Summary: An homage to the people that make this whole thing worth while
I have no hesitation in saying that leaving Helsinki is heart crushing- a figurative meat grinder for my heart. In case you’re just now joining us, Tawny and I have spent the last three days in Helsinki, Finland for the Nordic Blogger Experience (NBE), a collection of Europe’s (and some of us from the Americas) finest travel writers and videographers. The event is hosted by Visit Finland and the power houses behind MATKA, the Nordic Travel Fair. Take a sneak-peek below at the MATKA Fair through the eyes of the bloggers that make it such a great event.
You might think that leaving our private suite in the Radisson Blu Royal is what’s making me so lugubrious today. After all, the room came equipped with its own sauna. True fact. The very same sauna that I have put to use every night since we arrived. However, it’s more than just my love affair with aggressively heated cedar boxes that causes such pain today.
(Vest not included… or recommended.)
I don’t know if we talk enough about how fabulous the travel community is. That’s a shame. Tawny and I have a job where we get to travel the world in perpetual motion, opening the hidden secrets of the globe’s most fascinating places. The true treasure of this profession though is the genuine and lasting relationships we’ve been able to forge with what I consider to be the finest people in (literally) all of the world.
This is for you, travel professionals. A thank you for your curiosity that inspires you to push so far out of your comfort zones and always look around the next corner. This is a thank you for your integrity and for striving to share the world with your audiences in a non-sensationalized way that reminds us all that the world is worth exploring. That the risks aren’t as bad as we often think they are and that the rewards are always beyond our expectations.
This is a humble thank you for those moments when we sit around a table of Belgian, French, Swiss, Brazilian, British, Russian, Sri Lankan, Indian, Canadian, Norwegian, and Finnish storytellers and realize that we aren’t at a UN convention but at some heavy metal bar with way too many grapefruit gins. It is that commitment to community, honesty, (debauchery,) and fraternity that is the beating heart of the human race.
Leaving Helsinki today is a tragic affair because we won’t be around all of you. You all are the scorching sauna of our lives, keeping us warm in the winter of existence.
Bon voyage, and we will see you on the road.