Today, I was supposed to publish another episode of my New Zealand travel diary. My plan was to tell you about the ferry trip between the two islands.
The day will come when you get to read about the ferry trip and see the stunning landscapes that could as well fit the topic of the day. I will finish my travel diary even if it might conflict with what I’m about to say just now.
On the other hand, there’s no conflict at all. Every story has more than one side to it. And now, dear friends, I’m about to tell you mine.
It’s time to change.
The signs of change have been more visible on the Finnish side of this blog. I don’t always translate everything in English, but even if I don’t, you can always ask me to do so. The main reason for it, besides the lack of time, is that I don’t think you’re interested in all things Finnish. But I might be wrong, maybe you do?
The reason for the change is simple: the writer of this blog – meaning me, Saana – has changed massively since the day this travel blog was born almost five years ago. At the time, I lived in Düsseldorf where I shared a flat with a bunch of other members of the big and happy trivago family. I relived my teenage years as a 30-year-old senior surrounded by lively youngsters in their early 20’s. I underwent a severe relationship crisis. And I can tell you, the fantastic, young spirit of the trivago family did not help it.
The wild and vibrant trivago life is in the past as is the relationship crisis of the time. But the crisis in life is never over. They only get replaced by new ones.
And the worst of them all culminates today, as I’m writing this story on Friday the 15th of March, to a school strike started by a Swedish 16-year-old girl Greta who is now, for a reason, nominated for a Nobel peace prize. Thanks to Greta, at least a million school kids are gathered on the streets around the world campaigning for getting attention from us, blind and self-indulgent adults.
But this blog WON’T change to something I am not.
Live now – dream later will not become a flight-striking-vegan-climate-activist’s blog. No, because I’m not that person. How could I – only in a few days I’ll fly for a work trip to Northern Italy and even now while writing this story, I sneak to my cheese stash every once in a while. And I’m not going to lie about it.
Neither will I ever become a person who justifies flying with the excuse of not having children. Even if I have (luckily) missed those conversations on social media, apparently a massive number of women are doing so. I find this phenomenon horrendous and have only one question in mind: What if your mother had thought “I rather fly than have children”?
Thank you, mum, for not doing so.
However, as a Finnish professor of cultural studies of tourism recently said to me during an interview, sustainability NEEDS to be part of every single conversation today. Especially when the topic is travel and tourism.
What makes the real difference is the way how sustainability joins the conversation.
This is how it joins Live now – dream later travel blog.
The name of the blog has never been this accurate.
I’m not going to stop writing about travel. I’m not going to stop travelling. Instead, I will bring up all those small and also big acts how we all can make travelling a little bit better for everyone. For this globe and the environment. For you. For your children. Or your godchildren, in case you chose not to have children so that you could keep flying (that’s not true, you realise that?).
Sustainability won’t join this blog in the form of a flight strike, car strike, meat strike or anything like that. Sustainability and responsibility mean so much more than flight emissions or a total refusal of something familiar. Nothing in life is black and white.
I would bring up those angles even if I had done the opposite. We’re all walking the path of constant learning, myself included. Sometimes we just have to learn the hard way, and my recent month in New Zealand was a perfect example of such. It was a trip I would never do again. Not the way I did it. No matter how many times I’ve said and admitted it, it’s the main reason why writing my travel diary has been so slow and painful. Writing it has been really, really difficult for me.
I believe publishing this post will make it a lot easier to finish it.
Local travel, as well as travel in Finland, have always been important topics on this blog. And they will be, that won’t change. What will change is the fact that I’ll bring sustainability into the conversation also when talking about Finland.
Perhaps I’ll write more about topics outside travelling. Last autumn I started a climate challenge on the Finnish side of the blog. I never did it in English. Maybe I should?
Perhaps I’ll write more about things that annoy me. Perhaps I write more about things that make me extremely happy at the time.
Perhaps I publish more of my opinions about the hot topics on media. Like I did on Instagram after hiking Roys Peak, the trail that had been all over the news with false clickbait headlines the day before.
View this post on Instagram
A few days ago BBC published an article about the most instagrammed spot in New Zealand, a viewing spot along the Roys Peak trail in Wanaka. The article claimed how people are queueing to take their perfect selfie with stunning lake and mountain views on the background. Nice clickbait but quite a bullshit story, may I say. We climbed Roys Peak the next day. We were at this 'most instagrammable spot where people have to queue' just two of us for a good time on Saturday morning which should be quite a popular time for a hike. Just another proof how media works today. Don't believe everything you read. And of course the article didn't mention that if you bother to climb 10 more minutes, you get much better views. Not to mention if you climb all the way to Roys Peak which is 1,5 km further from this 'queue spot'. At the time of this picture there were four friends on that spot. Well, I guess some people might consider it a queue. The hike was pretty rough but views are well worth it (and well worth that perfect selfie, too). I forgot to take one! 😂
Summa summarum: whatever the topic, in the future I’ll write about stuff that I’m interested in and passionate about at the time. Not about things that someone somewhere MIGHT be interested in one day.
It’s all about the change. Because all have to change.
Whatever the topic, the following is certain: gone are the days when I wrote a post about finding the cheapest flights, why should you do it or do it myself. Gone are the days when I wrote a post about spending as little money as possible when travelling. They will be replaced with tips on how and where you should spend your money and how should you not. The cheapest possible is no more an acceptable reason to book accommodation, choose a restaurant or buy a jumper. I’m still cheap as a devil, I admit that, but my values have grown as has the number of posts on this blog.
I’m no more the person I was five years ago. That’s why my articles can’t be the same either.
We all live at a turning point where everything needs to change. Even you, whether you wanted it or not. I’m not going to tell you what to do or how you should live your life. I’m not going to make you feel guilty or point the finger at you. We all know I’m not the model citizen myself, far away from that. But I’m willing to learn and change, and I hope you are too.
I dream that we could all keep our minds open to new angles and thoughts without an urge to knock them down before listening. Before giving them a chance. I dream of a constructive conversation. About a dialogue. About inspiration. About learning and understanding.
And this blog will be my channel for all of it.
Of course, you’ll still find the old budget tips as well as the five years old posts with awful pictures and very little information. Why should I delete my past – growing pains are part of life, and they have made me and my blog what we are today.
But from now on, this blog will look more like me than it has ever done before. And the same will happen to the Dream Stream letter that has not been published in English for half a year now. That will change, too.
I hope you will stay with me and keep coming back to my stories. If you won’t, I’ll understand that too.
Next post will take us back to New Zealand. That’s a promise.