Monthly Archives: September 2016

Saludos desde Madrid

IMG_20160515_160808 IMG_20160312_153105Madrid is the perfect capital: big but not huge, cosmopolitan, dynamic, warm. (Well warm is debatable when I leave for the hospital early in the morning!). It has an interesting history, and it always fascinates me to think how old the squares and streets that I visit are, some are almost the same as when Napoleon’s soldiers arrived in the early 19th Century. !). It is full of bars, perfect for sitting and chatting and soaking in the sun.
Another great thing about Madrid, it that the access to the country side is very easy. The mountains surrounding Madrid are stunning. Many hikes start from small villages, like Manzanares el Real or El Escorial that can boast beautifully preserved castles. Over the years, the Manzanares River has been mocked by many famous writers. It does not have the imposing majesty of the Seine in Paris or the use of the Thames in London, but in summer, when the temperatures soar, it is very nice to catch the bus north out of town and spend the day on the banks on the river when it is still narrow and fast-moving in the mountains, and even go in for a swim.
At the same time, I am really interested by the health care work in the two wards I have been to. There is a definite difference in culture: one of the first mornings there, I was quietly going around the room taking blood pressure and heart rates and such, when I heard a lot of very loud voices. My curiosity had the best of me and I went to investigate. There was a nursing aid, armed with a basin of warm water, soap and towels, having a great, animated discussion with the patient about whether the best soccer team is Real Madrid or el Atletico?! Everybody was laughing: the other student nurse and the second patient could not help but point out the score form the last match. It is true that when there is an important match and the TV signal fails, we know the score just by listening to the shouts from bars across the street.
The last thing that I have to say is : I am a total convert to the Spanish way of life: work to play.

G’Day from Down Under!

Heey it’s Laura from Australia!


I did my practical training in Darwin Australia in an event managing and organizing company called Agentur. I thought I’d share my experience with you since it was quite awesome.

I had never even heard of a place called Darwin before I finally got an internship there. Since it’s so close to the equator there’s only two seasons: dry and wet. I was lucky enough to be there during the dry season when it’s “not so hot and humid”. Coming from Finland it was still pretty hot for me. Temperatures varied between 30°C and 35°C during the day and at night it was between 23°C and 27°C. It took a while to get used to such warm weather but I wasn’t complaining, sun shined everyday! Well the first day I arrived there the wet season had just ended and it was pouring, I got soaked and hoped that that wasn’t the way it was going to be. And luckily it wasn’t, sun shined every day!


On my way to work!

As I said I was working in a company called Agentur. They organize and put together events, galas, awards and conferences. My job was to answer the phone at our office, help out at the events, put together PowerPoint presentations for the events and make drafts of quest lists and run sheets, taking notes and running errands. I also participated in some of the meetings and took part in checking out the sites for the events. We had a little office puppy, little Yorkshire terrier Ares, the God of War, who I took for walks around the beautiful Cullen Bay area.

I  took part in planning four different events: the CEO Sleepout, Territory Day, Northern Territory Literary Awards and the National Indigenous Music Awards. It was great to get to go backstage and behind the scenes of these events and I really enjoyed all of them. Some of them were smaller and some bigger. It was funny to notice that even if the event was quite small it took plenty of effort to put together. There’s so much you need to take in consideration when planning an event! It really got me by surprise and there were things I would’ve never thought.

20160701_185913Territory Day sunset at Mindil Beach

I was staying with a host in her 2 bedroom apartment. She was traveling for six weeks so for that time I had the whole place for my self. The apartment was quite close to the city center and being so, very close to the nightlife! Since I didn’t have a car (even if I did, I don’t think I would’ve been driving that much.. These crazy Aussies are driving on the wrong side of the road!) I didn’t get around as much as I would’ve liked. The 3 months stuck in the city with pretty much nothing else than bars around got a little boring for me. Have to admit though, got my fair share of partying on Mitchell Street.. Luckily I made friends who took me to amazing places. We did a day trip to the Litchfield National Park to see the waterfalls, rock holes, termite mounds and other amazing views. That was definitely one of the highlights of my stay.


Waterfalls & a huge termite mound

20160802_170552at the Litchfield National Park

I also loved the Mindil Markets just down the hill from my place. I really fell in love with the Darwin sunsets and at Mindil they were absolutely amazing. The markets also had food stands from all over the world. It was my Sunday tradition to go to the beach, watch the sunset and get myself some delicious food.

Darwin is located right at the top end of Australia in the Northern Territory. It is called the crocodile state of Australia so you would see all these signs warning about crocodiles where ever there’s water. It wasn’t recommended to swim in the ocean because of the salt water crocodiles. So I didn’t go for a swim. It was a shame because the ocean and the beaches looked so inviting!


I did some traveling down the East Coast (Cairns, Airlie, Whitsundays, Sydney) after my training period and I totally fell in love with Australia. Hopefully I get to come back here one day for a proper backpacking experience!

IMG_20160701_215913No worries mate, cheers!


A hint of Finnishness

Part 1: No rush

Despite the fact that I had been in many various countries all over the world, there is no such place where I feel just as relaxed as in Finland. If you are a tourist from, say, New York, London, or Moscow, you will be astonished by the significant difference of the atmosphere of Helsinki in comparison with those capitals. During my life in Finland, I’ve never seen even a hint of rush on the streets. Finns are taking their time, peacefully working their way towards their deadlines and it is a rarity to see someone in hurry in Finland, with an exception of foreigners, perhaps.


Part 2: Nature

With a population of 5.439 millions of people and a size of 338,424 km², Finland retains a relatively small number of inhabitants for its area. The vast majority of the country is covered with dense forests and lakes. 78 percent of forest and 10 of lakes to be precise. Even the capital has trees all over the place, not to mention the high amount of parks, hence the exceptionally fresh air. In their brand new report, The World Health Organisation claims that the air in Finland is the third cleanest in the world. It seems as if Finnish people did not lumber their woodlands at all!

Another interesting fact about Finland is that their tap water is one of the cleanest in the world and absolutely drinkable, as it’s taken from pure groundwater sources. Besides, its taste is astoundingly good too!

Having all those things affecting you: the calm atmosphere in the cities, as well as the freshest air and the crystal clean water, there is a high chance to receive an urge to relax and move towards your daily targets at a slow pace, as if your whole day is a chilled stroll.


Part 3: Icy Winters

There are numerous reasons to spend your winter vacation in Finland. Everyone knows that this snowy wonderland is the home of Santa! But, that’s not everything. Despite the occasional temperature drops below -20 centigrade, it doesn’t feel as cold as one may think. The dry climate of Finland would make you feel much warmer during winter than climates of the countries of central Europe. Besides, there are several guides throughout the internet that could help you to prepare for the Finnish winter, such as, for instance.

So, yes, there will be a thick layer of snow around, as well as shorter daylight hours, not to mention the unusually low temperatures. In other hand, there are less tourists, stunning snowy landscapes and various winter activities that could not be discovered in warmer destinations! You may go chasing down the Aurora Borealis, also called the Northern Lights, ride a husky sledge, visit a traditional sauna, or even take a selfie with Santa himself! The choice is broad.

Just make sure that you’ll arrive in time to experience those events and activities that depend on snow, such as in January or February. Nevertheless, if you came here at the beginning of spring, there is still a chance to enjoy the atmosphere of winter and snow related activities with an only difference of extended daylight hours.