I have to admit that I have been a bit slow with Instagram. I have had my account for about 18 months already, but the first year was really really quiet. It took time until I learned, and remembered, to use it.
During the past six months or so I have become a lot more active with Instagram. One big reason is the lovely Instagram Travel Thursday campaign that takes place every first Thursday of each month, like today, and of course my friends and fellow bloggers and Instagram users who keep bombing with their utterly beautiful Instagram photos. So nowadays I am regularly posting one picture a day on Instagram. If I feel very wild, I might even post two! Wow!
Yesterday I reached the milestone of 300 followers on Instagram, and it made me feel so happy! Besides posting daily, I have recently started to understand the deep meaning of this social media channel: being social!
As mentioned, it’s again time for Instagram Travel Thursday, and after this ‘ground work’ I want to show you my January Jewels on Instagram. This TOP 10 of precious moments is not organized by the amount of hearts or comments – actually there are a few pictures that haven’t even got that many likes, but they are true jewels of my January, the month that passed by so quickly.
The 1st January Jewel: Time for a holiday!
We didn’t have a real holiday around Christmas and New Year. Instead we had a little winter holiday in January. Therefore the first January Jewel is from our drive to Vuokatti, a small place in Eastern Finland. At the moment of this picture the sun is just about to go down, the landscape is just starting to get snowier… but we are only half way to our destination.
The 2nd January Jewel: Sunset on a frozen lake
We spent our first day in Vuokatti outside. It was sunny and not too cold, about -10 to -15 degrees, but the freezing wind made it feel a bit colder. We didn’t bring any skis with us so we went for a walk on a frozen lake. Even if the small cracks curving on the ice felt a bit scary, we were brave enough to conquer the nearest island. On the other side of that island we had a chance to admire this sunset:
The 3rd January Jewel: A rustic barn
I described this picture on Instagram saying ‘rustic beauty can be found anywhere’. And so it can. Rustic is just the perfect word to describe this barn or whatever outdoor building that we came across with on our walk to the nearest supermarket. The sun had just set, which made the atmosphere perfect. Isn’t it beautiful?
The 4th January Jewel: The outdoor pool winter selfie
One of the facilities our destination, Vuokatti, is famous of, is its’ fancy spa. As we had driven that far, of course we had to have a day in the spa! This picture didn’t get many likes on Instagram, but this was a true star moment of our trip: I thought it was extremely bad idea, but Daniel really wanted to take his iPhone 6 to the outdoor pool for a selfie. Let me be clear; the only route to the outdoor pool was along a ‘water corridor’, so we covered the phone, Daniel was holding it in his hand as high up as possible, and we made it to the other side. And I have to admit, it was THE BEST IDEA EVER!
And the phone stayed dry and is still working fine!
The 5th January Jewel: Snowboarding on Vuokatti slopes
As an Englishman, Daniel is not much of a skier, so I had to conquer the Vuokatti slopes by myself. The very first time I went on the top the visibility was absolutely zero. They were still shooting snow on the slopes which made it feel like you’re trying to snowboard in a huge snowstorm. I didn’t wear any goggles so I was basically snowboarding blind. Half way down the slope the visibility came back and suddenly it was clear. And this is the view I saw when that happened:
The 6th January Jewel: A snowy hut on top of the slopes
I think I already mentioned you can find rustic beauty anywhere… And I MEAN ANYWHERE! Like on the top of skiing slopes. I couldn’t resist this picture, this scene is so cute I could eat it! It’s like from a fairytale, or what do you think? Winter wonderland indeed! This picture was one of my most popular Instagram photos in January:
The 7th January Jewel: Cruising on an icy lake
When we left Vuokatti we didn’t go straight home. Instead we had an overnight stay in Koli National Park. We were so lucky that Europe’s longest inland ice road had just been opened for traffic the day before, so we made an extra drive just to be able to go across the lake Pielinen by car. I even wrote a post about it, so in case you didn’t read it yet, check it out: How we crossed a lake by driving!
The 8th January Jewel: A freezing cold cabin in the middle of the woods
Did you already read my story about our freezing cold night at Koli National Park? If so, I hope you had a good laugh out of it. If you didn’t yet read it, oh please do! And once you’ve read it, tell me your opinion: Was this night in Ikolanaho rental hut in the middle of the woods a good effort for a wuss hiker or an extreme experience to remember. This is our lovely cabin where we spent the night. Oh, and did I already tell you? The indoor temperature in the cabin was around -25 degrees!
The 9th January Jewel and the most popular Instagram image: The hoods of the hut!
This picture has a huge meaning to me. First of all it reminds me of this freezing cold night in Koli National Park and of the fact that it was really worth the effort. This picture is taken on the ‘hoods of the hut’ so this is how the surroundings looked like on a sunny but snowy day, when the rays of sunshine were sparkling on the surface of frozen snow.
Secondly, this is the first ever Instagram picture of mine that was regrammed by another account. At least so that I know of. For that I want to thank the admins of Finnish Moments account (highly recommended for following, in case you like to see some beautiful pictures of Finland).
The 10th January Jewel: The top of Mäkrä hill right after sunrise
I have two words for you: Oh wow! Isn’t Finnish winter just breath-taking?
Instagram Travel Thursday is organized in Finland by travel blogs RIMMA+LAURA, Travellover and Muru Mou. Instagram Travel Thursday is a global event taking place on every first Thursday of each month. Anyone can participate by sharing the best travel memories by using hashtag #igtravelthursday or #igtt.
Pin these January Jewels for later:
Find and follow Live now – dream later on social media: