Salla, a 32 year old travel & photography blogger from Finland, now living in Denver, Colorado. She moved to United States almost 2 years ago after getting married in Las Vegas. She have always felt anxiety staying in one place for too long, and as a teenager she immediately calmed down staring out from a train or bus window with her headphones on. She inherited her wanderlust from her grandparents, who always kept their suitcases packed just in case they felt like traveling. Her favorite state is New Mexico and the next bigger trips will be New Zealand and Finland. Her happy place is when she can take pictures and when there’s lots of birds.
1. What destination have you found to be overrated?
I don’t think I’ve hit an overrated destination yet. It’s so much about your own attitude what you get out of things. Canadian side of Niagara Falls was super kitschy and touristy, but it was so kitschy it was funny and I enjoyed it. I haven’t been a huge fan of big North American cities like Los Angeles, Seattle and Austin, but that’s only because driving, navigating, parking the car and seeing everything in a couple of hours can be so stressful. If the cities were destinations instead of quick stops on the way someplace else, I’m sure I would love them.
2. Do you prefer to walk, take public transport, or take private transport?
I used to be all about public transport. In fact I don’t even have a drivers license yet. In Europe using the public transport is so much easier. In Denver the public transport doesn’t really go anywhere I want to go. I walk or bike around the city, most of our trips inside USA are with a car, since it’s the only convenient way to reach our destinations.
3. Is there anything you wish you’d done before you left home?
Not really. I knew that at some point either my American boyfriend (now husband) would either move to somewhere in Europe, but more likely I would move here because I already knew the language, but I didn’t know it would be so soon. But because I knew, I tried to spend as much time as possible with my family and the closest friends.
4. Do you think you’ll stay friends with the people you’ve met?
I think so. I have many friends in Toronto from my visit 2011, and now that I live a bit closer, I plan to visit again. And if I ever move away from Denver, I know that I’ll always miss my friends here.
5. Would you rather see a lot of places or get to know one really well?
Nowadays I’d rather see many places than spend a lot of time in just one. I think I know Paris rather well because I’ve spent somewhat lot of time in there and that is nice too.
6. Who is the person at home that you miss the most?
Mom. Dad. Brother. Sister. Sister’s kiddo. I know this only asks for one, but I can’t choose just one person from my family. Also the closest friends, but I’ve been lucky enough to have visitors from Finland.
7. How did your relatives feel about your trip?
I got married in Las Vegas and ended up applying for Green Card while living in the US and got accepted, so me moving here permanently was a big surprise for most of the people. Everyone’s been highly supportive and saying that even though they miss me, they want to see me happy. I feel the same way about the people I love.
8. What food from your home country do you miss the most?
Proper rye bread.
9. What’s the most interesting animal you’ve seen?
Saimaa Ringed Seal, one of the most endangered seals in the world. My parents had rented a house by the lake, near where my father grew up. I arrived later and the moment I arrived, my dad and my brother returned from the lake and told me that they’ve seen a Saimaa Ringed Seal. I wanted to see one too, and my dad and my brother took me to the lake, but warned that before that night, my dad had seen only one in his life and that was in the 70’s. However, I refused to give up and leave the boat before I saw one. We ended up seeing four rare seals.
Also hummingbirds in Colorado are something I can’t get enough of. If you just sit still and listen for a while, you notice that they are everywhere.
10. What was your most embarrassing moment while travelling?
I haven’t done anything that embarrassing. I faceplanted in a train in Amsterdam. The first time I saw saguaros in Arizona this spring, I later spoke with a friend who was with us, saying that I loved the cacti and sorry that I screamed in the car when I saw first one. All she had to say about that was: “You screamed for the first HOUR.” Ooops.