keskiviikko 11. tammikuuta 2017

Traveling mode

There are basically two occasions why I travel: either for business or just for fun and relaxation.

I have a job which has taken me places I probably would have never decided to go by myself. It may sound cool and glamorous to experience different cultures, and of course it has its virtues, but after few years I find several reasons why it can also be quite exhausting in the long run. You can actually get tired of traveling, believe it or not. And I´m not even traveling that much compared to some of my colleagues!

First of all: I don´t live in Helsinki. I actually need to travel 3-4 hours by car or taxi to get to Helsinki airport, which gets so boring especially if you have to do return trips three times in a month. This is a big disadvantage and I´m eagerly waiting for faster train connections or dependable domestic flights to Helsinki!

Helsinki airport is quite functional: normal procedures such as safety control and flight information are well organized. I just don´t understand the prices in the restaurants and bars! It is simply ridiculous to pay 3,40 euros for a small bottle of water. If you want a small (carefully measured 12 cl) glass of wine, you need to pay around 10-12 euros. Quality of food is not at all worth the prices. I hope something, or someone, will change this phenomenon asap.

Destinations are either near in Europe or far in other continents. Either way, the flights are quite boring and numbing. I usually travel in economy class, but for long-haul business flights business class is accessible. Since unfortunately I´m not capable of sleeping in sitting position, I am grateful for horizontally adjustable business class seats. They have saved me few good night´s sleeps so far. However, I have to say I just don´t see the glamour in flying in "upper class". I admit it is nice to have 3 course lunch/dinner/good breakfast featured by numerous beverages, but personally I wouldn´t pay 2000 euros for business class if I could get economy seat for 500 euros. It wouldn´t reduce the flying time anyway.

One of the perks of business traveling is that I can choose a rather good accommodation. I don´t exactly love any hotels, but I do get better rest under clean sheets in smoothly conditioned and soundproof room. Unfortunately this kind of housing is not available in all my business destinations. I have slept behind bars and mosquito nets in a guest house located in the middle of jungle. I didn´t have the courage to look under the bed...

During the past few years my idea of a lovely holiday abroad has changed. Before I started traveling as part of my job, I was excited to plan and book the holiday trips carefully. Even a thought of a package tour was out of question because I enjoyed booking flights and hotels how ever I wanted. The more unique, the better. Today my ideal holiday is a week or two in a 5-star all-inclusive hotel resort in Crete. I implemented this kind of vacation last summer and it was perfect.

After all the criticality, I still am truly grateful to be able to see the world. All this traveling has elaborated my view of life. I have learnt to appreciate everything I have and I feel very obligated.

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