• Relocation Costs Not Covered

    Tiina Kivelä

    Hello December, you’re interesting. And not just for the holidays. Last Thursday, I finally again relocated, and moved into a new flat (totally new btw, with sauna!). And while resting my muscles tired from all the box carrying (it’s top floor flat) I’m also planning the oh-so soon nearing next year, professionally and un-professionally. Life’s a journey and this will definitely be an exciting chapter in mine.

    Last week, I read a similar story to mine in here (it’s in finnish, sorry), about being “homeless” for months. For the writer, it has lasted half a year, for me 4 months, literally. Mentally, it has lasted 10 years, from the moment I first time relocated abroad from my original home. And practically, I wasn’t really homeless, but still, it felt like it.

    The new flat definitely makes life easier; after five years, I have even a dishwasher, and place for all my sports and travel stuff. Moreover, for few months I have commute of just few hundres meters. Maybe I manage to get into the office before nine some day… Nevertheless, I’m not sure if this feels home. Alhough, it doesn’t need to really feel home. Home is a feeling, sure, but not necessarily tied to a place. Right now I just need  a space for my mess and a place to organize that mess. For that this’s almost perfect. Some moments if feels home, some others not. But it’s fine as it is.

    During the weekend, I even managed to put some things on the walls and fix the lights myself. Not these on this tree though, but my new designer lights and old Ikea ones are hanging just fine up here. Maybe I should consider turning this into a nordic interior blog off this nordic noir lifestyle one?

    Tiina Kivelä


    Tiina Kivelä

    Like the author of the other story^ writes, I’ve also felt that during the past years my life has scattered into an unstructured mess. Nordic noir lifestyle. A mess of which I haven’t been fully in charge of. Or well, I’ve done my best trying to keep in charge, but the universe hasn’t always played along. The past years have definitely taught me many important lessons though, like how a situation like the homelessnes doesn’t really help with already messy situation. But you learn to survive and move forward, when you keep your goals clear.

    And even though my resume of the last ten years is combined of tiny pieces, periods here and there (not at all like the streamlined career curve it should look like), it’s been eye-opening and rewarding ten years, for many reasons. During these years, I’ve tried many different things, jobs and places. Some I’ve liked a lot, even fell in love with, others not so much. Nevertheless, they all have taught me something. And if one looks very carefully, one can see that the curve is upwards still. It requires a closer look and maybe a bit longer talk with me to see all the details and things between the lines, and what really binds it all together, but it’s there. And right now, I couldn’t feel more comfortable with it. And determined to put all that experience into real action.

    When I sit here and write this in my new flat, in the shiny new 44 square meters (including sauna) and look around, I can only think of a sentence which desrcibes this perfectly. You’ve come a long way, baby.

    There’s the shoes I bought from Stockholm when living there ten years ago. And then there’s the cups I bought for my first student flat. There’s study books from Norway and chocolate boxes from Brussels. Map of Berner Alps from my Swiss home, and the medal from the finished  Jungfrau marathon. There’s dictionaries from the time before smartphones (I’m btw addicted to Duolingo now) and the management books I picked up from post, on my way to pick up my moving pizza, on this Friday.

    These all tell a story of an interesting journey which isn’t finished yet. Though I migh be pausing now, drinking wine for this finalized phase, for the first advent and for the full moon. And if you’re wondering the title, then before I go I’ll let you know that once again relocation costs weren’t covered. I do wonder does anyone ever get those, or is it just a thing for the past…

    I’ll end this story with few snaps from past weeks. I’ve been a bit jealous for friends in the Alps, in where it seems to be the best season opening in years.  It’s been quite nice in here too, but not the mountains I really miss.

    Luckily, it’s not many days left ’till I’m down there too and fingers crossed there’s some pow and good moments left for me too. Untill that, I keep on training, working and thinking the perfect organization for the stuff mess in my flat.


    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Gone skiing



  • BLOG
  • Going Happy Places – Upgrade My Winter 2017-2018

    Tiina Kivelä

    While daydreaming in the middle of this November darkness, I thought it would be a good idea to write down a bit more about the dreams I’m planning to make reality this winter season. The dreams for which I’ve joined the #skierssquatchallenge (thanks for the inspiration Sandra), and for which I find the motivation to explore running the icy remote small town roads in pouring rain like Rocky.

    For this winter, I’m already past the first first half of the preparation project. Because these dreams really need  preparation and work to turn to reality. I’ve done the squats, gone running and nordic skiing, and lowered the spending and alcohol intake (after the wine fair that is). Unfortunately, I can’t have the long high altitude weekend hikes from last year. Those were the secret for surviving last winter and spring and even the marathon, and they were just so fun. But I do hope the other activities and even a bit more structured plan (I even have kind of a bullet journal now) will do good as well.

    This winter and the year coming, I want to really improve my mountain skills, both when it comes to skiing, running, skitouring and mountaineering. I wanna do some more “things I wanna do before I turn 30” things like the marathon already finished, and concentrate on my wellbeing, for common good (hello future employers and cooperators, I’m thinking of you too in here).

    Nobody climbs on skis now and almost everybody breaks their legs but maybe it is easier in the end to break your legs than to break your heart although they say that everything breaks now and that sometimes, afterwards, many are stronger at the broken places.


    Tiina Kivelä


    Talking of the dreams I have for this winter, one of the biggest is to spent more time in my happy places. First, in December I’m going to Switzerland to get my stuff, meet lovely people, and hopefully enjoy some December Swiss pow.  Then I’ll continue to Austria to catch up with some awesome mountain babes, and enjoy as much glühwein and raclette as possible, as it’s the Weihnachtsmarkt -season.

    After the reunion with my dear Alps, I’ll hopefully hop on plane back north for Christmas or at least New Years. Hopefully, because no tickets bought yet. As the sad story goes, Germania doesn’t offer the direct flights from Zürich to Rovaniemi this winter. Therefore, I have to consider more carefully when I have time and money to fly, with the expensive Finnair transfer flights. Especially during the extremely busy Christmas season, when charters are filling every airport in Lapland and Christmas tourists the regular flights.

    I haven’t been up here for the holiday season in two years, and I’ll have a brand new apartment then, so I kind of would like to be here for the holidays. But again, it might become too expensive and also, working for Santa for 4 months now I’ve had enough of this Christmas by now. The sun and cheap wine of south wouldn’t be a bad option either…

    After the holidays and turning to 2018, wherever that will be, I’ll get down to the Alps again in January, to go skiing in La Grave. Booked the camp through Boundless Betty again (not paid ad, just a honest recommendation) and I really hope this will improve my skiing and mountain skills a lot. Of course I’m going there also for the raclette, and to hang out with amazing women again, because why not. Alps are always a good idea.

    Then, depending on the work situation, I get back north north or stay south the rest of the winter, doing as many weekend adventures as possible before the spring ski mountaineering season comes into play. This will include a longer hochtour/hauteroute tour, and some cross-country skiing I hope. Plans and funding aren’t clear about these last ones yet, but fingers crossed (and work to do) there’s gonna be good trips like these later in the winter and spring too.

    Finally, and since my birthday is waiting in May, I also hope to squeeze in (and find the money for) a longer trip this winter (fyi: spring in south means winter in Lapland). Number one destination would be Colombia, for catching up with friends there, learning Spanish and experiencing the Colombian multisport scene. And more than anything else, to enjoy the sun, lack of which I’ve suffered hard this autumn. My friend also said, when inviting me there, that I should show with my experience how Colombia is a destination for a adventurous woman solo traveler. Ready for the challenge, but again let’s see if there’s enough funds and holidays for that.

    Finally there was the great glacier run, smooth and straight, forever straight if your legs could hold it, your ankles locked, you running so low, leaning into the speed, dropping forever and forever in the silent hiss of the crisp powder. It was better than any flying or anything else, and you built the ability to do it and to have it with the long climbs, carrying the heavy rucksacks. You could not buy it nor take a ticket to the top. It was the end we worked all winter for, and all the winter built to make it possible.


    2017 Tiina Kivelä


    This winter my plan is to write more, about my training and plans and projects, in here. I’m not sure how many is interested really, but still. To tell you, whoever is interested, what it takes to get to the final stage, to do those long climbs ahead, and stay alive those great glacier runs.

    First of all, even if you don’t do freeskiing or the other kind of adventures like I do, I think you could get good tips from my basic endurance and strength training, just to make your everyday challenges like work more bearable, and your body to handle all that more conveniently. Second, for the fellow mountain people, I hope the avalanche stuff and insights on how I view and manage all the risks help you to get forward in the mountains as well. Finally, I hope my insights on how I generally balance my life with my full-time job, all this travel, exercise and relationships, could be of help for someone else. Even if just letting you know that you’re not alone.

    Like already said, last winter didn’t go so well in the end, so I hope this time I know how to do this better. This winter I’m really going to upgrade. Be it doing like the Swiss Tourism tells me to do in the video below – to upgrade my winter in the Swiss mountains (check! – booked and the skis are waiting me there already) or just doing everything better this winter, wherever I am.

    Tiina Kivelä

    I do have few extra challenges this winter though, like the non-existent direct flights and still unknown future since my current work project ends soon. But I hope that knowing I need to keep better eye on these things, I manage to beat those challenges and travel to the highest mountains and unknown territories more than once.


    the fun of skiing was to get up into the highest mountain country where there was no one else and where the snow was untracked and then travel from one high Alpine Club hut to another over the top passes and glaciers of the Alps. You must not have a binding that could break your leg if you fell. The ski should come off before it broke your leg. What he really loved was unroped glacier skiing, but for that we had to wait until spring when the crevasses were sufficiently covered.


    Tiina Kivelä

    Let’s hope those springy glacier runs will be good and if interested, follow my journey here, in Instagram or Facebook.

    Let’s do our best to upgrade everything this winter.

    Where: Berner Oberland, Switzerland

    Quotes: Ernest Hemingway

  • BLOG
  • But I’m Hiking In Lapland

    Tiina Kivelä

    Despite the recent efforts and wishes I still haven’t seen any tickets to Switzerland with my name. Luckily though, the sun started to shine in Lapland as well. And on top of that, the first snow arrived with glistering frost and magical landscape. Yay! They’ve also opened the first “stored” snow Nordic skiing tracks in Rovaniemi, so it’s not so bad being here either. I haven’t been skiing yet, but I’ve enjoyed the weather and posed well for selfies while hiking in Lapland – exactly in Pyhä-Luosto National Park in the pictures, for example. [Strava data]

    And please, let me have a fashion blogger moment in here. May I introduce: my cool new jacket! It was damn expensive, but as it’s 6 years since my last shell jacket I kind of needed badly a new one. Moreover, this practical beauty (and apparently a bit of eco too) is finally a jacket which is long enough to cover my butt (no fitness blogger butt selfies in this blog), and it has long enough sleeves while being lean enough. Quite naturally then, it’s the kind of self-care I deserve, especially with this color (still a rare find in women’s collections).

    This week I’m having few more days of this and work, followed by weekend in Helsinki, for some books and wine and urban training (Helsinki Book Fair, some wine & food fair which has no english name, running, swimming and sauna). Maybe I find and can then tip you another cool remote working place in there too. In the series of which, I’ve moved myself into a new office up here, so less remote work in the coming weeks. And I have to say, if something, constant change is permanent in my life. It’s not light, but it has some good sides too. At least I don’t get bored easily.

    Now I’m plugging off to sleep the Monday blues away. Take care, enjoy the sun while you can, and talk to you later!

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Pyhä-Luosto National Park