My 2015 in pictures

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around the world

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<Hua Hin, Thailand>
After my scooter accident and stolen money in Thailand, I visited my mom in Hua Hin to recover before heading to my next destination. A day before my train to Malaysia we went with my mom to the beach…I remember how scared and nervous I was. It was the first time I was about to start traveling truly on my own, without any plan of where to go and what to see…The best decision of my life!

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<Penang, Malaysia>
Amazing street art in Penang, walking around with a Finnish friend I just met in the train. That’s how fast it happens! This made me understand that you are never alone and it is so easy to meet people and make friends when you travel solo.

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<Cameron Highlands, Malaysia>
The highlight of my Malaysian time – Tea plantation in Cameron Highlands. So beautiful and such an amazing green color of the hills! Even though it had been raining every day after lunch time, it was just a wonderful opportunity to stay in our hostel with a cup of warm tea, chat with people, organise pictures, relax… No need to run anywhere! Magic!

Vipasana, Malaysia

<Somewhere in Malaysia>
Last selfie before vipasana – 11-day meditation retreat 3 hours away from Kuala Lumpur. Interesting experience: 11 days of being one to one with your own mind, your ego, not having any human contact and interaction, not talking or even looking into other people’s eyes. 11 days of no exercising, reading, writing, 11 days without any communication with the outside world, your phone or your computer. 11 days of meditating for 10 hours a day. Yes, it has been an unusual, yet an interesting experience.

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<Singapore>
Singapore, some 5 star hotel…a friend of mine came to visit me and treated me to a nice hotel. This was so amazing for me, considering I lost money in Thailand and had my iPhone stolen just a few days before this picture was taken.

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<On the road in Java, Indonesia>
I remember this moment, it was such a cute one. We were traveling with our scooters from Yogyakarta to Dieng Plataue and stopped for lunch in a local eatery. We were the only westerners around, attracting lots of attention from locals. Those kids were so fascinated seeing strangers; they were staring through the window at us while we were eating and laughing. So pure and so innocent. And of course, they took pictures with us before we left.

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<On the road in Java, Indonesia>
Driving your bike under the rain could be fun, especially if you are not prepared and have to deal with it spontaneously. I bought the rain coat on the way and my travelmate gave me those plastic rain shoes. Don’t ask me how long this whole outfit lasted. Not too long….

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<Sikunir Mountain, Java, Indonesia>
Yeap, from that very day this was our breakfast for the next few weeks. Easy to make, easy to take, plus it tastes so good! Indonesian soya milk is very sweet, so you end up eating oat meal with sugar unless you mix it with water! We would take a can of soya milk for two, empty plastic bottle (which we would cut to make a bowl) and a bag of oat meal. Breakfast ready! Bon appetite!

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<Borobudur, Java, Indonesia>
We were stars in Borobudur! The place was filled with school kids, who were asking us to take pictures with them. They were all so cute and looked at us like we were aliens. At the beginning we could not refuse to take photos with them, but after an hour of being constantly photographed, I actually felt like a star trying to escape paparazzis! Amazing day and an amazing experience.

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<Bromo Volcano, Java, Indonesia>
My first volcano! I was in love! This has started my passion for hiking to the top of volcanos! Bromo was one of the easiest to hike, but it was so unbelievably unique to me. I was standing at the edge of an active volcano, looking down the crater with huge cloud of grey smoke that was coming out of there… Strong and very smelly. It even had started to hurt my nose after a while and my eyes started to sting. So powerful and so amazing!

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<Gunung Pananjakan, Java, Indonesia>
First sunrise on the top of the mountain and I am in love! This was the start of my epic sunrises with waking up in the middle of the night, driving somewhere in the freezing cold and climbing up the mountain under the starry sky. Yes, it is something truly amazing! The climb was hard, even though it was the shortest I would be doing during the next month. But when you stand there, on the top of the mountain, the pain inside your legs disappears, you breathe in fresh mountain air, and positive energy fills you up.

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<Cemoro Lawang, Java, Indonesia>
The best view to chill and eat lunch after the volcano hike! Could life get any better?

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<Ijen Volcano, Indonesia>
Another volcano, another sleepless night! Woke up at 12:30am, jumped on the bike and drove in the rain to Ijen Volcano. The place is famous for the world’s most dangerous job! Hiking the volcano at night, alone, looking at the stars, sweating like crazy…and then going down inside the crater….it was once in a life time experience! I was climbing alone as my 2 travel mates left me because I was too slow for them…haha…

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<Kuta Beach Bali, Indonesia>
I remember this day and this amazing sunset, when the ocean level went down creating mirror effect on the sand. Sunset turned into an artist’s painting on the sky with pink, yellow, red, purple colors mixed into something so incredibly beautiful. Even though I do not like Kuta beach because it is packed with tourists, that was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life!

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<Uluwatu Temple Bali, Indonesia>
Another one of my favorite places in Bali – Uluwatu temple. It is very peaceful and yet so powerful. There is a sort of a secret spot where you can sit at the edge of the cliff and look down at the ocean.

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<Ubud, Bali, Indonesia>
I absolutely loved Ubud and its surroundings. So creative, relaxing, meditative…Beautiful and green, so green! Visited Tegallalang rice terraces, just few kilometers away from Ubud. Beautiful place. It started to rain 5 minutes after we arrived, so we were stuck in a cafe with the most magical view. Did I say stuck?! I loved it! No hurry, no rush, just you and the nature around. And suddenly the rain does not bother. Drinking ginger tee, hearing rain drops, and looking over beautiful rice terraces. Life is beautiful!

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<Batur Volcano, Bali, Indonesia>
Another volcano, another sunrise, another set of positive emotions! This time the hike was tougher: woke up at 2:30am and straight up the mountain! By that time I should have been used to hiking at night, but this one was very hard for me. When we finally reached the top and I saw the rising sun, my tiredness went away, and my body started to fill up with positive energy. I was literally getting energy from the rising sun.

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<Besakih temple, Bali, Indonesia>
We were visiting Besakih Temple and this girl was selling post cards with Bali images. She actually could say selling phrases in many different languages. We were able to confirm 4 languages and yes, she could say ‘postcard, very cheap, only 1$ for 4 postcards’ or something like that. We bought 4 cards from her, hoping to send ‘hallo’ to our families. Then we kept on talking to her; she took our GoPro and was taking pictures of everything around. Such a pretty girl! At the end we were so entertained that we forgot to take those cards with us! Haha!

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<El Nido, Philippines>
Well…that is by far one of the most incredible views I have seen together with the coolest way up I have ever done! 1,5 hour of rock climbing with the guide through the craziest spiky rocks in order to get to the top and see this amazing view! Such an adventure! There would be no way to get up there by yourself and there is no direct path or way. But it was a really fun thing to do. It was really the coolest thing I have ever tried, and it made me start considering doing cliff climbing.

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<Siargao, Philippines>
Siargao was one of the only places so far where I saw the most amazing starry sky! Every evening on the way home, I would drive my bike through the dark jungle with absolutely no light. And that sky was always so clear and full of shiny stars. We lived in the house middle in the jungle with nice roof top terrace. A perfect place to chill and look at that amazing sky.

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<Siargao, Philippines>
Even though I was not in love with Philippines as a country, I had lots of beautiful moments. Meeting those cute children was one of them. No, they were not posing, they were just sitting like this, cute and together. We asked them to take picture of them, and they just kept on looking at us with their big eyes. How cute!

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<Banaue, Philippines>
One of my favorite places on earth, Banaue made it to the top 5 greatest places I have ever visited! So beautiful and so green! I felt so good being there. We arrived to Banaue with the night bus and went straight for a day trip to Batad rice terraces. That was so amazing, but so incredibly tiring. Walking through rice terraces in the burning sun, climbing up and down the stairs and riding on the roof of big jeepney bus. Definitely the coolest paid day trip I have ever done!

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<Bohol, Philippines>
Enjoying the sunset followed by amazing starry sky and chilling at the beach. Isn’t it what everyone would like to do all the time?! Me and my school friend, who visited me during my travel in Philippines, found this nice beach with amazing beach cafe. For the next 3 days that was our location to chill and enjoy the sun! The nicest part was that there were not that many people, as the whole beach was there just for us.

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<Manila, Philippines>
I was walking around the area next to my hostel in Makati, Manila, and saw this very cute white cat. Usually street cats don’t like to be touched and tend to run away. But this one came up to me and wanted to cuddle, walking around my legs and purring. I stayed with her for at least 20 min and did not want to leave. She was such a cutie!

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<Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia>
Two of my school friends changed their flights so to make it to Kuala Lumpur for just one night to meet up with me. It was so amazing to meet up with them on the other side of the world and after so many years 3 of us were reunited again! We chatted, we danced in front of Pettrona towers, we laughed, we drank…it was so much fun! Thank you my dearest girls for making that reunion happen!

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<Agung Volcano, Bali, Indonesia >
Well….this was absolutely the highlight of my traveling, the most amazing and toughest thing I have ever done. 12 hours at the volcano, 3rd highest volcano in Indonesia, 8 hour hike up, sleeping for 2 hours under the sky full of stars, watching the sunrise…yes, it was an unbelievable experience. And yes, I would do it again.

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<Koh Phangan, Thailand>
11-day Detox in my favorite island in Thailand. 2-pre cleanse, 2-post cleanse and 7 days without solid food in between. I did detox for the second time and it’s such a great thing to do, good investment of time and money for your body, health, well being, and soul. Every morning I went to yoga and it was so healing and relaxing. The place where I did my detox, Orion Healing Center, has an amazing healthy vegan restaurant with home made food and nice variety of raw dishes and desserts. So yummy!

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<Darwin, Australia>
Hallo Australia! So unknown, so different, so unusual! And here I am, with one year visa and without a plan and any idea of what I will be doing! Darwin is rather a small and boring city, which was sort of perfect for the start. I had a nice couchsurfing host and found 2 great travel mates from Germany with whom I traveled in Western Australia for 2,5 weeks.

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<Road Trip through Western Australia>
18 days sleeping in the roof-top tent of the car, cooking on the fire, sneaking into the showers on camping site, driving through the river, through badly corrugated red-soil roads, looking into the starry sky at night and seeing milky way so clear as never ever before. I have never done this kind of camping in my life, and I did not know what I am signing myself up for, but it was one amazing experience. I learned so much about myself, what I am capable of, I started to draw and found a new passion to express my creativity.

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<Karijini Park, Australia>
Australia is like another planet, even its stone formation is something truly unique. We were not planning on going to Karijini park, but our travelmate spontaneously got an idea to extend our way from Broome to Perth and stop at this truly beautiful park. Definitely great decision. I remember seeing those stone formation for the first time, it amazed me, it looked human made. And that color! So red!

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<Melbourne, Australia>
Finally I have my own room, my own bed, my own space. I don’t need to pack and unpack my backpack, I don’t need to share my bed with anyone, and I can close the door of my room and stay there for as long as I want, alone! I can finally buy food and cook healthy meals, I can go again to the gym and do not have to move for the next couple month. Yes, I did miss it. After traveling for 8 month around Southeast Asia, one starts to appreciate small, basic things.

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<CBD, Melbourne, Australia>
I felt in love with Melbourne from the first sight! And I am still so in love with this city. Melbourne is a combination of a big metropolitan multicultural city, which does not feel like a big city at all. It is a rather relaxed one, with many possibilities: beach, shopping, amazing cafes with even more amazing food, nature around, hipster area, etc. Yes, I am so happy to live in Melbourne!

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<Great Ocean Road, Australia>
I went with a good friend of mine to great ocean road on his birthday! It was his first time and my second time at great ocean road, and it was such an amazing day. There is something so magical, unreal in those cliffs and powerful waves. It is definitely the highlight of what I have seen in Australia so far. Mainly because I love cliffs, mountains, and waves!

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<Surento Beach, Australia>
My mom came to visit me in Australia after a year of not seeing her! Right the next day we went for a short road-trip. And went to see this beautiful, very peaceful beach. Just a 1,5 hour drive from Melbourne and it feels like a totally different world. My mom’s first impression: Australia is a different planet! Yes, I do agree.

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