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  • Writer's pictureKati Pankka

Slow down adventure junkie

Any other activity addicts our there? Highlight hunters suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out)? Stuffing your free time and vacation itineraries with endless activities? Always wanting something more? Struggling to enjoy lazy moments?

Yup, I’m definitely one of those people. Self-diagnosed activity addict, and definitely guilty of feeling FOMO. What’s more, I’m even suffering of FOMO when I’m having a good time in the most beautiful places. That makes no sense, but I’m actually feeling it right now as well… but I’m trying to deal with it by writing these thoughts down now.

June 24th 2020 11:30 PM

Dear diary, it's almost midnight and it’s still bright almost like daylight. Midsummer magic. I can't sleep. I feel like I have to write this down, otherwise I won’t sleep well, all sorts of ideas circling in my mind. If things had gone differently I would now be exploring somewhere in Northern Norway. But I’m not (as you can read from my previous post)

Things are rather fine though. Right now I’m looking at the most beautiful calm lake and feeling a slight summer breeze brushing my face. I’m hearing the birds and the sound of the wind gently rustling the leaves. I should be content. And I am. But at the same time there’s FOMO. It’s all very counter intuitive.

This is my happy place. This is my “sielunmaisema” = soul’s scenery (not sure if this Finnish term translates that well, but basically this is where my mind can rest and recover). If I would be trendy, I would probably say, “this is my place for grounding and healing”. And it actually is true, but just sounds a tad too cheesy. But I did indeed came here to heal my body (from pneumonia), to rest and relax, and to do nothing. And it seems to be working.

My body is healing, but my mind is restless. Normally while here, at our “mökki”(summerhouse cottage) I would be positively busy doing all sorts of activities. Canoeing, SUP, row boat trips, slacklining, swimming, outdoor games like darts, petanque or my ultimate favourite: Mölkky (Finnish game, somewhat resembling bowling and pétanque, consisting of wooden blocks). And obviously, also running between sauna and the lake countless times. But this time… none of that. I know... I know... I need to take it easy. I need to slow down.

Lazy moments are good for us

I need to learn again how to enjoy the lazy moments. Give my mind some time to process all millions of ideas that I have for the future, and let time do it’s thing by prioritising some of my thoughts. Reflect back to good old memories instead of rushing into new ones.

I think it would be good for all of us adventure junkies to occasionally just slow down. Force ourselves to stop and reflect. Instead of hunting highlights that everyone else is ticking off their bucket lists as well, find the things that make you happy, and go chasing them. In moderation though. Don’t overdose on those ones either.

We need low moments to truly feel the highlights

At times we all feel low, sad, bored, even miserable. For example when you can’t meet your near and dear ones, or when you can’t work or you can’t travel or generally do the things you enjoy. But let’s remember that we need those moments and feelings as well. We need to to feel the lows to be able to feel the highs.

Experience rich travel (and life) doesn’t always need to mean 100% filled schedule. It can also be 50% adventure packed and/or social activities and another 50% dedicated to free time, so that you can do whatever you like. To do you. To be. To just be. At times we need to stop and do nothing, even feel bored also while traveling. To slow down and let your mind soak in all the nice new experiences that you’ve had so far. Recharge yourself before your next highly anticipated activity.

I’ve realised that having a balance between highs and lows is important especially if while traveling long-term. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise it back when we were traveling around the world for 14 months. I didn’t realise it then that just as much as you need weekends normally, you do also need rest & recover days while on the road. Reading the book “Old lady’s log book” by Kyllikki Villa has reminded me of this as well. The way this, then 73 years old, solo traveling ady tells about her highs and her lows is so comforting and realistic. I genuinely love that book.

This is my lesson tonight: When you get to travel again. Travel longer, travel slower, expect also low moments. Enjoy fewer, but better, personal highlights.

June 25th 2020. 00:05 AM

Ahaha! Just to keep it real, I have to tell you that right now my peaceful moment here is disturbed. I’m hearing voices. But this disturbance also makes me smile. Our mökki neighbours are having some sort of a summer party and instead of beautiful silence I can now hear a bunch of people singing terrible old school karaoke. The sound travels easily across the water from 1 km away. It sounds horrible, but it also sound like they’re living their lives to the fullest. And in fairness… ten years ago it would’ve been me with my mates doing the same.

It’s midnight now. The birds and frogs are getting loud as well. Time for me to catch some zzzZZZ…

June 25th 2020. 14:30 AM

The day after. I can’t help it… This is helpless. I love slowing it down and being present on the moment and I keep preaching to others how important it is to accept dull moments as an important part of life. And then I catch myself looking for new dosages of adventures to come!

I’m addicted to planning and dreaming.

Right now I’m dreaming of trips that I would love to organise; such as A) A kitesurfing & wellness week in lovely Lithuania. B) Foodie Day Tours in Helsinki. C) Remote Retreats in Utsjoki, almost as North as you can go in Finland. Think Aurora Borealis, Huskies, reindeer, learning about indigenous Sami peoples lifestyles, enjoying the silence and pristine nature, cosying up by a fireplace and warming yourself up in a Finnish wellness oasis aka. sauna. Making a little day trip to Norway and Arctic Ocean. And also. Just enjoying the slow moments. Dreaming.

I wonder if there’s anyone else out there who would be keen and able to join these kinds of adventures? Because not only do I want to experience these things by myself. To me it would be even more dreamy if I would be able to share them with likeminded explorers.

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