I really had a hard time trying to pin down my favorite place since I have come across so many beautiful, peaceful, memorable, and sentimental places in my lifetime. My host mom in Berlin’s home was very high on the list as well as the sand dunes and Columbia River where my parents used to live (minus the mosquitos). A number of places came up from my time backpacking Scandinavia, most of them in Finland and when I got to thinking about it, they really symbolize a lot and so that is what I chose.
The photo I chose was of a secluded rocky coastline in Lapinlahti, Helsinki. The grounds at that time belonged to an abandoned hospital which was surrounded by cemeteries and overlooking a little bay. It looks like now it’s an event venue and I can see why; the whole place is just stunning.
When I reached the coastline I got an inclination to go rock climbing and eventually I settled for a rest where I took this picture. I stayed there a long while admiring the scenery, relaxing and thinking. I remember being so happy and at peace and it is without a doubt one of my happy places in the world.
But of course I couldn’t choose just one place in Finland and this next photo might be a bit familiar to you. (If it’s not, scroll to the top of this page and check out my header image.) I took this photo on the banks of the Kemijoki River which runs through Rovaniemi, Finland. Rovaniemi is in Lapland, AKA northern Finland where you can cross the Arctic Circle, and meet Santa and his reindeer.
I visited in the summer when Santa was on vacation, but fortunately for me, this meant that the small town was nearly devoid of tourists. It was peaceful and quiet and traditional and everything you hope for when you travel north to escape the big city. I spent a lot of time staring out over this river, and like before, experienced such peace, reflectiveness and joy that it is forever in my mind as one of my happy places. Obviously it means a lot to me since I chose it to be the first thing people see when they come to my website.
I’ve really wanted to write a post all about my first backpacking trip though Scandinavia for a long time and sharing these little moments with you all has inspired me to get on that a lot quicker. Let me know in the comments below if you would like to hear the full story and I will make it a priority. I’d also love to know where all of your favorite places are so that maybe I can find them and experience the magic myself when I’m in that neck of the woods.