Friday, February 27, 2009

25 facts about me

I've written down 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about me.

Here we go:

1. I love what I study, but once I graduate this fall, I want to continue studying at least for another three years. I fear though that if I take a year off, as I plan to, my motivation for starting to study something brand new will be close to zero.

2. I believe that life is all about love and cherishing each other.

3. I'm afraid of hospitals because my family members have spent so much time in them. I think one of the most scary things in the world that could happen would be to stay overnight in a hospital.

4. I learned English by watching the tv show "the Bold and the Beautiful". When I played with Barbie dolls as a child, the dolls were often named after characters in the tv show.

5. I love living in Finland because it's such a calm place with crazy people that have "sisu". Helsinki is the only place in Finland where I could live. Having said this, right now I just feel Finland too calm for me. I need to go walkabout.

6. I'm not that afraid of spiders, but I definately am of praying mantises!! That is the most scary creature alive for sure!

7. I know what I want to name my future first born son, and I plan not to change the name for anything.

8. I used to be the one who was always early for meetings. In Italy I learned to relax, and nowadays I fight with being on time. You could say that my sense of time has changed. The funny part is that I still consider myself organized.

9. Once in elementary school for the first of April, I told a friend as a joke that I was moving to another city. I told the lie so well that I accidentally made her cry, and then I had to tell her that it was merely a prank.

10. I've only tried smoking once with my sister, on a beach close to my childhood home. I just know for a fact that I'll never smoke again.

11. I mirror myself in people, so I like to meet different people to challenge myself and form better opinions. I sincerely believe that the people I've met in my life have helped me become the person I am today. I love getting to know new people from different places in the world, but I find myself often missing a lot of them. Even though the fact that I've met them shows that the world isn't that big, sometimes distances seem unbearably long.

12. I guess I have been influenced by Feng Shui, because I believe that my day will be ruined if I don't make my bed immediately after getting up. As I have been told, Asian beliefs tell us that while we make our bed and straighten the linnen in our beds, we also put aside problems in our life. The hand movement is therefore symbolic, and important.

13. Nowadays I only buy cds if I want to support a singer/ band.

14. I love watching movies. My favorite movie will always be the talented Mr Ripley. It changed the course of my life.

15. I don't have any problems with getting up early in the morning. Sometimes it feels like I'm waisting time if I sleep too long, and miss the morning. I love going out for a walk when Helsinki is waking up. Seeing how the city become busy is thrilling.

16. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It's all about finding the right presents for the people I love. I plan Christmas presents for months, and the best feeling ever is seeing a friend or relative open a present I know they are going to love. The "Home alone" movies are an essential part of Christmas celebration.

17. I've been in a serious fight once, and got hit in the eye with a bottle as a result of it. Due to that fight, I've been three times to a police station in Italy.

18. I dream about a second tattoo on my foot.

19. I believe I study the best field of work ever. I want to travel all over the world, and I think everybody else wants that too, so I'm sure to find work in the future.

20. I had my first boyfriend when I was two years old. We used to walk hand in hand together in my kindergarden and give each other pecks on the cheeks.

21. I've had a pet turtle, rabbit, and two dogs. I dream of a Jack Russel terrier called George Harrison. I'm going to get Harry as soon as I settle down in one place for more than one year. That's why it won't be anytime soon.

22. When I get sick with a flu or something, I always watch Disney movies.

23. I love Töölö, the area in which I currently live. I often take walks and just gaze at the beautiful buildings I find here. Töölö is filled with cozy coffee houses, and I love the atmosphere in them. I also get so motivated just by looking out from my windows every morning and seeing so many active people. The Töölö Bay area is definately comparable to Central Park in New York, since people really work out here and jog several times a day.

24. When I was a child, I wanted to become a teacher. Then the dream changed to a florist. And at some point I wanted to become a marketing manager of a hotel. Now I dream of marketing Finland, or Helsinki. I <3 br="br" helsinki.="helsinki.">

25. I hate talking on the phone. I prefer seeing the person I'm talking to. I've never understood how people can talk on phones for hours.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why do we always choose so badly?

My daddy told me
the trick is to be
with somebody
that you don't need
But my daddy
you never did
He was really as bad as me

Why do we always love somebody
who threats us badly?
Why do we always lose somebody
and take it so hardly?
Why do we always choose so badly?

There is another story
I need you to hear
it's not that it's easy
it's just hard to believe
when your feeling
start to steer
your mind doesn't think
and your heart starts to bleed

Why do we always love somebody
who threats us badly?
Why do we always lose somebody
and take it so hardly?
Why do we always choose so badly?

No one's good for you
but you want what's bad for you
I know there's a lot to lose
but I only want to be with you

Why do we always love somebody
who threats us badly?
Why do we always lose somebody
and take it so hardly?
Why do we always choose so badly?

So just like my daddy
I never learn
to love someone wisely
and not to get burned
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The best way to see the future, is to be a part of it

I’ve been wanting to write about the future of tourism for a while now, even since the travel fair in January actually. Since I finally found some spare time now, I’ll write a couple of lines about tourism and the future of this wonderful field of work that I plan to work in. These ideas have been brought to my awareness during the travel fair held in Helsinki called MATKA2009.

Tourism is a movement, and tells about people’s want and need to move and look around. Tourism can be something you are forced to do for instance for work, but usually it is done for pleasure, leisure or to be of benefit to somebody or something. Right now there are five prevailing mega trends in the world concerning tourism. There are climate change, globalization & terrorism, digitalization, an ageing population and individualism. These trends all cause a shift in the forms of tourism, set challenges and reform the industry.

Beside these trends, there exists also some so called weak signals that tell us about what might be the trends in tourism of the future. Some say it’s travelling in space, other mean that the wave of extreme travelling or eco travelling will continue to take new forms and increase in popularity. But it might also be as we find ourselves in an ever-changing environment that the travel itself might become more important than the destination. Rumors tell us about another hidden signal. Home switching is gaining popularity. It might be that in the future we might have mobile homes, maybe floating apartments or even more boat hotels. People will become more acquainted with the idea of moving homes on a regular basis. We already know about intelligent and moving apartment buildings, do we really think it is going to stop there?

One of the most important new but still quite weak signals is the slow life movement. Slow life is all about giving oneself time, relaxing, being creative, and improving the quality of life and wellbeing. Many think that slow travel is a trend of tomorrow. In 2003, a new definition was made. Stay + vacation became staycation. Staycation is all about using local services and spending one’s vacation in immediate surroundings.

Tourism doesn’t really have threats in the future. Many fear that the existing “economic depression” will affect tourism. Studies made in Finland however show that tourism is not a field that will be concerned by the depression, since people are willing to save money concerning other things, ordinary life, in order to be able to continue travelling. However, the climate change and the increasing sense of instability will force tourism to emerge in new places and create new work professions. The green markets will offer new professions concerning tourism companies and their structure. Finally we can say that tourism is a stream of needs, feelings, wishes and experiences, enjoyments and appreciations.

When it comes to the future of tourism, much lies in the hands of the youth. It seems that the biggest topic in tourism right now is digitalization. Computers and internet have developed the tourism industry in a way no other field has managed to copy. During the travel fair, we had an interesting lecturer called Teemu Arina. You might want to give a look at his blog at http://tarina.blogging.fi/. He has some quite interesting things to say about understanding the role of social technologies in knowledge work and networked learning in organizations. He is an expert on digitalization and what it might mean for a lot of industries, not merely tourism, but in a big extent also on that field. He means to say that the best way to see the future is to actually make it. He has spent 1/3 of his life as an entrepreneur despite his young age.

What Arina talks about is the effect social media has on our life. We might not think about it, but these kinds of forums, like for instance Facebook, has become a way of knowing about what is going on in the world. Social media is not only a way to spy on other; it is also a mean of communication and sharing information. Some even say that Facebook challenges news casting. The funny part is that I didn’t want to agree with this statement until I realized it was true. When the last school shooting happened here in Finland, I had spent all day in school and nobody had spoken about the day’s happenings. When I came home, I put on my computer, went to FB and noticed that somebody had put as status that that person was sad. When I asked my friend about it, he said “turn on the tv”. And so I did, and that is how I found out about the news. Scary, right? I guess the time when we assumed our school would address these kinds of matters is over, and we can merely rely of WOM (word of mouth).

When we turn to tourism, WOM is getting highly popular. We have sites like Dopplr, Realtravel, Tropsay, Mytripbook.com, Beta farelast, World66, Bezurk (nowadays Wego.com), Virtualtourist, Triphub, Tripadvisor, Flagr, Gusto, Wikitravel, Triptie, Travelistic, Wingbus and so on. The list is endless of sites recommending places to visit in the world. Nowadays travel organizers do not only sell a product or a service, but they need to sell an experience. It is a proven fact that travel organizer sites where travelers themselves can comment on the hotels and services, gain more buyers. The trend is to read what other say about a place before going there. Same concerns services. If nobody else has tried some specific service, it cannot be good. Therefore the lines between a consumer and a producer have been faded out and nowadays we have prosumers.

This epiphany scares many in the tourism industry. If amateurs can give trip advises on the internet, what is then the purpose of having work force in travel agencies? According to Arina, there is difference. Amateurs do not comment on places and services to seem smart or stand out. They comment because travelling is their passion. Experts in travel agencies on the other hand, might not feel the same way. They might travel to places merely because they need to for their job. Taking into consideration this, it is clear that an amateur’s opinion might weight more in the eyes of a traveler.

The secret of staying on top in tourism is therefore to be about to link the consumers back to one’s company by allowing them to share their experiences on internet sites. By improving the communication between consumers and producers, tourism companies are a part of the future.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Ritorna da me Stitch.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Revolutionary Road


Source
On a rainy Sunday with a heavy flu, I went to the movies with my best friend. I thought that would be the only thing that could get me out of my flu blues. And way, was I right.

Kate Winslet interpreted and played the role of her lifetime in the movie called Revolutionary Road. The movie hit headlines early mostly because it’s Kate’s and Leo’s second common project, and seeing as the first one was the major Titanic, it has created quite high expectations on any movie to follow.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I personally like both of these actors, so I wanted to see the movie. And I definitely do not regret it.

I always babble about strong women characters. Kate definitely put one more up on my list by playing her role as April so astonishingly well. The whole movie tells about a couple meeting young and being full of ideas and dreams, but by living together and having children and the husband working, noticing that reality often forces you to put aside your dreams and settling for less, also known as compromising.

The story is sad in the end, but sometimes stories end sadly when you try to capture a wild spirit. I loved everything about April’s personality. The idea of wanting to be, together with her husband, different and represent an “off mainstream” couple. She refuses to settle for less than their dreams, but suddenly notices that her husband is happy with the way things are. Soon April feel caught in a cage, where only she wants to realize herself but is not granted the possibility. The sad truth in this movie is thought that even though we might think we’ve found somebody to share our dreams with, in the end we can be left alone with them. I felt April’s pain when she realized that she was not going anywhere and her life was going to continue like it was forever.

This movie shows once again that it is better to realize yourself before settling down, because whether we want it or not, once we settle down, it gets just more difficult to leave the safe environment we find ourselves in. Quieting our dreams and ideas is not an option; you will just end up diminishing your own identity and personality. We should let our passions guide us, not toss them to the side. If one hasn’t found one, it’s about time to get to know oneself and find something to burn for. I hope I can live up to April’s standards; strive to live life as I want or not live it at all. No settling.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The ick factor


Source

Samantha: What's French for "ick"?
Miranda: Eeck.

Yesterday I heard one of my friends talking about her boyfriend in the most fascinating way. I love hearing about my friends’ feelings when they are in love. I find myself envying their enthusiasm as well as I am getting “the ick” feeling, also called “the ick factor” in SATC.

I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships lately. How some girls define themselves by how well their relationships are going. I personally find that very sad, seeing we are the ones talking about gender equality all the time. I don’t see guys sitting around thinking that they have failed because their relationships aren’t going that great or the relationship they find themselves in is not flawless. Why do we girls then feel that it is our duty to bear this responsibility? I have always lived by the rule that one should not depend on anything. I’ve based this idea on the Buddhist way of thinking where a person becomes weak and vulnerable the second she starts to depend on something or somebody. Depending on someone else means after all that you are not enough alone.

As I said, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Also about whom we are and who we become in relationships. I admire the persons that are able to stay as themselves even in relationships. I think there are always winners and losers in relationships; there is a constant battle going on. The trick is to find a golden middle way where both partners change some aspects of themselves but still stay true to who they are.

I see a lot of couples where one of the two changes a lot while the other one stays the same, and I always find myself questioning if that is a good or bad thing. It is not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe the one changing hasn’t been in many relationships and therefore is not only changing to be with one person, but to be with any person. We must remember that there is a difference between being single and in a relationship. I wouldn’t say that a relationship changes you, but it might change the way you look at life and force you to reform your priorities.

Even though I said it might not be negative to change, there are some negative changes too. Those are the ones where a person’s personality gets lost in the drift of the relationship. I have seen whole personalities changing and somewhat disappearing because of relationships.

I’ve noticed that how we look at the internal relational roles depend in some extent on where we were raised and on what values. Surprisingly people from cities seem to believe in equality more than people from the countryside. I guess the traditional division of home duties has formed these hidden values, but I find it surprising that in year 2009 they still exist among people of my age. These are not the values of my parents’ generation. In some amount it has to have to do with how much women are able to do by themselves in the places where they live. In the cities women are able to move and function perfectly with or without men. We have a lot of activities for both genders and I don’t think that women pay as much attention to their relational status as if they would live in the countryside. I have always believed in strong women with great personalities. I believe that relationships should not be the base of how you see yourself. A relationship is a bond between two independent persons.

Recently I read an article about two couples that are in the twenties and have been together for already 13 years. In the article they were talking about the fact that nowadays people find their relationships exceptional, unordinary and almost hand to grip. A lot of their friends have not told them to their faces, but implied that it would be good to experience relationships even with other persons.

I personally do not know what is the perfect age to find a partner for life. Partially thanks to my parents, I have realized that there is nothing wrong with finding a partner in a young age. Their marriage showed me many things, and the way my mother still speaks about my father even though they are no longer married, shows great affection and respect for the other one. The conclusion of their marriage on the other hand shows me that there are always circumstances in which it is unbearable to continue a relationship, in this case a marriage.

And that is why when I hear one of my friends saying that she thinks she’s found “the one”, I get “the ick”. Not because it is a terrible thing; being in love is wonderful and I respect their relationship. It’s more because we never know what changes lies ahead and I don’t believe it’s healthy to rely that much on just one other person. It was just the other day that I heard somebody say that it is impossible to get everything you want out of a husband, and that is why you have friends. What a person can’t share with a partner, one share with friends. I liked that thought.

I’ve been thinking about my own values too. Every time we hear something we do not agree with, we realize our own opinions. I like analyzing my reactions because as all the people that know me know, I am an honest person and my first reaction to things is usually the most honest one. It might not be my definite and final opinion because sometimes I base my opinions on facts I don’t know well enough. But nevertheless, it shows what I think - in that moment.

Today I found myself telling a friend that I hate stable relationships in the sense that if a relationship is too secure, rigid and unchanging, in my mind it becomes somewhat boring. I am not always secure, and I am definitely not unchanging and therefore my relationships can’t be like that. I mirror myself in other people and question myself all the time. I put myself in new situations to know myself better. I love discussing current affairs and matters that concern me, and since I get involved in so much, I find myself growing and constantly developing. I know a lot of my friends are happy with their life here in Finland, and why shouldn’t they be?

Some of them are satisfied with what they’ve got and with who they are. Unfortunately, it’s not like that for me. When I have been living abroad, I have actually been living there, not just been there on a long vacation constantly thinking about Finland. I have built up a reality for me there and I have been happy and satisfied.

Therefore it would be a lie to say that I couldn’t be happy somewhere else. I’m Finnish, that’s a part of my identity, but wherever I go, my identity follows me along so I don’t have to be afraid of moving. My characteristics as a Finn are built in me, almost comparable to my skin. I know I will always return to the safe shores of Helsinki because I have a deep love for this city and the opportunities I believe it has to offer me, but this is the time I need to realize myself. I want to see other realities in order to develop my own. I don’t want to base my opinions on assumptions, but facts.

I find it funny how some people think that relationships are comparable. I believe relationships are as comparable as persons. Since every person has different personality features and a unique background, they do not share personalities and therefore not relationship patterns. I understand that it might be tempting to imagine your friends being in the same situation as yourself because it brings a certain feeling of security. That doesn’t mean that it is possible. One cannot hurry other to have feelings and experience the same security and ease in relationships as another person. Everyone goes their own path and one cannot ask for help in finding one’s own.