”A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”
– George Moore

We came back to Finland at the end of April 2015. At that point we had been travelling 6,5 months. Everything in Finland was exactly like it was when we had left in October. Except that dark late-autumn had turned to fresh spring. Our beloved ones were waiting at the airport. Air was so fresh so fresh.

I was in total mess. Culture shock which hit in Finland was something I hadn’t expected. Leaving was actually really easy compared to coming back. (I’m sooo beginner in this travelling business…) May and June was mentally worst months I’ve ever been through. I felt lost between two worlds and it seemed that I didn’t quite belonged to either one of them. My old clothes didn’t seem like clothes I could wear anymore. My old flat didn’t feel like home anymore. I felt like a total stranger in my own country. I felt like I had just come back from the war. I could never find the right words to tell to people about all the things I had seen and experienced.

It is funny…my internal search started only when our trip was over. That was the reason I had to travel far. To notice that all the answers were already lying inside me. That was one motif for my travels, to change something within me. To grow gratitude. To grow respect. To grow love. To find my way again. After my breakdown, after struggling for a while and after questioning all the choices in my life I finally got my answers. I started to feel good about the current situation. I started to feel confident about the fact that life would bring right things to my path when the time would be right. Life after making my big dream come true started to feel like a great ever-going adventure. Suddenly everything that I had never noticed in Helsinki or in Finland started to gave new perspective. I started to see more opportunities. I started to see more beauty. Life isn’t a day-to-day struggle between home and work anymore. Life is a great adventure where every day gives you great bunch of new opportunities…if you want to see them around you. And I want!

I started to work for my old company two months after coming back home. How much I loved that old family I had always had there! I started to search for a new flat, found a perfect one and moved into it alone for the first time since 2008! I bought a proper bed, colourful curtains and many flowers. I had my own sauna-shift every wednesday. I started to enjoy cleaning my new flat and having all my old stuff around me. I started to smile to strangers on the streets and talk to my neighbours. Happiness grew with each passing day.

And what my trip taught me?
– Never fear what travel brings.
– Always expect the best.
– Being open and honest is the only real way to be. People give you back what you give to them.
– There is no real barrels between people. Ethnical, cultural or religious differences don’t mean anything if people encounter a soul level.
– Doing good always comes back at you.
– Travelling far helps you to understand that answers will be found near.
– Travelling far helps you to appreciate the smallest things. Seeing Taj Mahal really isn’t a big deal compared to seeing humanity in everyday life.
– You can always choose your thoughts and attitudes.
– Your thoughts are shown through your actions.
– Whether you think you can or can’t do something you are always right.
– No matter how carefully you try to plan your life it will always surprise you.

At the moment I feel ridiculously happy. I feel free every day. I continue dreaming and have the trust that all my wishes will be answered eventually.

”Intuition recognises those future motifs that lies within us.
Belief turns them into actions.
Trust gives strength to carry on even many difficulties may appear on the path.”
– Tommy Hellsten

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There is a bunch of people who made our trip to Nepal, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia. All these people taught me something. Thank you for appearing into my life!

Tara P Panthi [thank you for a nice meeting and chat in Kathmandu…I appreciate so much the work you do for Nepal…world needs more people like you!]
Tuomas Klaus [thank you for nice and surprising meeting in Kathmandu and for sharing your great stories from Kabul]
Bijay Rai [thank you for all your help, Dhanyabad!]
Kajiman Rai [I can’t ever thank you enough for sharing all the stories which told so much about your attitude towards life and Nepal, thank you for the rum we shared every evening on the way to the base camp, it made us really feel special :)]
Mani Rai [thank you for plying those nepali songs on the way to the base camp and for carrying our stuff for 10 days, thank you for each and every ”let’s go” during those mornings and thank you those best moments when we played cards]
Pushpa Guesthouse / Mr. Raj Ojha [thank you for your kind help in Pokhara]
Shankar Kalay [thank you for your kindness and best drinks enjoyed in the dark night facing Phewa lake in Pokhara]
Markus Forss [thank you for sharing your interesting story]
Manish Forss [thank you for your kindness]
Koondan Joshi, Amit, Rozesh, Ashutosh [thank you for sharing all those great songs and stories with us! We hope to see you again!]
Kristal KC [thank you for the most funny trip to Kirtipur]
Dinesh Raja [thank you for your friendly attitude in Elite]
Nikhil Thapa Magar [thank you for your kindness and tongpa :D]

Grace India Holiday, New Delhi [hmmm…thanks for showing us how systems in India work :D]
Sabby’s Cabby, New Delhi [thank you for your friendliness and for driving us safely away from Delhi!]
Kuldeep Verma + Anu, Udaipur [thank you for the most memorable riksha-ride ever!]
Josh + Elliot, Jaisalmer [thank you for the nice afternoon in Jaisalmer]
Camelmen in Thar desert [thank you for the trip and great photoshooting session!]
Rachel + Jake [thank you for the times in Mumbai]
Ankit Uniyal and Sunny Mandyal, Goa [wow….thank you guys for the most memorable 4 days in Goa]
Anju / Lemon Dew, Alleppey [thank you every yoga session and for your kindness]
Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Amritapuri Kerala [Māṁ āpakā śukriyā]
Houseboat crew, Kollam Kerala [thank you for the most memorable trip to Munroe Island and thank you for the excellent food Eric!]
Vinod Viswa + Mari / On the way, Varkala Kerala [thank you for your kindness and for the best atmosphere in Varkala…was really pleasure to meet you both!]

Sapa O’Chau / Mô [thank you for the best guidance and for showing us your home and family in Lao Chai]
Le Gecko hotel, Sapa [thank you for your help to organise our christmas lunch and for the most memorable Christmas celebrations!]
Kate + Steve O’Neill [thank you for spending great Christmas with us!]
Hue Happy Homestay / Viet [thank you for your excellent advices and help in Hue!]
Easyriders [thank you for the best ride between Hue and Hoi An!]
Le Vinh [thank you for the best guidance in Hue]
Ali [thank you for your great company in Hue]
Manu Mart [Manu…thank you for all the great talks in Hue, HCMC and Phnom Penh…it was great great honour to meet you!]
Maria Ora Pro Nobis [Maria…thank you for all the great talks in Hue, HCMC and Phnom Penh…it was great great honour to meet you!]
Jack Riley [Jack, thank you for the great talks in New Years Eve and in Finland! :D]
Pham Trung [Trung, you felt like our brother in HCMC…thanks for everything you made for us. You will have the same treatment when you will come to Finland!]
Phạm Nam [Nam, you felt like our brother in HCMC…thanks for everything you made for us. You will have the same treatment when you will come to Finland!]
Tak Ng [thank you for nice company in HCMC!]
Chinh Nguyen [Chinh, our vietnamese father…thank you for everything you made for us in Vung Tau!]
Lien Pham [Lien, our vietnamese mother…thank you for everything you made for us in Vung Tau!]

Nomads and Encounters Guesthouse, Phnom Penh / Robert and Vandara [Robert and Noreen thank you for so nice stay in Phnom Penh that it made us to come back over and over again! Thanks for your kindness Noreen and thank you for the mangos :)]
Badeth [thank you for all the fun we had in Phnom Penh! Wish to meet you again!!]
Isabelle [thank you Isabelle for your company in Phnom Penh and all the great advices for Myanmar! You are brave traveller, it was great to meet you!]
Isabel [thank you Isabel for all the fun we had in Phnom Penh!]
Jess [thank you Jess for all the fun we had in Phnom Penh!]
Pawel [Pawel…it was the best coinsidence to bump into you in Phnom Penh because it lead to having such a nice experience in Angkor Borei…I hope your business in Takeo is doing great!]
Cecy [thank you Cecy for all the laughs and talks we had in Angkor Borei!]
Yayi [thank you Yayi for all the laughs and talks we had in Angkor Borei!]
Asean International English School / Koy Sro, Sophea Koy, Sokun, Mr. Rati [I can’t tell how much I appreciate your attitude towards your work in Asean International School. I wish I could have helped more. Keep up with the great work Sophea!!]
Sena [thank you for your kindness and for sharing your story with us in Angkor Borei]
Shinn Tan [thank you for sharing your company and your poems with us in Siem Reap!]
Harald Vedø Tveit and Eirin Myklebust [Harald and Eirin, it was a great pleasure to meet you two lively spirits in Koh Rong! Thank you for sharing all those evening drinks and talks and especially thanks for Harald for teaching me how to tie a hammock!]

Zlatan [thank you for the great talks and great time in Phuket!]

Myanmar Exotic Travels and Tours, Yangon [thank you for great ticket organizing all over Myanmar]
Auli Kuivalainen [it was really inspiring to bump into you in Kinpun…thank you for those amazing stories from your travels!]
Shunsuke Kataoka [it was really great to spend time with you in Nyaung Shwe…especially I will always remember that birthday party when we sang happy birthday in many languages :)]
Han Sang Gyoun [it was really great to spend time with you in Nyaung Shwe…especially I will always remember that birthday party when we sang happy birthday in many languages :)]
Mya Ya Ta Nar Inn / Mya Mya [Mya Mya you were the most warm person we met in Myanmar…thank you so much for your great hospitality in Pakokku]
Uli [Uli it was inspiring to meet you in Pakokku…you have a great story to remember when you are back in Germany!]
Stephan Alexander [Stephan it was inspiring to meet you in Pakokku…you have a great story to remember when you are back in Germany!]
Re Mouchoss [Thank you for showing that there is guys like you around!]
Joy Kyaw Hlaing [Joy thank you for showing us the best attitude towards life]
Sai Sai [thank you for driving us safely around Shan hills :)]
Htun San Oo [it was really great to bump into you and Michael on the train…I will never forget that ‘Super Bass’ which you rapped on the train :D]
Michael Sapel [it was really nice to bump into you on the way from Mandalay to Yangon]
Bhaddanata DhaMaparala Monastery [thank you for letting us experience the monastery life for a couple of days in Yangon]
Sai Wai Yan [best Si Thu, thank you so much for your friendliness in Yangon :)]
Ei Ei Thaw [best Han Han, thank you so much for your friendliness in Yangon :)]

Daniela Hofner + Chris [Daniela and Chris…you felt like our adventurous parents in North-Sumatra…it was so much fun to travel with you in Berastagi, Ketambe and Lake Toba…I will never forget our jungle trips! :D]
Modestos [Modestos thank you for all the interesting talks in Berastagi! I will never forget that 2-week jungle trek that you had made. (There is always somone who is more hardcore than me :D)]
Polo [thank you for your excellent guidance and best attitude in Gunung Sibayak]
Pindra [thank you for your excellent guidance and best attitude in Ketambe]
Ahmed [thank you for your great hospitality in Ketambe]
Ketambe Boys / Alex, Ajak, Armada, Iwan, Kaiser, Muli, Sabri [<3 best performances and adventures in Ketambe...thank you!]
Salman and Putra [boys boys boys…thank you for the interesting time we shared in Ketambe and Lake Toba!]
Dharta Guesthouse, Ubud / Ketut [thank you for the best atmosphere in Ubud!]
Derakota Boom [Rini…thank you for teaching me so much…I still remember all the things you read from my hand…it all turned out to be true!]
Mariana Goncalves Braga [thank you Mariana for your great and happy attitude, it was a pleasure to meet you in Ubud :)]
Yogabarn Ubud [thank you for the best spiritual experiences]
Odysseys Surf School / Jimmy [haha thank you for giving your best attempt for trying to teach surfing to us]
Mario [thank you for the best beach bar in Kuta!]
Otto [thank you for the times in Kuta]
Zega [thank you for your patience when teaching me to surf :)]

And especially big thanks for those who have always supported and inspired us the most:

mothers and fathers
sisters and brothers
the strongest network of friends!
Parviainen Architects
everyone who inspired me by their own example: my mum, Jiri, Andy, Annika, Meiju…
Joonas/Kilroy

It’s pretty much it guys. Thank you for following my blog. I’m blessed. Time to fly on… :)

– Katariina / KatFin