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Nostalgic trip to Finnish Lapland with confessions from 19 years ago

  • Suomeksi
  • In English

There are days when I’m giving out a bit more personal stuff on this oh so decent travel blog.

Today is one of those days.


It all started a couple of weeks ago when a fellow Finnish travel blogger gave me a tip about Harriniva Hotels & Safaris looking for travel bloggers and social media fanatics for a 4-day adventure in Muonio in Finnish Lapland.

This was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. My heart was beating like crazy when I was typing my story about why I should be on this trip. I literally had tears in my eyes. Nearly.

Feeling more nostalgic than ever before I was memorizing how I spent a week in Harriniva on a school trip about 20 years ago.

Actually, I have made two school trips there. My late dad, being a truck driver by profession, was often driving the bus on school trips and soccer tournament journeys. When I was a kid, I normally went along on these trips. Long before my own school trip in the 6th grade, when I was 12 years old, I was travelling with my dad who drove a class of older kids to Harriniva for their 6th-grade school trip. I don’t have many memories from that trip though, as I must have been 7 years old at the time.

Only a couple of days after sending my application letter to Harriniva, I received the answer I was waiting for. I received an email welcoming me for an adventure in Muonio. AWESOME!

Ever since I received the news I have been going through an old and broken cardboard box decorated with colourful drawings and a little bit questionable pictures cut from magazines. That is the big box of my childhood secrets, all stored in one place.

I was desperately trying to look for any photographs from my school trip so that I could have scanned them for you. Because I couldn’t find any, I’m decorating this post with photos from my autumn excursion in Swedish Lapland last year.

Because Swedish Lapland is the nearest place to Muonio where I have been recently. Until next week.


Nostalgic trip to Finnish Lapland with confessions from 19 years ago | Live now – dream later travel blog


Even if I couldn’t find any photos from Harriniva, I found something to remind me of the 6th-grade school trip. I blame the boys in my class for not having my proper diary with me on this trip. But I had taken my tiny kids’ calendar that I used as a backup diary to write down a couple of sentences each day.

Funny enough, when I start my adventure in Harriniva on Monday the 1st of August 2016, it’s been exactly 19 years and 4 months—by date—since I started my school trip there with my fellow classmates.

And now I’m going to share with you the few confessions from 19 years and 4 months ago that are at least a little bit decent and protecting my childhood friends’ privacy. Unfortunately, there are not too many notes of the kind!



“We got lost on the way to Vuontisjärvi wilderness hut. A snow mobile rescued us. I was driving a snow mobile more than any of my class mates.”


Too bad that I’m unable to translate these short childhood memories with the strong Eura dialect that is really echoing from my notes.

I had completely forgotten about getting lost in the wilderness. After reading this I’m starting to recall what actually happened. I’m so happy I found these notes. Or am I after all? Read on!



“We met some local boys. It would be nice to get to know to them a bit better, but I don’t dare. I was skiing a lot.”


Hmm, I wonder if ‘the local boys’ remember us, the wild 12 years old girls from a small village of Eura back in 1997.

‘I don’t dare’ refers to the fact that I actually had a boyfriend at the time (yes, when you have a boyfriend at the age of 12, it must be super serious!). He wasn’t in my class, so he wasn’t on this trip either. And therefore I was able to run after local boys in Lapland together with other wild girls. Greetings to Sami, my boyfriend at the age of 12! 🙂



“We were driving a snow mobile, and I was the first one to be brave enough to try. I was skiing with the boys today, and I spent the evening in their room.”


Oh dear, boys again! Actually, I remember this event (I mean the snowmobile event, not spending the evening in boys room). Of course, I remember it when no one, not even the famous boys in my class, didn’t dare to drive a snowmobile before I had shown them how to do it! *bursting with pride*

To protect my ex-classmates privacy, the rest of my notes will be kept in secret. To be honest, I haven’t written much about the wonderful Northern experiences we got to live during our school trip. I guess the boys were more important to a 12-year-old Saana (my sincere apologies for both, Sami and the beautiful Finnish Lapland).


Nostalgic trip to Finnish Lapland with confessions from 19 years ago | Live now – dream later travel blog


This time no boys will come along, only two fellow Finnish travel bloggers. Both of them being girls and both of them I have met before. So it’s going to be a great trip. Awesome adventures with an awesome group!

During our 4-day adventure in Finnish Lapland, we’ll be doing white river rafting, kayaking, hiking, fishing and visiting a reindeer farm Torassieppi where we’ll spend a night in Aurora Dome glamping tents. I’m extremely curious about the glamping experience, as I have never ever before done that! It’s been on my bucket list for ages, so now I will be able to cross one more thing over on my list.


Nostalgic trip to Finnish Lapland with confessions from 19 years ago | Live now – dream later travel blog


Wait, the adventure isn’t over yet!

So, I decided not to buy a train ticket to get to Lapland, but to pack my poor version of a campervan, meaning my dear Ford Focus, and drive all the way up North. It takes 12 hours to drive from Rauma to Muonio, so I’m planning to find a peaceful and beautiful camping spot along the West Coast of Finland. Most probably in Kalajoki, which is pretty much halfway the journey.

I already received a few great tips for camping spots from an Instagram acquaintance, whose Kalajoki pictures seriously blow your mind! Her photos are the main reason why I chose Kalajoki for my camping destination in the first place. If you enjoy breathtaking sunset and sea view photos, you should definitely check out Minna’s gallery on Instagram!

I’ll take my tent along, but as there is a risk of thunderstorms on the coast, I will also prepare my ‘campervan’ with a mattress. It’s a proven method for comfortable camping.


Nostalgic trip to Finnish Lapland with confessions from 19 years ago | Live now – dream later travel blog


My plans for the return journey are still a little bit open, yet filled with mixed plans. Plans that contain the joy of reunion, beauty of nature and stream of consciousness.

Let’s get back to those plans when the time is right.


Nostalgic trip to Finnish Lapland with confessions from 19 years ago | Live now – dream later travel blog

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