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My new travel companion

Posted: 2009-11-30 23:03:37, Categories: Travel, General, Finland, Norway, Hospitality exchange, Germany, 487 words (permalink)

Me and Sandra on the slopes of Mt. Roan, Telemark, Norway. In the picture you can see me and Sandra on the way to Mt. Roan in Norway. She is my new companion on my travels — and in life.

We met in Helsinki in March 2009 at a Hospitality Club sauna party and ended up cooking together in the middle of the night. Quite soon after that Sandra came for a few days visit at my place, then for a week, and I also visited her in Memmingen, Southern Germany. Since then we've tried to spend at least one week per month together.

Sandra has an organic food store which is great for one of our shared hobbies: cooking. Her brother looked at us once in the kitchen and asked how can we eat all that food. Because it's tasty, of course! We also like to go out and do sports so gaining weight hasn't been a problem so far. Actually Sandra has been more worried of me being too thin and suggested that I should eat more chocolate.

Other activities which we share are hiking, cycling, listening to music, going to concerts and traveling. In the summer we traveled together for six weeks, mainly in Southern and Central Norway. It was a road trip by Sandra's car combined with many hikes in national parks. Mountains and fjords were beautiful although Norwegian weather made it quite a wet experience: out of 31 days there were only two when it didn't rain at all. But we survived and enjoyed five days of sunshine in Finland right after leaving Norway and driving quickly through Sweden.

On the road our lifestyles fit together quite well. We're both more into going out walking and wild camping in the nature than booking a plush hotel and lying on the beach. We also contact locals through hospitality exchange sites and stay with them — just as we both did already before when traveling alone. One big difference compared to my earlier trips has been less time spent in Internet cafes and writing blog articles, but perhaps that's not such a bad thing.

Life is funny. I never studied German at school or spent much time in Germany but love isn't restricted by country borders. We have both traveled quite a bit and lived abroad in the past. And although we're communicating mainly in English there's now an extra motivator for both of us to learn a new language.

I'm still living in Helsinki and Sandra in Memmingen near her shop. We don't have any immediate plans of moving together, but in the long term it doesn't make sense to continue flying back and forth. However, that's what we're doing now about once a month and send messages or call in between. Sandra is not a computer person but she has for the first time in her life gotten used to writing long emails. That helps a bit in communicating with a nerd like me. :-)

9 comments

Comment from: Thomas TEMPE [Visitor]
Way to go! Have fun, and if you ever have some time on your hands, we’d be happy to have you over. It’s only a 4 hours drive…
2009-12-01 @ 01:07
My best regards to you both. I hope you two can find you happiness and you finally can find the place, where you can live together.
2009-12-01 @ 01:29
Comment from: Janne [Visitor]
What a fantastic photo! You look genuinely happy. All the best in your upcoming travels and in the journey of life!
2009-12-01 @ 12:04
Comment from: Krzysztof Barczyk [Visitor]
Best wishes to the great common antlers.
2009-12-01 @ 17:12
Comment from: Päivi & Santeri [Visitor]
We are happy for both of you. Hope to see you soon, guys.
2009-12-01 @ 17:12
Comment from: E1000 [Visitor]
Nice to hear and to see that we are dealing with similar human experiences. I already wish both of you to reach a state of happiness you could not access while staying on separate ways.
2009-12-01 @ 19:07
Comment from: Jukka Juslin [Visitor]
I actually asked Arto for a blog update :) Getting worried that there is none :) Looks great! I agree that you look genuinely happy in that nice picture (of rare sunshine in Norway). Plan some camping for next summer in a place with more sunshine. Are there any statistics available in the net about days of sunshine in different places?
2009-12-02 @ 07:24
Comment from: Saurav [Visitor]
Many Congratulations to both of you !!!
2009-12-06 @ 09:46
Comment from: Andrew [Visitor]
Enjoy!
2010-02-01 @ 05:07


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