• BLOG
  • Tricks For Doing Solo Ski Trip Well

    Davos Tiina Kivelä Creative

    For various reasons, the past years and especially last year I have traveled a lot solo. This way, I’ve had the privilege to travel regularly during the weekdays and off peak season. Making it cheaper and less crowded than in the weekends and peak seasons. I’ve also been able to tweak and adjust it like only a solo traveler and hustler can.

    And more than else, I’ve been doing stuff I really want to do. Not needing to adjust to other people’s desires, schedules and skill levels. Though not saying that it would always be my #1 choice. Many times, I would like to just go with the flow of good company, adjust and make compromises, to enjoy the amazing thing called sharing the best and the worst. Nevertheless, traveling solo is always better than not traveling at all. (Well, at least when it doesn’t cause lots of harm to environment etc.)

    In other words, there’s many benefits of solo travel and the freedom I have. Yet, I have to admit many times it’s damn demanding and tiring to be in charge of everything myself. To make all the planning, execution, hustling and figuring out all by myself. No extra pair of hands available to give a helping hand when needed. No extra pair of eyes looking after things needing looking after. And especially, no stupid jokes in every possible occasion. And the only possible solution for pictures of yourself are the selfies.

    All this said, I have luckily figured out few tricks which makes traveling solo a bit more easier and pleasant. Especially when it means traveling for skiing and other activities, when traveling with many heavy bags and hangry moments.

    And for the nice person I am, want to share them in here. With this stupid selfie from my Davos trip last week.

    Douchebags Davos-Klosters Ski 2019

    Doing Solo Ski Travel Well

    • Get good bags for your toys. Like, really good bags. The handy robust ones. The ones with wheels and/or possibility to carry them in your bag/shoulder and the ones with as little extra weight as possible. (Extra points for good looking and recognisable bags). You’ll really thank yourself when you haul them into the trains through crowds and long staircases and icy roads. My choice for my skis: Douchebag.

     

    • Figure out where to storage your stuff, well in advance. For example, if you don’t get into your accommodation or don’t stay in the destination for the night you have to have secure place for your stuff, as your mom or no one else is looking after them. Figure out where’s lockers and at which size and with which price, and how long the storages are open. As a skier/snowboarder/whatever, you can never travel light and you most likely will have some stuff you don’t wanna carry along all the day.

     

    • Get used to being ok eating alone and finding out the good in it. When googling where to eat, check for recommendations for single eaters and really go for the things you really like. When solo, you don’t need to worry of the friend only eating still living stuff nor the other highly allergic to chili. On the other hand, you need to be happy to be squeezed into communal table or get a seat only from the bar. Yet, there’s the good in that too: you easily get to chat with the staff, get very personal service or alternatively can just concentrate on your phone or book or food or beer or the other guest. My restaurant recommendation for Davos in the pics: Lokal.

     

    • Get used to not getting the best accommodation if and when you don’t have limitless budget. Unfortunately, the single tax – higher price if it’s just you in the room vs. two person sharing the room – is still exciting in many places. Also, very few places have good deals for solo travelers, even though the trend is picking up the businesses too. So, if and when you’re not into paying 200,- for a hotel room, you have to stick to the hostels most of the times. Nevertheless, if you are also interested to combine i.e. spa or sauna or other activities into your trip, have a look at how much the hostel bed + local spa visit costs separately bought and compare it to the best rate to a room in a spa hotel. Alternatively, keep an eye on the camps and similar, in where you end up being one solo traveler among many other solo travellers. Might get you surprised. And, if you’re going for the hostel and especially in Switzerland, check the Swiss Youth Hostels. There’s a hostel in almost every best mountain destination, some of which with very good views and breakfast and the whole thing focused on sustainable business.

     

    • For the transport, skip the car and take the train and/or bus. Roadtrips are super nice, but especially when traveling solo you most likely want to stress less of finding the right way and parking place, and of the traffic conditions in the foreign place etc. Also, sitting in the car all by yourself is not really good for the environment.  So, let’s skip that. And then in the train and bus, try to be there well in time to secure the window seat. It’s way nice to look out from the window or lean your head to the window when napping, than do the same to the stranger sitting next to you. In Switzerland, Swiss Travel System is my more than recommended transport method, for solo travellers especially.

     

    That said, look at how happily I enjoy my daily exercise in the pic above. Dragging my two pairs of skis and boots and other heavy luggage uphill in over 1500 meter above sea level. All the way up to my hostel behind the steep uphill, after not being wise and going directly from the train to the Langlaufzentrum Davos, to keep my stuff there while waiting for the hostel to let me check in and doing my first cross-country tour of the visit.

    My solo travels doesn’t always go as smoothly as I would like to. But most of the times they are still more than worth doing.

     

    Davos Platz 2019 Tiina Kivelä

    Davos-Klosters Train Travel 2019

    Tiina Kivelä Creative
    Davos Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Tiina Kivelä Creative


     

    Where: Davos, Graubünden, Switzerland

  • BLOG
  • It’s 2019 – Companies, Do Better – Please

    Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Today I got an idea. Could we just decide that in 2019 more companies and even individuals would make more effort on doing their best to cut off the bullsh*t –be it single use plastic, poor quality gadgets made to break, wasted resources and so on – and just do better in any and every way they can?

    Though this time, for the initial idea, I can only blame myself for making the same mistake again. (Note to self: do not do the same mistake third time). Should have just followed my basic rule of buying only from the good ones. Like when updating my outdoor gear, nowadays only buying from the ones like Houdini, who’s both making outdoor clothing which is not all pink and red for women (!) and innovating as one of the best examples in the outdoor gear industry (honest non-paid personal opinion this is).

    Less Wasting, More Good Doing

    In the pic here, you see two things I bought from tax free yesterday, on my way to Switzerland. Two examples from the skincare industry (please note the same thinking could be applied to almost any products, so men read on, please). One good and other not so good example.

    To the left is my face cleanser favourite – Dr. Hauschka cleansing cream – and the package it was sold in. And to the right Lumene serum and its packaging, which I bought to help with my poor skin shocked by the  -30°C outside air, sahara dry indoor air of my Lapland flat, and the occasional +60°C dry heat sauna (please note the humid sauna does more than good to your skin).

    Long story short, I cannot believe I was so stupid to buy that serum even though it came in that totally unnecessary plastic wrapping, and in the cardboard box almost twice the size of the product itself. The same stupid thing I noticed when buying Lumene’s balm last summer. Stupid, because it’s 2019 and rarely anyone – at least not the ones whose copy texts says anything about natural, nordic and arctic – uses unnecessary plastic and space in they packages. This way not adding to the plastic pollution and wasting resources in transport, storage and retail shelves. Nor other stupid stuff.

    I mean, it’s 2019 now and already in 2018 my Nike running shoes came in plastic free packaging – not even the tape was plastic – and every other company wanting to be ahead of the game things how to help to reach the climate goals and not destroy the resources they claim to love so much. And more importantly, the best ones act, to make a positive impact.

    I have liked the ingredients of the harmony line products of Lumene, and as a Finnish brand utilising the great nordic resources Lumene’s kind of a brand I would like to like even more. Nevertheless, it’s 2019 and I simply don’t feel this ignorance. Because I want to see more companies making the effort, for the climate, environment and business even.

    Are you with me?

    Ps. More on the sustainability, rethinking packaging and beauty industry i.e. in here and here.

     

  • Appenzell
  • Falling in Love With Switzerland Over And Over Again – Hoher Kasten Edit.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Just when I said I don’t recommend sneakers for these trails, I caught the weekend crowds at the end of my Saturday speed hike from Hoher Kasten, half of them taking careful steps on the slippery and rocky path from Wasserauen to Seealpsee, and the other way round. Everyone has the right to their own style though, but still, I’d highly recommend sturdy hiking/trekking shoes for these trails. Or trailrunning ones, with the sticky sole. Because I’m really worried when looking you stumbling with the not ideal for the occasion, no matter how trendy, Nike Frees.

    This time I took my trailrunning shoes to Alpstein, to take a speedy tour from Hoher Kasten to Wasserauen. First, I took the train and bus to Brülisau and from there the Kastenbahn up to Hoher Tauern and the excellent 360° views (and many pics). From Hoher Tauern, after tightening up my shoes and backpack, I ran (and occasionally walked and stopped), past Berggasthaus Staubern and more nice views, before stopping for an Appenzeller beer at Berggasthaus Bollenwees.

    After the beer, and almost swim in Fählensee, I took the hilly route over Bogartenlücke to Wasserauen train station, from where the train home. Overall, it was appr. 17 km hike, which in the end would have been better the other way round, as the 1600m descent would have been better as the ascent, and the 1000m descent better for the ascent. Nevertheless, I and my knees survived, and you can do it the better way, now when you know (though in that case, please take into an account the gondola timetable from Hoher Kasten more carefully).

    Hoher Kasten, as I know very well by now, has one of the best views to Rhine Valley (Rheintal) and to the whole Alpstein Massif and Appenzell (the region, not just the town). And like said many times already, when hiking and running around here, the extensive network of guesthouses takes care of your energy and hydration level more than fine. Just remember to take cash and enough time with you when going.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä Hyvä retki

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Hoher Kasten – Staubern – Bollenwees – Wasserauen runhike, appr. 17km & 5h (map)