When I was around 18 to 19 years old, I was a pretty good student at a Finnish upper secondary school, very career-oriented and so on. You know the drill. Studies during the day and work at night to pay the bills. Sometime during my last year at school, I did my first trip abroad by myself, partly paid with student loan.
Well I was hooked. All those new people from different countries and cultures, life in the hostels, craziness and great stories to bring home. Which no one ever really understands who wasn't there with you, but you learn to live with it.
In 2009 I entered the obligatory military service in Finland. It was not fun, I did not grow as a person so save it. All I really wanted to do was to leave Finland for good and burn all the bridges behind. And I did.
Just some days after the military service finished in 2010, I packed my bags and took a one-way flight to Barcelona, Spain. Most of the other people of my age were going to the university, having kids or working to pay back their house loan. I thought life's a bit more than a career, two kids, a fancy car and a house loan. I was gonna go to Spain for six months to clear my head.
Three years later I wake up on a Sunday evening, after a bit prolonged Friday night, in a strange apartment somewhere downtown Barcelona. I had been working as a waiter, a minibus driver and a customer service rep., selling mojitos on the beach when I didn't have work, smoke pot and have fun, and now it was all done and man, was I exhausted. Not because of work, but all those ups and downs of life that I had experienced during this time that I had never felt before.
So I walked down to the street, packed my things which all fit into a backpack and tied it up on the back of the motorcycle I had bought from there a couple of years back. I stopped at a gas station to ask the lady in Spanish which way should I go to get to Andorra avoiding highways. And rode my bike by a long route, 6000 kilometers all the way through Europe to come back to Finland.
And here I am, another couple of years later. A student of marketing and business administration in a university, about to move to Chile next year for student exchange. I came back because I finally understood there's also more to life than travelling and craziness. Although for me, all that is still what makes life special, and that's something I'm never going to give up.