Beautiful Finnish summer

Beautiful Finnish summer

It’s the second COVID summer in Finland. However, the COVID cases are getting lower each passing day with 47 cases yesterday. Vaccination is in full speed. 49.2 % of the population have now received one dose while 12.2 % are already fully vaccinated. Seems like things are going to the right direction and most of the restrictions have been lifted, expect for large gatherings and the recommendation to avoid non-essential travels. This feels like I’m very much affected as I’m truly missing concerts and traveling. This is also affecting my work!

But here I am, grateful of the beautiful summer we are experiencing in Finland right now. Blue skies, blue waters and colourful flowers. It’s just about right. It’s just what I needed! How is your summer? Let me know!

All photos by Ari Vitikainen at https://www.arivitikainenphotography.com

Traveling through food

Traveling through food

One thing I find exciting about traveling is getting a taste of the local food. I always remember the excitement of looking for a place to eat during travels. One of my travel highlights was having dinner at the Souk in a beautiful evening in the Medina. I love Moroccan food in a Tajine with different kinds of vegetables. I also remember those times in Bangkok with my colleagues searching for a good dinner in the middle of endless choices.

Aside from enjoying a good meal, I also love illustrating food as a food memory, as something to look forward to eat and as a recipe for reference. Here are some of my food illustrations.

Enjoying these food in Helsinki in the comfort of home is something I look forward to during partial lockdown. I don’t have to travel far to savour every taste. Although, I’m still hoping that someday soon I can travel again and enjoy the local delicacies. How about you?

Traveling through illustrations

Traveling through illustrations

Remember that time when traveling is possible? Here is my travel journal from June 2019. It was fun looking back on that time when traveling seems to have become a possibility for more and more people. But then you know how the story goes…

After June 2019, I created my travel journals digitally. This one was about Iceland from October 2019. This was published on They Draw and Travel

My last holiday trip abroad was in London in November 2019 which I journaled as a boarding pass and as a part of a small book project.

I continue working on illustrating my past travels and will be posting them in the coming days. I hope you’ll do the same too. Creating travel journals has a way to bring you back to those happy memories. 

Let’s make postcards

Let’s make postcards

Where have you been? Where do you want to go? What have you seen? What do you want to see and experience?

This morning, I was reminded of how exciting it was to plan for a trip. Whether it’s for work or holiday, there is something about the process of arranging a future travel that gives me energy. For many of us, the task of organising a trip seems to be a thing of the past. Yes, it has been exactly a year when I drew this picture.

At that time, I never imagined that the pandemic will take us this long. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel either. However, creating memories and dreams have been a wonderful part of the journey. Yesterday, I started creating postcards and made them available here. It was a fun and an energy giving process.

How are you maintaining your energy level after a year of the pandemic?

Pandemic creativity

Pandemic creativity

Creativity is not meant to dry up during the pandemic. In fact, I feel an overflowing daily dose of supply of creativity. It’s probably my way to distract myself and feel a sense of accomplishment, even more so during this strange time. No travels, no worries. We can always dream and anticipate the moment when we can. This pandemic too will pass!

Aside from work where I also get to illustrate, my official GIPHY channel has been approved on the 24th of February. As I write, my simple gifs have been viewed 54,8 M times. It feels amazing! I also created a TikTok account three days ago in preparation for a bullet journaling project. One of the things I’m really enjoying this moment is creating dream boarding passes. Yes, let’s dream! Here is your boarding pass to Helsinki.

I also created London, Japan, South Korea and New York boarding passes. I’m really enjoying this process. Which city would you like? Let me know! Have a great weekend to everyone.

Outdoor cafe, anyone?

Outdoor cafe, anyone?

There is nothing like a cup of hot, creamy chocolate in this very cold day. You need a warm blanket and another warm blanket to enjoy it outside. But the experience is worth it. It’s not an everyday occurrence to be sat in -10C but felts like -20C, right? A cafe on the island of Suomenlinna is just the best place to have it. This place is so idyllic and you will like its pink exterior. The cakes were lovely too!

All photos by Ari Vitikainen @ https://www.arivitikainenphotography.com

Daebak! That’s awesome!

Daebak! That’s awesome!

South Korea was on the plan for 2020. COVID-19 was surely not. But as the saying goes, ‘If you can’t go, let it come to you!’ Or did I just make that up…

Can you see the green men shovelling snow?

I always wanted a Daebak box, a seasonal box full of Korean products. It has now became a trend to love all things Korean. Think about all the K-Pop, K-Drama, K-Beauty, K-Food, K-Snacks… However, just as COVID-19 disrupted most of our lives, it also affected the mailing system. My Daebak box was cancelled! So I ended up just admiring each and every photo posted on Facebook about the Daebak box. Beauty products here. K-Pop and K-Drama merch there. Snacks and drinks to enjoy. All awesome, Daebak stuff. I’ve became more and more a fan of the Daebak box with each passing hour, day, week, month…

Then something happened. The Daebak staff opened a portal. A tiny portal intended only for me to order a Daebak collaboration box with Mediheal. Well, I’m not entirely new to Mediheal. I’ve been using Mediheal face sheets for a while now. They are not just for relaxation but they deeply moisturize, taking away the fear of the winter months.

The Daebak / Mediheal collaboration box is a must have. The box itself is so cute and trendy. And the content is absolutely amazing. It gives you the urge to really take care of yourself. Beauty and functionally went perfectly well together in this box. The box is packed full of face sheet masks, eye masks, a foot mask and a hand mask. A face cream, a lipstick, a face mask and sponges are also found in the box. And a plus for BTS fans out there, it also includes the BTS face sheets!

And once you empty the box, there are many creative ways to reuse it. Here is mine. My three purses fit perfectly in the box. How do you reuse yours?

If you don’t want to miss out on South Korea delivered to your home, check out this link. You won’t regret it, I promise! 

All photos by Ari Vitikainen at arivitikainenphotography.com

Imagine… Travel…

Imagine… Travel…

When the COVID crisis was just looming around the corner, we were in intense state of planning for a holiday in Shanghai. It was an exciting time. Flights and hotels were just a click away from purchasing until we came to our senses and realised that this was such a bad idea. Then COVID – 19 exploded…

Our plans changed to a holiday in Greece – Athens and Santorini. Flights and hotel accommodations were all bought. After all, Wuhan was far away from Greece. Then COVID – 19 entered Europe. We were on a lockdown. This was not only affecting our holidays but even more our work travels.

We remained positive and accepted that this is how it is. I didn’t really miss traveling until lately. It has been awhile now and I’m imagining myself sat at a cafe somewhere…

Well, during the past days, I created travel memories through illustrations. It was fun creating them. They brought me back during those times, although a bit of sadness was felt too. I wish I’m back in Asia.

Please walk with me and take the trip down the memory lane. There is nothing wrong in celebrating the past this way. Although these adventures will never be recreated, they were fun for as long as they lasted…