I woke up this morning to Hai's face inches from mine. “Change of plans,” he said. And just like that Iceland was off our immediate travel schedule and replaced by Sweden.
It's about 36 hours until our departure for Europe, which is funnily enough a lot more leeway than we usually have when we need to rearrange our travel plans, so it's just been a regular day checking off the usual pre-travel logistics. Several hours later, we have flights and accommodation sorted and I've even done the dreaded job of packing, at least set aside what I'm bringing. Having just come back from Australia with a ton of stuff, we can't wait to get back to our usual minimal travel style. Carrying so much stuff is exhausting!
Why the change of plans? Well, we were going to Iceland to meet up with some of the world's most influential Instagramers at the annual International Instameet, which this year is being held in the Nordics. Norway, Sweden and then Iceland, to be exact. Unfortunately, the last leg in Iceland has had to be cancelled last-minute, however, there was still the opportunity for us to meet up with the group in Stockholm, so that's exactly what we are going to do instead!
Our plans for Finland remain unchanged, but we'll now have a little more time there, which is awesome too. We'll first be going to Salla in Lapland. Dubbed the ‘Middle of Nowhere', there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the natural surrounds. I just read ‘meeting baby reindeer' on the itinerary and could barely contain myself. Biking, hiking and something called ‘frisbee golf' is also on the agenda.
From there, we'll be driving to our cottage by the Finnish Lakelands, a usual summer pastime for the Finns. There we'll be going fishing under the midnight sun, exploring the surrounding wilderness and enjoying our private sauna.
Then we'll have a couple of days in Helsinki, before heading to Sweden for the International Instameet. After that, we'll be back in Finland just in time for an event that we couldn't have timed our trip better for, the annual Wife Carrying World Championships! It's essentially a race where men carry their wives through an obstacle course and the winner receives their wife's weight in beer. I'm still try to convince Hai to enter us in, but this is honestly serious business. People train for this thing. Interesting video footage is sure to be had in any case!
With a few more days left to explore the Finnish capital, that will wrap up our first trip to the Nordics.
If you'll be in Helsinki over the next few weeks, do let us know. Also, if you happen to be in Tokyo tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, June 20th), we'll be at Instagramers Japan's Ultimate Instagram Exhibition, where the work of 1500 Japan-based photographers, including Hai, will be on display. The exhibition will be held at the Photons Art Gallery in Asakusabashi. You can find more info (in Japanese) here.
Until then, as always,