Welcome to my travel pages!

These pages contain information about my journeys to various destinations: photos, travel diaries etc. I am a traveller in his forties coming from Helsinki, Finland. I started travelling at the tender age of seven years when my family took a package tour to Crete, Greece. After that we took several other trips to the beach resorts of Southern Europe. Later when I grew up I started travelling on my own and found the pleasures of independent travelling. Additionally I've had the opportunity to visit several interesting places as part of business trips. My longest trip so far is the Asia 2009 tour that took some 3,5 months. During the year 2017 I again had the chance to take longer trips and did two interesting tours that both took about 2,5 months: after visiting South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand I escaped the autumn time in Finland by touring five countries in South America.

My 10 most recent trips:

It is more or less impossible to list my definite favourite destinations. Even though buzzing metropolises like London and New York are fascinating in their own way, I still in general prefer more laidback and remote places. I used to call this web site "Looking for the perfect beach" as I mostly travelled to places within the tropics during my early backpacking days. I still enjoy paradise islands and deserted beaches (well - who would not) but now I am primarily looking for places with interesting history and beautiful nature. Finally reaching some really distant and fascinating destination like Easter Islands is so rewarding that it makes you quickly forget the painful journey needed to actually get there!  

I'm an independent traveller - ever since my first backpacking trip to South East Asia in 2002 I've preferred a bit more adventurous way of travelling. I enjoy my occasional business trips as well but getting off the beaten path is often the best part of travelling. I would not call myself a backpacker anymore though - for me independent travelling can mean anything from staying in a 5-star hotel to some tiny guesthouse in the middle of nowhere. I still primarily enjoy taking public transport, eating local specialities  and visiting as places on your own whenever possible. 

Travelling has changed a lot during the years I have been touring the globe. My first independent trips were before the online era so I often ended up in strange places just carrying my trusted Lonely Planet guidebook. Usually I still rely on printed guidebooks but online resources and bookings are becoming more and more important every year. 

I don't like the idea of having bucket lists - therefore I don't have one. Of course I always some ideas about potential future trips but having one such list sounds like too much planning for me. Current potential future destinations include Bhutan, Nepal, Jamaica, further exploring of Africa and the Balkans... I have managed to visit all continent except Antarctica so far - time will tell whether I will make it there some day.

Countries that I have visited:


 

1 Albania One-week visit in July 2007. One of the most positive surprises so far.
Diary and photo gallery
2 AndorraTwo nights in this beautiful tiny little country during summer of 2016 (while on my way to Ibiza via Barcelona).
Diary and photo gallery
3 ArgentinaVisited Buenos Aires and Ushuaia during South America 2017 tour.
Diaries: part 1 / part 2 and photo galleries: part 1 / part 2 / part 3
4
Armenia Almost one week in this interesting country during Easter time in 2019
Diary and photo gallery
5
AustraliaVisited Sydney, Melbourne, Uluru and Alice Springs during my South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand tour in March / April 2017.
Diaries: part 1 / part 2 and photo galleries: part 1 / part 2
6
Austria Two quick visits to downtown Vienna while having long transfers there. Longer stays in the country during the  2014 Slovakia - Austria tour and when I made a skiing trip to Tux in 2018.
Diaries: 2014 and 2018. Photo galleries:2011, 2014 and 2018
7
AzerbaijanDid not know what to expect from this country when I crossed the border from Georgia in July 2013 - spent really fascinating 5 days there!
Diary and photo gallery
8
BelarusThis country was on the to-do list for a long time - finally made the time warp in July 2013 (via Lithuania).
Diary and photo gallery
9
Belgium Easter 2011 tour: Paris - Brussels.
Diary and photo gallery
10
Bolivia Spent about one week in this interesting country during the South America 2012 tour. The highest places I have ever visited!
Diary and photo gallery
11 BrazilVisited Rio de Janeiro, Paraty, Sao Paulo and Foz do Iguacu during South America 2017 tour.
Diary and photo gallery
12 Brunei2 days in this fascinating little country during the 2013 Borneo tour.
Diary and photo gallery
13 Bulgaria A package tour with my family in my childhood. Can't remember much of this trip.
14 Cambodia Part of 2005 Thailand - Cambodia tour.
Diary and photo gallery
15 ChileVisited several places in Chile (including Easter Islands) during South America 2017 tour.
Diary and photo galleries: part 1 / part 2
16 China Spent quite a lot of time here during my Asia 2009 tour. Brief visit in 2009 / 2010 on my way back from Palawan.
Diaries: part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / 2010 and photo galleries: part 1 / part 2 / part 3 / 2010
17 Croatia Part of Italy-Croatia tour in 2004. Two other visits to the country in 2015 and 2019 when I spent some time both in Dubrovnik and Montenegro.
Diaries: 2004, 2015 and 2019. Photo galleries: 2004, 2015 and 2019
18 Cuba Finally visited this country in 2012 that soon became one of my favourites! Go there before it is too late!
Diary and photo gallery
19 Cyprus A package tour with my family in my childhood. Can't remember much of this trip.
20
Czech Business trip to Prague combined with a weekend of sightseeing in 2004. Came back to Prague in 2018 to explore the city and the surrounding areas properly.
Diary / 2018 and photo galleries: 2004 and 2018
21 Denmark Quick visit to downtown Copenhagen while waiting for the flight to Bangkok in 2005. Another brief visit in November 2008 - see photo gallery from a cloudy Sunday afternoon. And finally a long weekend in 2013 combined with a business trip - see trip diary and photo gallery
22 Dominica Part of 2002 Caribbean tour.
Diary and photo gallery
23 Dominican RepublicGot some good last minute deal for flights and spent an interesting week enjoying the Caribbean sun (and some rain).
Diary and photo gallery
24 Egypt One-week tour during Christmas in 2007. Just enough to experience pyramids, Valley of Kings and some sunshine in Sinai.
Diary and photo gallery
25 Estonia Numerous visits to Tallinn and also to the other parts of the country: usually with the ferries, sometimes driving my own car there and once by helicopter!
Diaries: 2015, 2017 and 2020.  Photo galleries: 2015, 2017 and 2020
26FijiSpent about one week on the main island during my South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand tour in February 2017.
Diary and photo gallery
27 FinlandMy home country. Still a lot of places to see here. 2015 tour files are online:
Diary and photo gallery
28 France Finally visited Paris in 2011. Previously been to Guadeloupe as part of 2002 Caribbean tour. Latest visit was to Cannes and Nice in 2015.
Diaries: 2002 / 20112015. Photo galleries: 20112002 / 2015
29GeorgiaThe other half of the 2013 July tour (including Azerbaijan) - interesting crossroads between east and west. 
Diary and photo gallery
30 Germany Business trip to Cebit exhibition in Hannover. Long weekend in Berlin in June 2010 and formula 1 trip to Hockenheim / Frankfurt area in 2012. Visited Munich in April / May of 2018. Weekend in Düsseldorf / Köln in May 2019
Diaries: 2010 / 2012 / 2018 / 2019. Photo galleries: 2010 / 2012 / 2018 / 2019
31 Greece My first ever trip abroad to Crete at the age of seven. Later a package tour to Rhodos. Finally visited the wonders of Athens in 2020.
Diary and photo gallery
32 Hungary Tour to Budapest and some locations in Romania in the summer of 2010.
Diary and photo gallery
33 Iceland Five nights and six days in July 2007. Awesome scenery as you might expect.
Diary and photo gallery
34 India Several business trips combined with some vacation days: Bangalore in 2007. Delhi and Agra in 2010. Pune and Goa in 2014. Pune and Mumbai visits in 2016.
Trip summary / 2007 and trip diaries: 2010, 2014, 2016 (Jan) and 2016 (Apr). Photo galleries: 2007, 2010, 2014, 2016 (Jan) and 2016 (Apr)
35 Indonesia Just love Bali! Ended up spending almost 3 weeks there during my Asia 2009 tour.
Diary and photo gallery
36 Ireland One-week tour in 2003.
Diary and photo gallery
37 Israel Experienced the Easter time in Jerusalem in 2012.
Diary and photo gallery
38 Italy Several visits - including package tours to various destinations with my family, later Venice as part of Italy-Croatia tour in 2004, a business trip to Rome and a 1-week tour in May 2017.
Diaries: Venice / 2004 and 2017 tour. Photo galleries: Venice / 2004, Rome / 20052017 tour  and
39 Japan Finally visited this fascinating country in the summer of 2008. 10 days was barely enough - I think I've never taken so many photos during such brief period of time!
Diary and photo gallery
40
Jordan A couple of days in Jordan as part of Christmas 2008 getaway - main destinations being Petra and Wadi Rum.
Diary and photo gallery
41KazakhstanAbout one and half weeks in this fascinating country during summer of 2015.
Diary and photo gallery
42
KosovoMy country #90 is the youngest one in Europe. Visited Kosovo during the summer of 2018.
Diary and photo gallery
43 Latvia A brief tour during summer of 2005. Later several business trips to Riga and one road trip with my own car (via Estonia).
Diary / 2017. Photo galleries: 2005 and 2017
44 LesothoDay trip to this small country while touring South Africa in 2014.
Diary and photo gallery
45 Liechtenstein Made a day trip here as part of the Switzerland 2011 tour.
Diary and photo gallery
46 Lithuania Business trip in 2003 The 5 night - tour in July 2013.
Diary / 2013 and photo gallery / 2013.
47 Luxemburg One day and one night in this small country by car from Germany (before Hockenheim F1 race in 2012).
Diary and photo gallery
48 MacedoniaVisited Skopje and Ohrid in July 2018.
Diary and photo gallery
49 Malaysia My first backpacking trip in 2001 (including Singapore). Second visit to Sabah / Sarawak in 2013.
Trip summary / 2001, diary / 2013 and photo galleries: 2001 / 2013
50
MaltaLong weekend in May 2015 - visited both Malta and Gozo islands.
Diary and photo gallery
51 Mexico Yucatan tour during summer of 2006.
Diary and photo gallery
52 Moldova Visited Chisinau and Tiraspol during Easter 2018.
Diary and photo gallery
53 Monaco Spent one and half days in this fascinating little country in April 2015 combined with a business trip to Cannes and Nice.
Diary and photo gallery
54 Mongolia A couple of days in this interesting country as part of the Asia 2009 tour.
Diary and photo gallery
55 MontenegroThree nights and all kinds of weather conditions during Easter time of 2015. Came back in 2019 for a day trip the see the mountains.
Diaries: 2015 and 2019. Photo galleries: 2015 and 2019
56 Myanmar One of the most fascinating destinations so far! Spent about one week there during my Asia 2009 tour.
Diary
and photo gallery
57 Netherlands Two business trips combined with weekends in Amsterdam.
58New ZealandVisited both islands and numerous towns during my South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand tour in February / March 2017.
Diary and photo gallery
59 North Korea The most memorable destination ever! Unforgettable week as part of the Asia 2009 tour. Diary and photo gallery
60
Norway Three business trips to Oslo (including also Lillehammer). A brief tour in the northern parts in 2008 when I did my first marathon run in Tromsö. Five nights in various locations during the summer 2014 tour by car.
Diary / 2014 and photo galleries: 2008 and 2014
61 ParaguaySpent a couple of days in Paraguay during South America 2017 tour.
Diary and photo gallery
62 Peru Spent about one week in Peru during the South America 2012 tour. Main destinations were Macchu Picchu and Manu area rainforests / rivers.
Diary and photo gallery
63 Philippines Visits to Manila and the surrounding areas as part of the Asia 2009 tour. After that six visits (Puerto Galera, Palawan, Bohol, Manila area, Siquijor, Boracay)
Manila area / 2009 trip diary; Palawan 2009 trip summary and photo galleries: Manila area, Palawan
64 Poland A couple of days in Krakow in April 2007. Another visit to Krakow about 10 years later and one week in the northern parts of the country in 2019.
Diaries: 2007, 2018 and 2019 Photo galleries: 2007, 2018 and 2019
65 Portugal Week in Azores in 2005 and finally spent about one week in mainland during Christmas time 2016.
Trip summary / 2005; 2016 diary and  photo galleries: 2005 and 2016
66 Romania Tour to Budapest and some locations in Romania in the summer of 2010.
Diary and photo gallery
67 Russia Long weekend in St Peterburg in May 2008. After 35 countries I finally visited Russia for the first time! Another visit on my way back from Asia 2009 tour. And the third time in early 2012 by ferry with coworkers (took Allegro train back to Helsinki). My most recent visit was to Vyborg during the summer 2015 (by ferry from Lappeenranta).
Trip summary / 2008,  diaries: 2009, 2015 and photo galleries: 2008, 2009 and 2015
68San MarinoFirst visit in mid-80s with my family, then another visit as part of the 2017 Italy tour.
Diary and photo gallery
69 Singapore Part of Malaysia - Singapore tour in 2001. Back again in 2006 as part of the Vietnam tour. And yet two more visits as part of the bigger tours in 2009 / 2017.
Trip summary / 2001; Diaries: 2006, 2009 and 2017 Photo galleries:2001, 2006, 2009 and 2017
70
SlovakiaA couple of days in Bratislava during Easter 2014. Nice and relaxed atmosphere - must be busier during summer.
Diary and photo gallery
71 SloveniaOne week of touring in this friendly country during 2013 Easter break. Weather was not that good - would like to come back during the summer season.
Diary and photo gallery
72Solomon IslandsSpent several days in Honiara and the surrounding area during my South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand tour in April 2017.
Diary and photo gallery
73 South AfricaVisited Johannesburg, Durban and Krueger National Park during December 2014 - January 2015.
Diary and photo gallery
74 Spain Several visits - including package tours to various destinations with my family, later several trips to mainland and Balearics (Ibiza visits in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2014, 2016 (twice) and 2017).
Diaries: Madrid 2014, Ibiza 2014 and Ibiza 2016. Photo galleries:  Madrid 2014, Ibiza 2014 and Ibiza 2016
75Sri LankaSpent about 1,5 weeks here after some business in India.
Diary and photo gallery
76 St. Lucia Part of 2002 Caribbean tour.
Diary and photo gallery
77Swaziland (Eswatini)
Spent three nights in Mlilwane national park in 2014.
Diary and photo gallery
78 Sweden Several visits to Stockholm - both business and pleasure. Long drives from Umeå to Trondheim and from Oslo to Stockholm during the 2014 Norway summer tour. Weekend visit to see New Order gig in fall of 2015.
Diaries: 2014 and 2015. Photo galleries: 2013, 2014 and 2015
79 Switzerland Three-night tour in the summer of 2011. Beautiful mountains and excellent hiking.
Diary and photo gallery
80 TanzaniaSpent about two weeks in Zanzibar and Serengeti around Christmas time in 2019-2020
Diary and photo gallery
81
Thailand Three visits so far - 2004, 2005 (as part of Cambodian tour) and 2009 (Asian tour).
Diaries: 2004, 2005 and 2009. Photo galleries: 2004, 2005 and 2009.
82TongaSpent about 1,5 weeks here during my South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand tour in February 2017.
Diary and photo gallery
83 Turkey Long weekend in Istanbul in November 2010 before continuing to Turkmenistan.
Diary and photo gallery
84 Turkmenistan One-week tour with Koryo Group in November 2010. Simply amazing out of this world experience!
Diary
and photo gallery
85 Uganda Gorilla tour in the summer of 2011. My first African experience - hopefully not the last!
Diary and photo gallery
86 United Kingdom Numerous visits to London - both business and pleasure. My most recent visit to UK was the long weekend spent in Manchester in December 2018.
Diary and photo gallery 
87 Ukraine Long weekend in Kiev in August / September 2008. Included a fascinating tour to Chernobyl nuclear power plant area.
Diary
and photo gallery
88 United Arab Emirates Two nights in Dubai on my way to Uganda. Survived the extreme heat of more than 40 degrees!
Diary and photo gallery
89 UruguaySpent almost two weeks in this cool country during South America 2017 tour.
Diary and photo gallery
90
USA Several business trips - some combined with vacations. So far I've been to Chicago, LA, NY and Miami.
Photo galleries: Miami - NY tour, Chicago
91
VanuatuSpent about one week here during my South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand tour in March 2017.
Diary and photo gallery
92 Vatican Brief daytime visit as part of a business trip to Rome in 2005.
Photo gallery
93 Vietnam After a business trip to Singapore I had the chance to explore southern parts of Vietnam for 10 days.
Diary and photo gallery

Latest update: 21.09.2020
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