I missed doing this yesterday, because I spent almost all my waking hours baking stuff for my boyfriend’s birthday. Better late than never though, right?
At first I thought I haven’t travelled much in my life, but I guess that’s just in comparison to my friends who tend to travel a lot. I guess I have been to quite a few places and several times to many of them.
My first trip abroad was to Finland when I was quite little. My family had friends over there who either arranged or took part of Christian youth summer camps and we went there too twice. I have pretty good memories of these camps and especially of the delicious morning porridge they served there :p After that I have been to Helsinki about 3 times for shopping and sightseeing. Last time I went there with Marit to check out some local museums. Also, every time I go to Helsinki, I try to check out their Asian grocery stores to buy stuff we can’t get in Estonia.
Going to Helsinki with mom and sis in 2011
Tourist snaps in Helsinki (2011)
I have been to Sweden maybe 5 or 6 times. Once with the Estonian farmer’s association to see how farming works in Sweden. We spent a week or longer with a local farmer family and went to farmer fairs. Then I visited my pen friend in some smaller town when I was in middle school and I have been to Stockholm several times after that with a cruise for sightseeing and shopping. They have this amazingly huge sci-fi and fantasy bookstore there that I have tried to visit every time.
I have been to Poland three times. Twice with my uncle and his wife when I was little. During one of these times we went to a huge amusement park and it was awesome. The third time I went with my mom and her friend to do some shopping at the Ikea they have there.
I have been to Latvia and Lithuania quite a few times, but most of these times have been just to drive through there. We went to Latvia during one of our company summer outings where we did some sightseeing and went to a huge adventure park to have fun. Also, this summer I went to a town called Tukums in Latvia with my mom. Sadly, that was one rainy adventure with a camping site that was straight out of a horror movie. I’m not certain if I have ever spent any proper time in Lithuania.
I went to Czech Republic with a group from my school during middle school. To be honest I don’t remember much else about the trip than long and cold bus rides, getting into a fight with one of the teachers and how disappointed I was when my group demanded more “Estonian like food” at the hotel we stayed in. I was super excited about the local dishes, but the rest of the group whined that there were not enough potatoes, so yeah.
I went to Germany once. Berlin to be more specific. I went there with a group of friends to see a Dir en grey concert, but we also had time to do some sightseeing the day before. The concert itself was a blast, however for whatever reason we decided to camp in front of the concert hall for the entire day and there was a heat record, so many people passed out even before the concert even started. I ended up with a terrible terrible sunburn on my shoulders that left scars after it healed. But seeing my favourite band perform live for the very first time ever made up for everything xD
Before the concert, happy posing with the ticket (2005)
The painful aftermath. OUCH!
I have been to Russia once during high school. It involved a lot of sightseeing, alcohol and our homeroom teacher blaming me and my desk mate for throwing furniture out of the hotel window. The latter part was really shocking and hurtful, because we most certainly didn’t do anything like that. Afterwards it turned out that it was actually some guys from our parallel class that had pulled that shit. We also visited the Hermitage Museum, but sadly I got a bad stomach ache just when we were about to go in, so I had to stay in the tour bus and shiver in pain. Sad, because I wanted to go to that museum. That entire trip was kind of a clusterfuck to be honest.
One time I visited Vicenza, Italy. A friend of mine who is an American Marine was stationed there and invited me to visit him. Now it was great time visiting my friend, but the air in Vicenza was so polluted that I got a terrible case of allergies and breathing problems already after a few hours being there. I was constantly dizzy and coughing/sneezing out blackish phlegm, so ewwwww. The only time I could breathe normally there was when we took a drive up on the mountains. Visiting my friend was great, the city was lovely, the food and the coffee fantastic, but the air unbreathable.
Posing next to some local graffiti in Italy (2010)
I have also been to Japan twice via student exchange programs. The first time I lived in Tokyo for over 6 months and attended Gakushuin Women’s College. The second time was a couple of years ago and I spent 3 months in Tsukuba University. Both times were pretty great and I’d love to go back to Japan again if I got the chance. I miss authentic Japanese food and their traditional sweets oh so much.
With my roommate, Val, checking out the Kamakura Daibutsu in 2007
With Sanna and Maarja at a local matsuri, eating food (2012)
Somewhere on Enoshima with the boy (2012)
I think these are all the places I have been to. At least none other come to mind right now.