• BLOG
  • GETTING SPACE: LAPLAND

    Tiina Kivelä

    I’ve finally made my way to the better (northern) side of the Arctic Circle, the real Lapland. More precisely, I’m typing this from a hotel lobby(when the WiFi doesn’t reach your room, in 2017) in Saariselkä fell resort, where I’m about to run some 15km+ today and tomorrow. While trying to adjust to the landscape which is so enormous and flat. And to the sky which is so big that it’s impossible to describe. You have to feel it.

    Talking about feelings, it’s strange to be back. I guess it’s like with the altitude – you shouldn’t rush to it but let yourself slowly adjust to a different kind of life. Or then you end up like me now… The whole body aching from making my way from sweaty Switzerland to the chilly Lapland on Wednesday after one hour sleep (the 1st of August party was definitely worth the tiredness though). I even had 3 checked in bags and 4 pieces of hand luggage with me (don’t tell the airline; I still don’t know how I did it). Whoopsie.

    And like that wouldn’t have been enough, during the two days in Lapland I’ve already found myself working, orienteering (our family likes to gather in forests) and meeting Santa and stumbling on the rocky paths to acquire some bad ass bruises and scratches (it seems to be that the less risk there is, like 2000m cliff by the trail, the more I stumble). I am rushing with this and feel dizzy, even though I should know better. But if I concentrate on the distance, look at the horizon far far away and think how far the mountains are… I’m not sure if I really want to think about the distance right now.

    Though it’s not so bad really, to slow down. What Lapland lacks in weather, mountains, urban settings and a number of people, it compensates with space, wilderness, freedom and sauna. And the reindeer paths, windy and rarely leading to anywhere, make me think that those creatures seem to know something crucial about freedom. How it’s not about the destination really, but about the journey. Or they are just lost and simply don’t care. Either way, let’s enjoy the ride, whatever speed.

    Now I have to run to run, but please be tuned for more Lapland stories. The map below will also acquire more content soon. Take care, stumble less, and see you later!

     


    FI: TERVEISIÄ LAPISTA

    Olen vihdoin löytänyt tieni taas napapiirin paremmalle eli pohjoispuolelle. Kirjoitan tätä Saariselältä hotellin aulasta (2017 ja hotellin WiFi ei yllä huoneessa kynnystä pidemmälle – not for remote work this place), jossa odotan tunturisuunnistuksen ensimmäisen kilpailupäivän lähtöajan koittavan. Viikko tähän asti on ollut aikamoista haipakkaa ja reilut 15km juoksua lauantaina ja sunnuntaina sopii hyvin kaavaan.

    Tiistaina aamuyöhön Sveitsin kansallispäivää tanssattuani suuntasin tunnin yöunien jälkeen keskiviikkona helteisestä Sveitsistä kolmen sisäänkirjatun laukun ja neljän käsimatkatavaran (älkää kertoko Finnairille, en itsekään oikein tiedä miten sen tein) viileään Lappiin. Ja täällä olen vajaan kolmen päivän aikana ehtinyt jo tavata joulupukin, käydä kolmessa eri saunassa, suunnistaa (perheellämme on hyvin metsäiset kohtaamispaikat) ja kompuroida yhden tunturin kivisellä polulla (näemmä mitä vähemmän riskejä, kuten kahdentuhannen metrin pudotus polun molemmin puolin, sitä kömpelömpää meno).

    Pitkän Sveitsin kauden jälkeen Lappi on henkeäsalpaavan tyhjä. Avoin, laaja ja hiljainen. Taivas  on sanoinkuvaamattoman suuri, sitä ei vain voi kuvailla sanoin; se on tunne. Ja tunturit… Noh, söpön matalia ja kumpuilevia.  Vuoria ja lyhyitä välimatkoja on ikävä, ja niitä etelän lämpimiä piemitä öitä. Toisaalta, Lappi korvaa osaltaan mm. kaikella tällä tilalla, saunoilla ja mutkittelevilla poropoluilla, jotka muistuttavat että loppujen lopuksi on aivan sama minne on menossa ja kuinka pitkä matka on. Tärkeintä on se itse matkanteko.

    Vaikka en olekaan ihan varma siitä onko poroilla mielessään mitään niin filosofista. Ehkä he vain ovat hukassa ja eivät vain välitä. Noh, molempi parempi ja nautitaan nyt siitä matkasta. Oli vauhti mikä tahansa.

    Alla oleva kartta tulee myös saamaan lisää sisältö matkani varrelta. Ja lisää lappitarinoita luvassa kunhan selviän nyt tästä ensimmäisestä viikosta ehjänä, joten pysykäähän langoilla jos kiinnostaa. Palataan asiaan ja yritetään olla kompuroimatta liiaksi siihen asti.


  • BLOG
  • LOADING BATTERIES: NIEDERHORN TO HABKERN

    Tiina Kivelä

    Last Sunday, the last one in Berner Oberland before a three-week break. Had a dear (and fit) friend over and the situation just called for a good hike, this time from Niederhorn to Habkern. Luckily, the weather was also on our side and we had amazing and almost too warm sunny hike day before the typical July afternoon thunderstorm (during which we were already enjoying our well-deserved burgers and beers in Habkern).

    As the style goes, Scandinavian blondes did the trail 2/3 of the time suggested. Even with stopping for few pics and awwwws for the views. I still have problems believing the landscape is real and understanding I can call this place my home. What have I done to deserve this? So grateful, so damn grateful.

    Next time though I’d hike the trail the other way, starting from Habkern and ending in Niederhorn. Because uphills are way funnier than downhills. When hiking and life in general.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina KIvelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Niederhorn to Habkern


    FI: Viimeinen sunnuntaihaikki hetkeen Bernin ylämailla viime viikonloppuna, ennen kolmen viikon taukoa.

    Oli norjalainen ystävä kylässä, juuri hän jonka kanssa voimme aina laskea kulkevamme noin kolmasosan nopeampaa kuin kyltit ehdottavat. Tällä kertaa nopeus oli valttia sekä norjalaista illalla odottaneen suoran lennon vuoksi (oi Bergen, joka tarjoat suoria lentoja Sveitsiin myös kesällä – milloin Rovaniemi, milloin?) että iltapäivästä tyypilliseen heinäkuiseen tapaan iskeneen ukkosen – sitä ennen ilma oli toki mitä parhain, melkein liiankin lämmin. Mutta vain melkein. 
    Reittimme kulki Niederhornin gondolin yläasemalta Habkernin kylään ja vaikka maisemat olivat taaskin henkeäsalpaavat, niin seuraavalle kerralle tai muille kiinnostuneille vinkkinä viilaisin reissua sen verran, että kulkisin reissun ennemmin Habkernista Niederhorniin. Koska ylämäet vain ovat parhaita, haikatessa ja elämässä yleensäkin.


  • BLOG
  • WOMEN WHO TRAVEL

    Tiina Kivelä

    Recently, I found a women-only FB group called “Women who Travel”, created by Conde Nast Traveler.

    a place where all self-identifying female travel lovers can join in conversation about what it means to travel as a woman today

    In less than a week, the group has blown my mind in many ways, adding up the thoughts already there. Especially during the past year, I’ve been talking to (and stalking) all these modern (woman) travellers, adventurers and extreme athletes around the world (hi there!). Moreover, there are similar global groups like “our” group for (amateur) women in outdoor sports (Shades Of Winter collective) and the buzz around the books and movies Wild, Frozen and Wonder Woman. And by now it all seems to have reached the masses, as the FB groups suggest.

    Women who travel is a trend; a significant one accelerating change in many fields. And it isn’t travel only, it’s also the adventure and outdoors women who have been seeking and many times got the spotlight lately. Not just for selfish, what’s on the surface kind of reasons, but to create a positive change in the industries and environment we live and do things in.

    Even my site aims to be a way to inspire others, especially women, to travel and reach for their dreams, and to show the potential we have. Though I hope men also listen, as this should help them to understand better the women of their lives and the world we all live in. The travelling kind of adventurous women, which I argue are one of the best types and the world which is all the time becoming better for everyone (at least the western world – and well, let’s not go the US now).

    Tiina Kivelä

    WOMEN WHO TRAVEL

    The number of women who now travel and seek for adventures is just something remarkable. And they are not just the ones who have EU passport and white skin and old money. There are also many (may I say it’s a majority by now) inspiring women, who don’t mind about the barriers and fight and work their way over the borders and VISA applications to travel wherever and whenever they feel like to and who do whatever they like to. The interest in travel and adventure amongst women is rapidly growing, and I can’t help thinking how proud my own late grandmother would be to see how we use our freedom and grab on the possibilities she, and many others of her generation never had.

    The support and push one gets from other women have been an amazing phenomenon to notice especially for a girl like me. I am used to, and enjoy, travelling and adventuring with guys as well. And a few years back I still wondered if there’s any need for making a difference between the genders; thinking isn’t the field already equal enough? But I’ve realised that women are the best example for women, and especially for little girls, and there’s a lot to take home from settings where only women are in place. Men can teach and they can push us forward as well, but they never know what it’s like for a woman, be it in a mountain or a foreign country.

    I like men (I really like) and think that any “playground” should be an open playground for everyone, despite gender, colour, religion or whatever may “divide” us. Nevertheless, there is (still) place and a need for women-only forums and camps and conversations and whatever, to make travel and adventure more inclusive and to accelerate the positive change. But this doesn’t mean that men shouldn’t learn something from this too. The change happening and conversations going on are beneficial for everyone.

    Tiina Kivelä

    WOMEN WHO TRAVEL IS A POWERFUL TREND

    Women who travel is a significant trend with many possibilities to take something out of it, for various purposes. Something companies in tours & activities, hospitality, gear, clothing and even DMO’s should have already seen coming; something for which one could think there would be a lot of products and services available, already now. But as I browse the available options for myself as an active solo traveller; the training camps for mountain biking, skiing, surfing, trail running; single rooms, gear rental (hint: I want professional and technically advanced, not just pink) and single activities and rooms, I still find only a few, if any. Not to mention my mum, who likes to travel but does not have the skills or means to be as proactive and self-reliant in her plans and purchases as me.

    There are exceptions though. I’ve taken part in few women-only activities, courses and camps in Switzerland and enjoyed every moment with these professional woman entrepreneurs, guides, instructors and fellow travellers. Recently I also secured my place in all girls surf camp in Morocco for the end of August (this will be an interesting adventure, I’ve never surfed and I’m still more used to water in solid form – lot’s of funny lessons ahead!). At some point, I’m even thinking of putting up my own camp in Lapland, following the great example.

    HOW TO UTILISE THE TREND EVEN BETTER (AND FOR GOOD)

    Even though there is something happening already, I do wish there would be more offered to women who travel and more taken out of the trend, for good. I’m not the only one with free lots in my calendar, tired of having to make the first move myself. And there are the ones like my mum, who’s not so into the extreme, nevertheless active holiday kind of type, and who’d buy the whole active package at once if it would be just available.

    I’m also sure there are many brands who could utilise this trend for their own purposes and for everyone’s benefit. It’s not only makeup, bags and shoes and city breaks modern traveller girls want. And some of us are more than bored of standing still in front of a beautiful landscape long hair flowing in the wind for 10k Instagram likes (too many times for their photographer husband’s business, btw). While the men climb mountains and pose full speed in downhill bike trail in their popular feeds.

    I would like to see how the little girls of today and future would not be taught to be that way; to want the cute and pink and just stand there pretty. Rather, I would like them to see how fun the adventure is, and how capable and brave modern women are.

    We want quality, we want sustainability, we want responsibility, we want to challenge ourselves and we do wanna make the change happen. While having fun and doing mainly whatever makes us happy. And we can do it.

    Tiina Kivelä

     

    WOMEN WHO TRAVEL WANT THINGS WHICH WORK

    Women who travel also want and need stuff, gear, clothing, gadgets etc for their travels and life in general. And that’s a big field where there’s still work to do. To illustrate this, let’s start from a watch, as it’s interesting with i.e. this Daniel Wellington phenomenon in mind. But since this is a travel/adventure, not a fashion blog, I look for the adventure watch. A watch which also does the job outdoors, while looking good, like Suunto Spartan HR multisport watch (I’m on a look for similar one, btw, so feel free to suggest something – especially suitable for (trail)running, mountain biking, surfing, and mountaineering).

    This Suunto watch is nice, it has many features suited for a multisport athlete. Not just a professional one, but also amateurs and lifestyle athletes like me. And apparently, the software and usability are finally getting better after some major hiccups in the first models. So it seems to be a watch to consider. But.

    Recently, Suunto ads and promotions have labelled and announced the newest colour versions of the watch (pink/white/cold version) for active, urban female multisport athlete. So now we have a watch which is said to be developed for these women, grasping on the trend we have been talking in here. But, what were the previous models and other stylish colours of this watch been; for the men only? And so I need to research if something else also changed for the “female” version; the size, weight, usability? Would make sense. But no; only the colour has been changed.

    It’s 2017. Really, it shouldn’t be only about the looks anymore for us women, even though it is nice to have a sports watch which looks like a nice watch, and not just a sports watch (krhm Polar, I might look at you now). If and when you promote a sports watch for urban active women, I do expect it’s not only colour preferences which differentiate us from men in your eyes.

    WOMEN WHO TRAVEL MIGHT NEED SOME ADJUSTMENTS, AND NOT JUST THE COLOUR

    The problem here is that many things and services are still promoted and even developed for women mainly with the pink/gold and white/gold colours and “softness” first etc. As a watered down, cute version of the men version. But let me tell you: when it comes to my gadgets, I may look for the nice colour, but it’s not the most important thing. More than anything else, I would like to hear and see how you have thought the gadget fits the activity and active life I lead; how it really supports and helps me with my everyday adventures. And I can’t be the only woman thinking so.

    Here comes an advice. If and when the product development is targeted to interests more and more women (see, the women who travel is a big trend), I would concentrate on the usability and functionality from a woman point of view. How the size fits a woman’s wrist (which in most cases is smaller than men’s); how’s the weight and how’s the functionality from a woman perspective. I don’t have anything against pink and in some cases, it suits me and my needs. And I do enjoy good trendy design. But, it’s not the main reason I buy or want things.

    I want things which work and make me perform better, who save my life, keep me dry and warm and don’t break and ruin basic daily activities and adventures. And I’m pretty sure that’s what most of the women who travel and do things want too. I really wish brands would understand this and modify their communications to this direction. Because well, the current communication style of many makes me think they simply underestimate women and their skills and capabilities. Which is definitely not fine.

    Tiina Kivelä

    DO YOU WANT OUR TIME AND MONEY?

    Women are travelling in growing numbers and making a significant change while doing so, in many fields. It’s a trend and women have more and more to say on what they want and need. And I would argue that companies and wider world should really listen to them and see the trend, and to help make the positive change happen and be proactive. Luckily enough, there’s already some who do that and our (woman)friends are filling the gaps by doing favours and creating things themselves when they can’t find what they are looking for. But more can and should be done. And we have the time and money; let’s see where we spent it.


    Ps. The pics in here are from last weekend (pics of me by David Freitag) and the last one from my original home in Lapland. It’s in these two worlds I live now, from time to time startled by the thought that I can simultaneously be home, going home and missing home. I am a woman who travels, and I sure will tell you soon how it’s not always easy, but why one really should chase their dreams like I’ve done. Oh and talking about the travel gear, that Patagonia Ascensionist 35L backpack is just ace. Unisex model. I wish this would be sponsored mention.