About my holiday in Lapland & life

I like to write about my real life here every once in a while, even though those are not the most popular posts. I contemplated on this text quite a bit though, because the honest answer to “how are you” is not instagrammable or funny. (Or maybe with my twisted humor it is.)

I was planning on writing about my holiday, but I couldn’t write about it without first telling you how it is. How much I needed a break. How much I needed to get away –  even for just a while – and be in Lapland and stare at the most beautiful starry sky I’ve ever seen.

It feels as though this year has been just cancer, heartbreak, serious sicknesses and bad luck. I feel like for a few times already I’ve said aloud something like “if x happens, I don’t know how I’ll manage, I can’t take it”.  And then it happens and I manage. Somehow.

When the latest bad news hit me, I almost started laughing. It’s like, okay 2020, bring it on.

A little holiday in Lapland

Every time I visit Lapland, I fall a bit more in love with it. I feel a bit more rested now and I’m really thankful for the new experiences. And just the fact that we could go, even with the corona.

And when it comes to that – we had less human contacts there than we have here in Helsinki. Obviously we were at our own cottage very social distanced and the hotels we stayed at were basically empty. And the restaurants we ate at (just 2 restaurant, otherwise we had take away or cooked) were also being careful so we were not close to people at any time.

The anxiety of all the bad news didn’t fully disappear while I was eating a three course meal in the restaurant of the year, or looking outside our beautiful hotel suite. But I still enjoyed those moments. I’m still at awe when I think about the menu in Aanaar and for example the mushroom ice cream I had. I tasted things I’ve never tasted before and saw scenery I’ve never seen before.

By the way – did you know that one of the ways to handle anxiety is to eat something and really focus on how it tastes?

Food at Aanaar was delicious.

Northern Lapland is a totally different world to where I live. I felt so small climbing to a fjeld and looking at the endless trees and forested hills. I also felt out of breath, exhausted and freezing. When I was at the top, breathing heavy and being so so tired, I felt as though the whole year was weighing on my shoulders, not just my back pack. But once we got in the car, I felt like a winner, just a bit.

A true before & after. Before hiking and at the (almost) top. If you look at the second photo and behind me, you can kinda imagine how beautiful the view was.

Coming home I toyed with the idea of moving to Northern Lapland one day, to be one with nature. But I guess that’s more about escaping the every day life a bit. Being in a different place, seeing new things, to not think about the reality as much. Realistically I don’t see myself leaving Helsinki.

What else?

–  I experienced the sleepless night of travelling in a night train in the smallest cabin ever (Helsinki – Rovaniemi). I can’t recommend it. Next time we’ll just drive and take a break in a hotel.

– I woke up in a dark and cozy cottage to a warm coffee and delicious breakfast. Risto’s mom even baked me my own oatmeal bread! I watched 3 Christmas movies at the cottage and had two naps. Those are important on a holiday.

– I got to sleep in the aurora suite in Novaskyland hotel. I’ve always dreamt of staying in one of those aurora iglus, but Risto didn’t love the idea. This was almost the same, as the windows were huge and we had a clear view to the sky. The suite was beautiful and everything was nice and clean.

– I saw polar bears! And beautiful owls. We visited Ranua Zoo and because there was basically no one there, we got to walk through the place safely and in peace. Fun fact: we were the only guests at the holiday cottage village there. The cottage was nice. Actually, pretty much all the hotels we stayed at were either empty or just had a few guests.

– Had a lovely city visit to Jyväskylä. We stayed at the Sokos Hotel Paviljonki and also had dinner at their restaurant, Trattoria Aukio. Food was great and the customer service impeccable.

– Got back home and had a small Halloween party for four. My last minute look was Harley Quinn. Next year I want to do it again properly. I feel like I missed a lot of makeup fun this year, because I’ve been so tired. Next year I really want to do more looks.

My merino wool outfit from Icebreaker.

Life is also about finding happiness in the smallest of places

All in all I had a lovely holiday and life is not totally bad. This year has also been about comforting hugs, big laughs with friends, some good news, lots of movies, growth and finding happiness in the smallest of places. I even started going to therapy again and I want to count that as a good thing. This year, more than ever, I have really had to focus to find the positives. But there are always positives – you just gotta look for them.

I have already put up the Christmas decorations and I love walking past them when fetching water and coffee from the kitchen. I find solace in them. I find solace in my routines.

The planet keeps on moving no matter what. I do too. Last year around this time I told myself: you’ll get through anything. Today it feels true. Who knows what the future holds? There must be good things too. And that’s the positive attitude I’m feeling today.


So that’s what’s up.

How are you?


Holbox the paradise island part 2

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villas paraiso del mar hotel

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holbox experience

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You know your trip has been a success when your tan is still visible and you remember every moment like it was yesterday. (And you know you’re late on your post when you’re being asked for the second part.)

As I told you on my previous post – our trip to Holbox was perfect. I loved the island and the hotel. You may have read about this place and heard the phrase “you need to go there NOW, not later”. That’s true. The island is becoming more and more crowded every day and to avoid the tourists you need to go there before anyone else does. When we were in Holbox it wasn’t crowded at all. There were only handful of tourists and there was plenty of room at the beach. Or everywhere, really.  Calm, peaceful, beautiful.

On this post I’m concentrating on the pictures, our hotel and the restaurants. Be sure to check these out if you’re headed to Holbox!

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Villas Paraiso Del Mar Hotel ****

The hotel is definitely worth the four stars. It’s beautiful. The hotel is surrounded by tropical gardens which make the whole place look magical. The villas are gorgeous with their colorful hammocks and beautiful wooden details.

We had a junior suite which had all the things we needed. It was really spacious and comfortable. Some of the things were different than what we’re used to of course – the toilet for example (you can’t toss paper into it) and the shower (the shower head made the water shoot all over the place, but luckily they changed it for a new one that worked just fine). The air conditioner worked really well but we didn’t even always use it – the room wasn’t hot but it got humid after some time.

Edit: we should have used it all the time – the hot weather got one of us not feeling that well. So: remember to take breaks and enjoy the coolness of your hotel room and drink lots of water!

The hotel staff was very friendly – not everyone spoke English but with some words and gestures everything got handled. I loved that the cleaners made towel art and even decorated the toilet seat every time they cleaned up the rooms. These are the nice details that give the hotel a little something extra.

hm hotels breakfeast

The breakfast that is included in the stay was delicious and really good. There were plenty of options and what I loved is that there were lots of fresh fruits, juice and smoothies available as well as a cook who made you an omelette of your choosing. He also made pancakes or crepes when asked. The coffee was brought to the table and the cup was filled whenever a waiter noticed you had already drank it. The coffee was delicious – that’s always important.

The atmosphere in the restaurant (where the breakfast is served) was relaxed and romantic. Sometimes hotel breakfast buffets can be noisy and stressful, but here it was easy to enjoy your food and coffee in peace – almost as if there were no other people around.

I can also recommend the cocktails served at the bar. ‘Dirty monkey’ and ‘Holbox’ cocktails are a must have while enjoying yourself at the beautiful beach. The drinks were made from fresh ingredients and they were absolutely delicious. We also tried the snack bar and that’s something that I can recommend. Especially the quacamole.

The only downside to this hotel was the lack of wifi. The wifi just wasn’t working. In fact there would have been wifi if it was just installed properly, but it wasn’t (a weird fact Risto found out, he’s a bit of a techie). I don’t know if they were working on it, but at least that wasn’t told to the guests. The hotel staff wasn’t sorry about this at all. All I got from them was: “It’s not working? Then maybe we don’t have wifi at the moment.” I found this a bit weird, but on the other hand I did enjoy my holiday without the internet.

Altogether the hotel made our stay even better. If you’re headed to Holbox, you may want to consider this beautiful hotel as your choice.

shells diy decoration

shells diy decoration


Even though it’s a small island there are still great restaurants and lots of options. We actually didn’t eat that much on this trip (I think the hot weather made us not so hungry) but there were some restaurants that deserve some praise.

It’s good to know that I’m a vegetarian but Risto isn’t and he loves meat. So these options are meat + vegetarian friendly!

luuma cocktails and tapas

LUUMA Tapas + cocktails

In Luuma we enjoyed great cocktails and delicious tapas. The cocktails are said to be the best in the island and they are good – not too sweet like in some places and with lots of different flavours. Same goes with tapas – they were delicious. I loved the falafels, vegetarian croquettes and tacos. Risto loved all the meat – especially lamb. They also have these big plates that are big enough for two. We tried the vegetarian plate and we both enjoyed it. The different flavours are definitely the key ingredient in making this place unique as well as the relaxed atmosphere and nice music.

ukulele great food

UKULELE Best burgers
Ukulele is a sports bar but also a restaurant. It offers salads, tacos and burgers. We tried some of the cocktails which were okay but the best thing about here is definitely the food. There were great vegetarian options but the veggie burger was just so good I had to had it twice. It had falafel “steak” which was delicious. Risto tried the chicken burger as well as the beef burger and was very happy (especially after the waiter asked if he wanted to add bacon in his burger).  We also had Nutella flan for dessert and it was – again – delicious.

The service was really good here and the staff spoke great English.

vegan food in holbox

Gracias Madre Raw Food Vegan

I think this is the only totally vegan restaurant in the island. Besides being vegan it’s also gluten free, sugar free, all organic and no industrials. It’s originated from Hamburg where Raw food first was opened. Here as a vegetarian I had the best options: everything on the menu. I had the Thai Noodles and they were so good – the best food I’ve had in a while! Risto had the sweet potato curry which he liked as well. Despite it being good – he still would have wanted meat with it – so for him the food still lacked something. That was a shame because for me this was the best restaurant on the island.

The only thing that I found weird or that I would have liked to add to my experience is good wine. There was zero alcohol on the menu. I understand it’s part of the brand but that’s just something I like having with my meal especially on a holiday.

best coffee in holbox

+ Maruc Best dessert

Maruc is a super cute small cafeteria in Holbox. They have the best cakes! We tried the chocolate and mocha cakes which were heavenly. Strong recommendation to all the cake lovers out there.

our trip to holbox

Read the first part here.

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