG_0307

Käsilläseisonta: Harrastin tankotanssia pari vuotta ja jouduin alkukeväästä pitämään pienen tauon selkäongelmista johtuen. Tajusin niihin aikoihin, että osaan muutakin kuin kiipeillä tangolla: osaan seistä ja kävellä käsilläni. Olen osannut viimeiset 15 vuotta, mutta kuluneen vuoden aikana sain homman oikeasti haltuun. Ensi vuoden tavoitteena on oppia seisomaan yhdellä kädellä.

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Pride: En ole ihmisoikeusaktivisti, mutta Pride-kulkue on ehkä Helsingin kaunein tapahtuma. Tykkään ilmapalloista, joten kävin vähän kuvailemassa Pride-tunnelmia. Kävin myös Umeå Pridessa, joka kaikessa pienuudessaan oli erittäin vaikuttava.

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Kaljakellunta: Vuoden paras tapahtuma on aina Vantaalla järjestettävä Kaljakellunta. Olen ollut mukana nyt useampana vuotena ja hauskaa on aina. Sää ei ollut erityisen lämmin, toisin kuin aiempina vuosina, joten kellunta jäi aavistuksen lyhyeksi. IMG_5243

Flow: Kävin ensimmäistä kertaa Flow-festareilla. Pet Shop Boys oli 👌🏼❣️

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Ruåtsi: Muutin elokuussa Uumajaan. En luultavasti tule asumaan siellä enää opiskelujen jälkeen, paitsi jos löytyy jotain joka kääntää mun pään. Mutta Ruotsissa on tapahtunut paljon ikimuistoisia asioita. En esim. ollut koskaan ennen nähnyt revontulia!

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Mount Mogan 莫干山

I was sorting out the pictures I took while living in Asia and finally decided to post some from the trip to Mount Mogan last fall. It was only a couple of hours away from shanghai and it was a very different experience of Chinese natre and culture. We satyed at a local hotel and had only real Chinese food during the two days, and besides the food I enjoyed the trip very much. It was really misty on the second morning when we climbed all the way up so I couldn’t get a clear picture of the whole view, but here’s something! The trip was arranged by Hutong School in Shanghai where I was taking Chinese classes at the time. They had other great activities too on a weekly basis and I highly recommend stydying there.

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View from the top of Mount Mogan
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Autumn leaves.
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Waterfalls. A tripod would have been useful for this one.

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There were many buildings around the mountain which some of were museums. We went inside some buildings but there were just old furniture and pictures on the walls. I didn’t take any pictures since it didn’t seem that special to me I enjoy more photographing nature, landscapes and such.

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There were somekind of ribbons hanging from the trees, we didn’t figure out why but looks nice.
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Forest mist

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I would have loved to have this picture with a clear landscape view on the back. Sadly the weather wasn’t too good but I might go again one day. I’m going to graduate with a bachelor’s degree soon and will apply for master studies in other Nordic Countries, if I won’t get in anywhere I like I’ve decided to take a couple months off from work and go to Beijing for an intensve Chinese course and travel around the country. Not a bad option either. I’m still taking Chinese classes here in Finland but I’m learning soooo much more slowly than back in Shanghai. I will write about learning the language soon!

 

Beijing

During my stay in China I had to of course visit the capital Beijing (北京). I didn’t really plan my trip, just booked one night in a hostel and took the train to the city. Later on my arrival night my three week-old iPhone broke down, so I had to came back to Shanghai already the next day. Two or three nights would have been enough time to see all the essential places, but with my Chinese skills, without internet or phone I just couldn’t do it. I recommend planning better than I did.

I didn’t know much about the city before going, I just wanted to see the great wall, which I had to pass due to my very limited schedule. But I got a couple of cool pictures to show. 🙂

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Some Chinese flags at Tiananmen square.

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Some kind of buildings.

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Garden expo had all kinds of plants, trees and different styles of buildings. The admission fee was about 100 yuan, a bit pricey, but we only live once…

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This was on my to do list right after the Great wall, the great Beijing duck! There was another one in Hong Kong before and now they’re everywhere. Since Chinese people love to copy, I’ve heard that they’ve made a lot of diffrent ducks for promotional purposes but I’ve never seen another big one besides this. A lot of stuffed animals with the same design are sold all over the country though.

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Beijing is definitely worth visiting while in China. It’s often packed with (Chinese) tourists, but if you want to see something very Chinese, then Beijing is the place. In many ways Shanghai is like any big city, except for the location, but I could imagine living in Shanghai is more fun than in Beijing.

 

Finnish in Japan

During my trip in Japan I came across two shops with Finnish names. I noticed later both stores had “SM2” next to their own names, so I did a little research and found out there were four different store names under the SM2  brand. The stores I came across were ehkä söpö and olohuone. From the webpage http://www.sm2.co.jp/ I found also otan tämän “I(‘ll) take/have this one”  and keittiö “kitchen”.

The www-page was in Japanese so I couldn’t figure out whether they had any connection to Finland besides the names.

Ehkä söpö “Maybe cute” Harajuku, Tokyo

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Olohuone “Living room” in Tokyo or Osaka, can’t recall where, but anyway, sweet!

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A Swedish bag I found at a store in Tokyo. It says “Can I use your phone?” I don’t know if people actually buy this stuff. Most Japanese wouldn’t probably even recognize the language. It could say basicly anything. Or maybe they google before they buy…

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