• BLOG
  • Life Well Lived – Rethinking The Greatest Passion

    For many, it was cold water swimming. Or sourdough bread baking. In the Nordics it seems to have been knitting fluffy beanies and Icelandic sweaters. In Switzerland, it was Nordic skiing. The biggest trend of the pandemic winter 2020/2021.

    For me, the trend was not any of the above mentioned old loves of mine (though I have been thinking of getting back into them soon again, and I have skied nordic nicely lot this winter too). For me, the trend of this pandemic winter was rethinking my greatest passion. (And some other stuff but about those some other time.)

    During the past decade and a half, I though my biggest passion was travel. I studied a Master of Science degree with specialisation in Tourism Research. I worked in hospitality and tourism industry from guiding and service to marketing and research. I traveled for fun and work, not a lot but still a good amount. No backpacking in Asia, but surfing in Morocco and clubbing in Berlin.

    Then came the pandemic, lockdowns and travel restrictions. A brief stint back in travel SaaS business and experience economy happened too and especially my longest time – during the past decade and a half – in one country . (For about one and a half year now, I haven’t traveled outside Switzerland nor much longer than in 100km radius from my home base – moved once though, with about 100km moving distance.)

    For me, the pandemic has been marked with the realisation that I do not miss travel itself much. I do miss some things only travel makes possible. And I miss the biking in Copenhagen for the best Danish pastries and I miss eating tapas in Granada watching moon rise above Alhambra and Sierra Nevada mountains. But I don’t miss much travel itself nor working in travel – it is the other things, related and not related to travel I miss.

    It is living and breathing different places and cultures. It is learning about those. It is challenging myself with foreign exciting stuff and steep climbs on mountain sides. It is is the learning, the personal development and empowerment – living the life well and making my best to make the good life possible to myself and others I am the most passionate about.

    Luckily, living well has been possible during the pandemic as well (maybe even more now, for also certain amount of solitude and the distance to other people and crowds is important in the very good life of a introvert like me).

    Staying in one place, I have been able to impress myself with other cultures and practice my language skills, challenge myself and develop multiple personal and professional abilities and traits. It is also been a good possibility to get rid of some habits not good for me, and of  things which do not support me on my path toward my dreams (again, no big crowds nor closer than 2m distance to strangers, thank you.)

    I have also been blessed with a long stay close to my most loved one and enjoying the everyday (as far as the restrictions allow) with the best people, and a damn good of a support and ass kicker bubble. And my bikes, skis, shoes, digital devices,  pens, papers, books and coffee machines have been here too, helping me to get the most out of my capabilities and this life so great.

    At some point this website and my blog was supposed to be a travel blog. Then a lifestyle blog with lots of travel and outdoors. Then it kinda went to sleep, with the so many things and changes happening during the 2020/2021 pandemic. But now I thought to wake it up more regularly again. With less travel and more developing, learning and exploring. Flashback stories from the past year and new stories from the adventure ahead. And more importantly, many many snapshots of life well lived. Because that is my greatest passion.

    Yes most likely a lot of biking too. Because that belongs to the life well lived like enough sleep, food and water. And we seem to be almost in the season already.

     

    biking tiina kivela mtb

    enduro bike tiina kivela

    mtb tiina kivela

  • Engelberg
  • Bitte Langsam

    Engelberg Spring Tiina Kivelä

    Although I made the same notion last spring already – and this is kinda exactly why I have moved here – my home has pretty amazing surroundings. Even when the (ski)lifts and commercial activities are closed and it generally feels a bit like gentle apocalypse.

    Today I ran by the Aa -river to clear the head a bit, to get the daily exercise in, and just to enjoy the hazy sunny weather before forecasted snow storms. Pair of shoes*, clothes, sunnies, braid and semi technical trail.

    Can’t get much more simple yet good.

    (Yes it was trailrunning even though started with this a bit bigger road than trail.)

    Bitte Langsam Schweiz

    Trailrunner Tiina Kivelä

    Trailrunning Girl From The North Country

    Trail Swiss Alps Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Engelberg, Switzerland


    * Women’s Nike Pegasus 36 Trail shoes, newly purchased with the confidence from earlier good experience of the “normal” Pegasus shoes and the super light Women’ Air Zoom Elite 9. Seems to be ok ones for my feet and the semi-technical trails and gravel roads. Also light and supported enough for the longer runs too. Maybe will do a detailed trail running shoe advice article later on, if not and interested, remind me of the idea please. 

     

     

     

  • 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