Jul 2, 2015

Hyvää matkaa Mikko

Rakas, ihana ja rohkea ihminen, setäni Mikko Muikku on lähtenyt maailmasta perjantaina 26.6.2015. Mikko oli kuollessaan 36-vuotias. Monet kuvittelee sedän kaukaisena sukulaisena, joka on yleensä itseä ainakin 20 vuotta vanhempi. Kun minä synnyin, Mikko oli täyttänyt juuri 15 vuotta. Mikon ja kaikkien muidenkin nuorempien tätien ja setien kanssa muodostui omanlaisensa suhde, koska ikäeroa oli niin vähän ja heidän oli helppo leikkiä meidän kanssa kun me lapset olimme pieniä, sekä nuoruuden oikuissa, ongelmissa ja pulmissa tulla vastaan ja asettautua jollakin lailla omaan asemaan.

Mikko oli maailman hyväntuulisin setä. Nuoremmalta iältäni muistan että Mikon kanssa oli hauska höpötellä ja sukulaiset tietääkin miten hän aina läpsytteli "hihhuhhiit" poskille nähdessään. Muistan kun kävimme mummolassa ja Mikolla oli ne parhaat unenlahjat aamuisin. Muutaman kerran kävimme katkomassa jääpuikkoja katonharjasta ja Mikko löysikin ne pian omasta sängystään. Kyllä setä liikahti äkkiä!

Teini-iässä lähdin opiskelemaan ammattikouluun matkailualaa ja huomasin että minulla ja Mikolla onkin hirveästi puhuttavaa. Mikko opiskeli matkailua Lapin yliopistossa ja pyrki aina edistämään Suomen matkailua työssään. Hän tiesi ja tunsi Suomen komeimmat maisemat, toki niiden lähellä aina asuneena. Suomen luonto, luonnossa hääräily sekä Lappi olivat osa Mikkoa. En tiedä toista sellaista ihmistä joka olisi niin sinut kaiken luonnon kanssa. Valmistujaiseni pidin Laukaassa, Jyväskylän kupeessa Varjolan tilalla. Valmistujaisissa ohjelmassa oli koskenlaskua, ja minusta oli mukava saaa Mikko samaan veneeseen. Lahjaksi sain Mikolta Jouni Laaksosen kirjoittaman Retkeilijän kansallispuistot- kirjan, jonka sisäkanteen Mikko runoili seuraavanlaisesti:

"Liisalle 16.6.2012

Jos metsään haluat mennä niin on suotavaa,
että mukanas on aatos kepeä ja juotavaa
Repussa tulukset ja vyöllä puukko
mielessä lämpimänä kultsin lähtösuukko
Mukana tietysti myös eväsleivät ja kahvipannu,
retkiseuranako kuitenkin se oma rakas jannu
Metsään pääsee aina vaik' ois persauki,
tuliaisina sienet, marjat ehkä jopa hauki
Sillä toisinaan on hyvä sulkea töllö,
kas metsään mene, siellä oottaa pöllö.

Mukavaa matkaa matkailun maailmaan,

Mikko".

Mikon kanssa meitä yhdisti myös haaveet matkustamisesta ja Mikko aina kannustikin lähtemään oman mukavuusalueen ulkopuolelle ja näkemään maailmaa. Mikko matkustikin todella monessa maassa, mikä teki minuun vaikutuksen ja sai minut haaveilemaan maailman näkemisestä. Mikon kautta taisin tutustua Madventures-sarjaan, jonka kirjat olen kahlannut läpi ja jotka ovat saaneet minut haaveilemaan uusista matkoista.

Mieleeni jäi erityisesti isäni 50-vuotis-syntymäpäivien jälkeinen ilta toisen setäni luona, jolloin saunoimme Mikon, veljeni Veikon, toisen setäni Hepun ja hänen tyttöystävänsä Vanin kanssa. Oli myöhäinen syyskuu ja taisi olla viikko ennen lähtöäni Uuteen-Seelantiin. Oli kirkas tähtitaivas ja paistoimme makkaraa ulkona. Minulle tämä ilta ja yö oli tärkeä koska näin koko sukuni yhdessä paikassa juuri ennen matkalle lähtöä sekä tuijottelin pohjoista tähtitaivasta viimeisiä kertoja hetkeen. Tämä oli myös viimeinen kerta kun näin Mikon ennen hänen lähtöään (jos ei skypeilyä lasketa reissun aikana). Yö ja ilta sujui saunoessa sekä makkaraa paistellessa koko porukalla ja taisi Mikko uhata passinikin polttaa, kerran niin kauas olen lähdössä. Toivotti kuitenkin lämpimästi onnea maailmalle ja tsemppasi lähtöön. Yö jäi minulle muistoihin yhtenä rakkaimmista Suomi-muistoista, jota tuli muisteltua paljon kun tuijottelin etelän tähtiä maailman toisella puolella koti-ikävässä.

Viimeisen kerran juttelin Mikon kanssa puhelimessa Juhannusaattona. Mikko toivotteli käymään kylässä ja Pekka huuteli taustalta tulemaan Hirvasvaaralle Juhannuksen viettoon. Itse olin parhaillaan Höljäkässä ja vähän harmitti, kun olisi ollut mukava nähdä sedät pitkästä aikaa reissun jälkeen. Oli kuitenkin ihana puhua puhelimessa ja toivottaa hyvät juhannukset.

Mikko ei ollut minulle kaikista läheisin ihminen, mutta läheinen kuitenkin. Eniten Mikko toimi kuitenkin minulle elämän esikuvana ja tiedän että Mikko on vaikuttanut hirveästi muiden ihmisten elämään. Mikolla oli aina hirveän hyvä tarkoitus jokaisessa tekemässään asiassa ja se näkyi käytännön asioissa mitä mies toteutti, esimerkiksi ruuanlaitto, luontoon lähteminen ja elämästä nauttiminen. Mikolla oli aina hyvä sutkautus joka kohtaan ja monesti ihmiset huomasivatkin olevansa hirmuisen hyvällä tuulella hänen tupsahdettua paikalle. Haluan itse olla samanlainen ihminen kuin Mikko ja nauttia elämästä, elää hetkessä, nähdä maailmaa, seikkailla Suomessa, näyttää ihmisille tätä kauneutta ja luontoa mitä meillä on.

Tämä on kirjoitus kaipuusta Mikkoa kohtaan, mutta myös viesti kaikille suomalaisille siitä, että nauttikaa elämästä, lähtekää luontoon ja tutkikaa maailmaa. Olkaa rohkeita ja tarttukaa hetkeen. Yksikään tavara ei korvaa uutta kokemusta tai tuttavuutta. Elämä on lyhyt ja se eletään vain kerran. Niin kuin Mikko kehotti runossaan:
"Sillä toisinaan on hyvä sulkea töllö, 
kas metsään mene, siellä oottaa pöllö."

Kiitos Mikko esimerkistä, avusta, neuvoista ja kaikesta. Vaikutit elämääni enemmän kuin olisin itse arvannut aiemmin ja mitä todennäköisesti itse tiesit. 
Hyvää matkaa. Toivon että näet sieltä jostain koko maailman ja jopa vielä upeampia paikkoja!

veljentyttösi
Liisa

Apr 30, 2015

Dunedin

My aunt Ella left to Christchurch from Dunedin and I got left alone. Somehow I was really sad, my travel company was gone but at the same time the city was smiling to me. It was nice weather, people were nice and happy. Somehow I felt really comfortable that I will be fine. So I went to the library and started to look for jobs.

For the first few nights I stayed in Pavlova Palace Backpackers which is really nice lodge quite close to Speight's Brewery. We stayed there for one night on our last trip to Dunedin with May, so I actually got the same room. Backpackers was really nice, they have perfect facilities and kitchen areas, a spa pool and free pavlova every night! I really liked the place, but at the same time I had to think about saving money. I started to ask hostels around if they would have a place to work for accommodation. I called few places and either they were full or they didn't take workers for accommodation. The third place I called had so happy woman answering yes, that I asked can I come and see the place immediately. On that time I didn't know it would be my new home and also my future good friend 'Mamma Jo' who I was talking to.

I went to see the place which was awesome. The whole hostel is built to a rooftop and it has a beautiful view to the hills. It's right in the middle of the city and it has a really cool pool bar downstairs. I absolutely got really excited about the place and Jo promised I could start working after few days. So the next morning I packed my stuff from Pavlova Palace and moved all of them to On Top Backpackers dorm.

I still kept looking for jobs for the next week. I started working with my roommates at the hostel, who were at that time Rika, Lisa, Dennis, Audrayy and Andy. Basically work hours were from 10am until 1pm and we were cleaning all the rooms, toilets, showers and kitchen. There were lot of different tasks to do and everyone was changing jobs every day. I dropped 15 CV's every day and got a phone call one day from a restaurant nearby. I got asked to do a trial shift and after it I got a call that I got the job! So now I had two jobs, 3 hours per day at the hostel and 3 to 7 hours per day at the restaurant.

People at the hostel changed every day and workmates left as well. After few days upon my arrival Andy left (I got his bottom bunk!!) and new workers started to come. I got a pleasure to make friends with Lisa and Rika from Germany, Audrayy from France, Dennis from Germany, Andy from Northern Ireland, Wiebke from Germany (actually who I met earlier at Pavlova Palace), Bri from United States, Maria from Switzerland, Rebecca and Rachel from Canada, Anna-Marie (IS IT RIGHT?!) from Ireland and of course my favorite people Jo from Scotland and Thor from Sweden. These people were only the people I worked with at the hostel. There were amazing people around me all the time, I made such a good friends all the time with everyone who were staying just for few nights.

At the restaurant I had a great boss, Sam and such a nice, lovely co-manager Sharon. My workmates were from everywhere, I got to know Nelly, Mabel, Leo and Jem from Philippines, Jennifer from England (although she's almost a true kiwi I guess), Jun from Korea, Kit from Hong Kong, locals Kat, Malcolm, Connor and Krystal and lot of other people working and visiting there. I also had great customers, I got a love letter, asked out and met some soy sauce drinking dudes.. Sometimes I had to be a nurse and save someones hand! I really loved my job, it was nice and relaxed. And of course I had so AWESOME workmates. Thank you guys.

I stayed in Dunedin from the beginning of March until late April and I was basically just working and making new friends. I have to say that time in Dunedin was really so unique and special time for me. I got most awesome workmates at BOTH working places. They were just amazing. At the hostel our crew quickly grew together as a family and I couldn't say anything bad about the restaurant crew either. All those names I just listed they were such a good people. All of them has a unique personal story and all of them mean so much to me. I got my best friends from there and I got people who I'll stay contact with hopefully for long.

I picked up my car Molly from Cromwell where it broke down! Well, at least I tried. The mechanic who was fixing it said they don't really find any faults anymore. On Monday after it break-down they tried it, it started up perfectly and there was nothing wrong with it. I was happy to hear that and me and my friend Hasan left to pick it up. It was beautiful day to make a roadtrip, we stopped to buy fresh fruits from the stalls next to the road and got a speeding ticket as well. When we got to Cromwell, Steven the Mechanic gave my keys and told Molly works fine. Although when we started to drive back and had driven about 20 kilometres towards Dunedin, Molly just turned off and didn't start up again. We were lucky to be in town called Alexandra, so we left the car there and Steven's friend promised to look at it. Finally after a week or two they got it fixed (if anyone is interested, they changed the distributor and few spark plugs) and I hitchhiked to Alexandra to pick it up. This time it worked all the way back to Dunedin and I had my car again.

All the time spent at the hostel, all the family trips, bar nights, rugby nights, movie nights, pool games, dinners, lunches, cheeses, games, all the moments at work, all those good meals at the restaurant, all those McDonalds bags delivered to my front door, all those laughs and hospital trips. All those runs in Botanic Gardens. All those people. Time in this place was just incredible. There's no way I can tell all these stories what happened but this city is gonna stay in my heart forever.

I guess I really have to write a book about these times. I still have so much to tell.

I miss you Dunedin, I miss you all my dears <3

"Too much time
Too much space
Looking for the truth
Mountains you have had to climb
Valleys you've been through
I don't know about where you've been or where you going to
I will get lost with you
We all get lonely
Trying to find a place where we should be
Trying to find someone to set us free
There are times a friend is all you need
We all get lonely
So stick with me"

Olly Murs - Stick with me  
 
xx
Liisa
 
Some of the best people and moments below!

Rika, Audrayy, Lisa and Wiebke

Me and Audrayy

Me, Rika, Lisa and Thor

Me and Dennis

Maria, Jo and Andy

Jo and Andy

Jo, me, Andy and Thor

Rey, Mabel, me, Leo, Kat and Jennifer (the guys standing, can't remember their name)

Jen and me


My family, Jo is only missing :( Thor, Andy, Rachel, Anna-Marie, Rebekka and me

Mikko, Shams and Lama

Sarah and me

Me, Rebecca, Rachel, Jo and Thor

My family on the day we left!
Me and Andy
 

Mar 12, 2015

Ella in NZ

I want to share some moments from our 10 great days here in South Island. I finished working at vineyards in Blenheim the day before my aunt Ella arrived in Christchurch. So I drove down south to Christchurch early in the morning and picked up a very jet-lagged, tired traveler. We went for a morning walk to Christchurch Botanic Gardens and then to a friend's house to take a wee nap. I somehow managed to drop my phone in the toilet the very same day, after a few days drying it worked again, miracle!

We spent our first night in Hanmer Springs. It's a beautiful small town two hours north of Christchurch and known for Thermal Pools. I booked a night in a lovely hostel, Jack in the Green. I can honestly recommend that backpackers to anyone, it's so beautiful and peaceful. Very good facilities and friendly staff. We both were tired so we had a really good sleep there. In the morning we visited the Thermal Pools before starting the drive back to Blenheim.

Almost survived from Jetlag!
It wasn't my plan at all to go back to Blenheim. When I asked what Ella wants to do, she answered she definitely wants to see the place I lived the most of the time here. So we drove to Blenheim, ate in a really good Indian restaurant (I can recommend Maharaja India) and met up with my friends for beer and pool.

Next day we went for a wine tour, as I promised for my aunt. We visited Makana Chocolate Factory, Saint Clair, Brancott Estate (they remember me there already), Hunter's and Dryland's. At the end of the day we took a beer tasting at Moa Brewery. We also visited my workmates Tomas, Seongyoung, Elisa, Yuka and Jack at the PH hostel.

Wineries, vineyards..!
On Tuesday we drove north to Nelson, ate some breakfast there and continued to Kaiteriteri beach. I booked an Abel Tasman cruise for us. It was beautiful there. We had a chance to take a walk back to the beach but we just decided to enjoy the views from the boat. We were supposed to start driving along the West Coast on the very same day but the weather was so good and the beach so great that I booked two dorm beds in the lodge and we stayed an extra night. Ella enjoyed the sun the rest of the day and in the evening we decided to get some dinner. The receptionist of the lodge suggested us to drive to the next village near by, Marahau, and get burgers from Fat Tui. It was so good. Delicious. Taivaallista. On the way back we almost got lost, but we had so much fun with the speed limit signs that it didn't matter.


Split Apple in Abel Tasman National Park

We reserved the next day for sun. Ella wanted to get a tan and I can tell, we sure got some color! My legs got so sunburnt! It was really too painful to sit and of course we decided to travel to Queenstown the next day! So on Thursday I drove ten hours to Queenstown with my burnt legs... I can tell I was swearing so much every time I got out from the car or moved my legs. We picked up some hitchhikers from Kaikoura and took them to Lake Tekapo. After dropping them off we found more guys who were hitchhiking from Lake Tekapo to Queenstown. We arrived in Queenstown at 8pm and checked in to Base Backpackers. We had a really nice room with one Finnish guy (first Finnish backpacker I've met in NZ! Pretty good after 4.5 months travelling...) and three girls from California. We went to bed quite early, after a few beers downstairs.

Ella, hitchhiker Aurél and me
Friday was exciting! We were supposed to take the gondola up to the hill and just do some souvenir shopping but somehow we got an idea to do a bungy jump! I didn't have enough money to do it so we booked a jump for Ella and the swing for both of us for the same day. I got so nervous! But it was great! Even though I didn't jump, the atmosphere was so awesome! After Ella's jump we did the swing. I would love to describe that all here but it's just impossible by words. Check out a video of the swing. It was incredible.

So excited!


Swing bridge
Ella ready for her bungy!
After great bungy jumping day we had a great night out in Queenstown. On the last day Ella did some souvenir shopping. We picked up the hitchhikers from two days before and started to drive towards Dunedin. We got to Cromwell when Molly (my car) broke down. After a few hours sorting stuff out we got a room in a hostel and bus tickets for the next day. Molly stayed in Cromwell. 

When your car breaks down in Finland, you are screwed. Everything costs so much, not many people stop and help you. You are worrying and stressing about everything. What is going to happen to my car? How much is Laakkonen gonna charge you this time? How about towing? How do you get to work from the middle of nowhere?
When it happens in New Zealand, don't worry. It's all sorted. Of course if you have some money and time. Everyone stopped and helped us. Even a girl with a broken leg helped us to push the car on to the verge. Everyone was so nice. One guy gave us a ride to the closest petrol station where we called help from. Steven, the mechanic who came to help us was the nicest guy in the world. He was so calm and explained everything and even me, who doesn't know anything about cars understood what was happening. Thank you CR Motors in Cromwell, you made my Molly's break-down a pleasant experience.

Our last stop was Dunedin before my aunt flew back to Finland. I visited Dunedin a month before with May and I really liked the city. We spent the last day having dinner with my friend Brandon and his friends. Next day it was time to say our goodbyes; I stayed in Dunedin and Ella went to Christchurch by bus. After Ella left, I was a bit sad of course. But it was hard to stay sad because I have such good memories in my mind of the last ten days. And the beautiful city of Dunedin was smiling to me, so I smiled back and I've kept smiling ever since.
<3

Thank you Ella for an amazing visit here! I had such a good time with you and it was so lovely to see someone from home after a long, long time!

"If you're tired of starting over,
stop giving up."

xo,

Liisa