About travelling

I happened to read a blog post about travelling by an old good friend of mine. She left an incredibly tough question in the end of the page; ‘What does travelling mean to you?’

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When I lived close to Paris, I really loved all the metro and train trips – got some time to think, travel in mind.

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Ways of travelling – tuktuk in Bangkok, Thailand

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Ways of travelling – a flight to a foreign land
Fra Airport, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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Tradition of travelling – by camels in the desert
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Travelling is a word, meaning usually ‘to move from one place to another’, as in my previous pictures. But there is so much more to it, it’s both a physical and mental life-changing experience.

At the moment, travelling is work for me, in a literal way. Long distances became my office and far lands home. When you are far from home physically and culturally, you really need to feel inside you and search your peace, your history, culture and values. Only by knowing first what I am made of, I can start learning from others.

Deeper inside we are not so different. Cultures, religions, traditions and history have made us act differently. But we all have same feelings, we need love, we want to understand the world, we get angry when something doesn’t work as we are taught, we forgive when things are settled in a respectful and constructive manner.

Travelling means meeting the world and through acceptance learning to live the world. At first travelling was mainly physical for me, but as it became mental and spiritual, it became home.

Change for 2014

It’s been a while that I haven’t been posting. For me this pause was most of all time to search something new in myself. I felt the need to understand me more, and through this process, simply get new power on sharing new stories again.

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The last sunrise I saw in 2013

I had awakening times over the holidays. During one week, I visited all the three places I consider my homes. Jyväskylä in Finland, Paris in France and Frankfurt am Main in Germany. Three different cultures, languages, lifestyles, group of friends and stages of my past life.

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French stage – delicious snails

They say you need to know your history to understand the present and to plan the future. The important thing is to understand these points in all levels, starting from the largest one – the history of the world, to understand the dynamics around, the situation of your own country and culture in this frame. The knowledge of your own culture will teach a lot about behavioural aspects and give the power to be proud of your roots.

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Wild berries is one of the privileges in Finnish forests, I learned to bake a berry pie à la Mom

Knowing the history of your own family, will help you realize partly how you have become the person you are, and the reasons behind your parents’ and other family members’ choices. It is important to remember that regardless of which choices your family has made, you are you, the only you in the world, and in today’s world you have the ability to choose the change if you wish so.

That brings us to the final one, our very own personal history. Which way have I developed during my life? Which kind of choices did I make? Which mistakes did I make? How did I overcome them?

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Sometimes the light blinds you, sometimes guides
Eiffel tower in Paris, France

Staying in my childhood home in Finland is always awakening experience. Every single time I learn new about my past. Seeing the world, grows my respect towards my roots, and all the people who have walked part of my path with me.

Paris put many questions in my mind. Why did I do certain decisions in life? What came out of them? How did I grow up during those periods of time? Answering these taught me about my decision-making and behaviour in a big picture.

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Re-living your past path makes you know yourself more

I finished the travelling week in the present. I see my path, I see this place and time that I have ended up in. There are things I like, and things I want to change for the future. I have ideas, plans and energy again but as we all know, only the future itself will tell the result.

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Find the balance of the presence and the future – enjoy today, building your future

Happy new and very successful year 2014 for everybody!

Walking speed

One detail that differs between cultures, is the speed of walking. I visited the museum of communication in Frankfurt am Main where you can among all the other things explore the speeds physically.

The task was to walk a so-called ‘catwalk’ as normal as possible and see which country your speed matches. The first time I tried to walk normally, as I do on the streets. The result was the speed of Sweden, which hits very close home up in Scandinavia.

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With a growing excitement, I tried all the different speeds to experience the feelings people have around the world while walking. I had to almost run to reach the fastest Swiss, and when moving as the Brazilians, I had time to improve my samba moves.

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Here are some examples of speed in different countries, for example the results of this walking test of 10 meters

What is not included in this test, is that people walk with different speeds also according to the area they are from, whether they live in a city or countryside, and whether they have to hurry or not.

Even though I don’t like generalizing things, and even less groups of people, but an average walking speed tells something about the culture. How about, which nationality would you be?

Communicating – delivering a message

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Today I visited Museum für Kommunikation (Museum of Communication) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It gave me many thoughts and I would like to share something.

I started to think, we use electronic devices all the time but we never stop for a minute to think why. It’s all about the fact that we want to deliver and receive messages – we want to communicate.

To deliver a message, there were always ways to express ourselves other than talking, from drawing to writing, from hieroglyphics to different kinds of alphabets.

People started delivering messages in letters and packages – this method is still alive, known as post (or as it’s also called to underline the slowness – snail mail).

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The logo of Postbank in Germany, and the horn symbolizing past times when it used to signal the arrival or departure of a post rider or mail coach

Telegraphs were invented, as well as faxes, phones, television, radio, mobile phones, computers…

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Remember this one?

… and finally Internet came into the picture.

We have the most modern communicating. But do we respect it? Do we use it the right way?

And most of all, what is the next big invention? What will make Internet look old-fashioned? How will we communicate and deliver messages in the future?

The Power Of Nature

Today, I locked myself inside the house for a while, because a storm with amazingly strong winds took over the city.

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A storm arriving – better get inside!
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Even this was a mild storm compared to real destroying ones happening all over the world, I couldn’t stop thinking, how small we humans are. One cannot do anything when the nature shows its powers by wind, rain and lightnings.

When we get reminded of our tininess, it makes us wonder our values and choices. The nature puts us back to the basics, and so many superficial thoughts slide back to where they came from.

Danger pulls the love to the surface. After the storm, we remember all the important again. Everything seems clear, likewise the nature. A storm every once in a while is good for us; it feeds the nature, and clears the air and our heads.

Sometimes we need an inner storm as well, to change the things in our lives that we want to. We might get hit hard, but when the sun comes up again, we enjoy it even more.

Have some great storms and fresh air!

About expectations

Why wouldn’t you choose your next trip to a place that you have never even heard of? The reason not to do this is usually this; when you get those few days off of work, you want to be sure that you will enjoy and relax every second of the holiday.

But when you choose a destination that you know beforehand, you build also certain expectations. If you expect something, there’s less space for positive surprises. There’s a risk that you behave in a mechanic way to reach the level for the holiday you had planned, and you might miss many opportunities when focusing on your plan.

This weekend, I chose to leave for the unknown. I got an invitation to a village that I had never heard of, and I decided to head to the countryside, an hour away from Frankfurt am Main where I’m currently based at.

With my newly fresh German friends, we spent the day at a ‘schwimmbad‘ (as they call it in Germany), in an outside swimming pool area, in Bad Kreuznach.

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On the way to Schwimmbad
Bad Kreuznach, Germany

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Schwimmbad in a valley
Bad Kreuznach, Germany

For the evening’s barbecue, we drove to Wonsheim, to another small village close by.

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Endless wine yards
Wonsheim, Germany

The tops of this little trip were definitely the home made prosecco, surprisingly interesting venues and all the lovely new people with their smiles.

When you jump to an unexpected, you let yourself enjoy all the details and experience more than you were expecting.

Belonging

Belonging to something is a big and important part of our lives. Cultures and all the groups around give us the privilege to fill the life with connections and caring.

We all belong to many subgroups, such as bloggers, surfers and teachers. But talking about deeper connections, we start to understand ourselves, how we have become the persons that we are. Also, we learn to see behind the actions of others and respect the different ways of living.

The surrounding people and areas have the biggest effect on our lives. From our parents, we get the genes and the heritage of the family history, and from school mates and teachers, we adapt many skills for life. All the people around us influence the way we grow to be. The city, country, cultural and linguistic areas and also different unions (such as European Union) build a part of us with their history, religions, laws and habits.

The main parts of one’s behaviour, attitudes and believes come from the culture they are born in, one gets raised to live following certain laws, and one’s morals in life are likely to be based on the believes of the main religion of the country. For example, even if I don’t belong to a specific church anymore, the cultural background of Christianity in Finland stays in me – I believe it is a right thing to do to be good to one another and respect the life around without destruction.

Every single person on this planet is unique with their personal background. But regardless of all the differences there might be, we all belong to one big group – human beings of this planet. All the same. We all have thoughts and feelings.

It’s natural for a human being to gather a group around, to have a stronger feeling of belonging, such as we see the cities, countries and different cultural areas as the result of this behaviour.

But a human also moves, gets attracted by diversity and wants to improve. Since in the end we are all the same, I personally don’t understand the self-destruction of societies and the whole world in general. Limiting moving by countries borders, manipulating thinking, blocking creating and in the same, making slower the whole evolution of a human being.

A very wise friend of mine put this question in my mind with awakening words: “Isn’t it just absurd that one human being born in a certain place in a certain time cannot move free on this very planet because another creature just like him/her has decided so?”

I’m wondering if there’s a solution for us to live in peace in full diversity without made limits, power of cash, wars and poverty. The Earth is a beautiful place to live and learn. Shall we ever give a proper chance for us to improve, succeed and most of all – belong to this place and time together?

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The silence of the midsummer’s nightless night // Keuruu, Finland

Your attitude to changes?

Changes in life – such a natural thing. Nature changes every second, the trees grow, the ants die and a new panda is born. We change too, and so does everything around us. But at times, we act as something unnatural would have happened.

I take an example from the weather, now that it has definitely been the main topic in all conversations around.

So let me remind, at the moment I live in the central Germany, in Frankfurt Am Main. One week ago (as I posted as well), the spring arrived. The warmth came as a big wave, melt every German’s and stranger’s heart and put our hopes up. +15C and the sun up without the usual company of clouds. The grayness is over, let’s start the summer times! Or so everyone thought.

But sometimes a change comes overnight, unexpected. This business city got conquered by the snow, followed with a freezing wind. Everyone’s face seemed to have even more depressed expressions than before any sunny days. Snow was back, the winter continues.

I heard comments that it’s not possible to have snow and this cold in March anymore. Maybe they forgot that just one week before there was snow and the temperature was as low.

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Snowy street after the night of storm.

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Snow snow snow. Work before work to dig the car underneath.

Unfortunately, we can’t control all the changes. We can only control our attitude. If an unwanted change appears, we can choose to curse it with our companion or accept the situation as it is and take the best out of it.

There’s always another day. There is always another possibility for a positive turn, a new change.

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The sun warming the snow away again.

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This bicycle will also get back on road soon..

Sometimes the life goes as we expect. Sometimes it takes a turn down. But there will be a day that it turns back towards the sun again, and it’s all up to us if we believe it before the turn. We can control some changes, but when we can’t, we have always the opportunity to change our attitude.

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With my Converses on a dry street in the sun. Still cold, but I have already the summer in my mind.

First days of spring

The spring has arrived! Yesterday afternoon, I felt the first time that my heavy and so lovely warm winter coat was way too much. Degrees rising suddenly over +10C and sun burning my eyes, after so many dark months – a surprise attack, but oh so nice! This is Central Europe, there are few months of grayness and then we realize that the sun actually exists.

In Finland (or in Nordic countries in general), where I originally come from, the winter is Looong. With a capital letter. Months and months of snow, and total darkness of a little while. Then again, the summer and its’ nightless nights differ so much from the blackness of the winter that the amount of light always comes as a surprise. Everyone seems to enjoy the spring-summer times 200%.

I have been thinking over the few years of my life, how much the sun, the light and the warmth change a person. Do we feel happier in the lightest times? When the autumn comes, darker nights on a cozy sofa with my candles and darling, makes me very happy. So do I need more light or hot air?

Yes, I need. I have realized that I (as maybe many others) live in seasons, there are seasons to explore and try, and seasons to reflect and relax, and yes, also sleep.

When the sun shines, I feel lighter. Everything seems to go to their places. Maybe it’s the positivity that comes naturally these times that makes me do things in a certain way. It makes you take risks, makes you jump more. Risks and jumps take you to places you otherwise wouldn’t go. Maybe that’s why summer is the time to explore, go crazy and just let it go. Time to live full after sleeping.

Spring is the time to wake up from the long (or a bit shorter) sleep and start opening our eyes towards the sky and our next destinations. And so to say, the spring is definitely here now! I feel to jump somewhere. Just, let’s see where.

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Early morning with a beautiful sunshine, that has been waiting a long time to appear!
Frankfurt am Main, Germany / March 2013

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The strongest feeling of spring for me make always the late sunsets.
Main river, Frankfurt am Main, Germany / March 2013

Hi there! I’m a fairytale and I have a tale or two to share.

In this very first post of the blog, I want to introduce myself and some of my thoughts, also the ones why I started writing here.

My name is Satu and I’m originally from Finland. In my life, I’ve turned out to be positively open to new and unknown and to believe that I CAN. Maybe one of the background reasons for this is that in Finnish my name means a fairytale. Introducing yourself your whole little life as a fairytale, at some point you subconsciously start living as you were one. As anything is possible.

I’m the oldest of three children and my childhood was very much normal. I went through all the typical schools, pre-, primary-, secondary- and upper secondary school (in some countries known as high school). But what is not so typical, is the unit of the university of applied sciences I attended then, the entrepreneurial development unit called Team Academy. I’m sure I will come back to this in the following posts since, for me, Team Academy thought not just dreaming but actually making those dreams come true. And let me tell, there’s no magic. Just attitude change and hard work.

This attitude to take the control of my own life and to do the things I want to do, made me travel around the world and follow my heart over the countries’ borderlines. It is also the same power that made me believe I have something to share. And I started writing this blog.

First of all, I don’t understand why I didn’t start earlier. I’ve had many blogs (or shall I say I’ve TRIED to have many) before, personal ones as diaries, and few for marketing the businesses I had at the time. But after a few posts, I lost my interest because of the lack of real passion to share those thoughts.

Different cultures, languages, travelling (physically and mentally), art and our one big world – subjects I’ve enjoyed and explored my whole life. The ones who know me personally never remember where I’m at or who I’m with. Most probably I’m creating some sort of new culture, in a place X and with a person X, mixing new thoughts to my head.

I think that it’s the interaction that makes someone rich. We all, even in the same country, with the same language and cultural habits, have differences and so many things to learn from each other. I want to help us to connect, make each other learn more.

I will post as a wide range of material as possible, and from every single aspect of cultural matters, anything from funny language similarities to why we avoid eye contact in a bus to the biggest culture shocks. I want to write this blog because I know that I will learn something new every day that can be worth sharing.

It’s Monday the 19th of February in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany, and it’s snowing a lot. So I finally took my laptop and typed these words that have been in my mind for a long time. Here starts all the tales of this blog. Welcome!