Over the years, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to travel to various corners of the world for my full-time job. From Finland to the Maldives, Serbia to Turkey, Mexico to Grenada, and even Estonia and the UAE, travel has opened my eyes to the world in unexpected and meaningful ways. Simply put, travel has made me a better person. I love learning about new cultures, people, cuisines and beyond. Case in point – my most recent Finland work trip where I led a 6-person influencer trip.
At the same time, don’t let the pretty Instagram stories and pictures fool you! Travel, in all its glory, comes at a cost. Sure, jet lag is a thing, but there are also other unexpected issues that come into play. Every out of office day translates into multiple weeks of catch-up.
Then there’s the unexpected personal collateral damaged – missed birthday parties, anniversaries, important events… the list goes and on. Above all – the experiences take me away from the one place (and person) that makes me feel most grounded (i.e. home and Bob).
Listen, I don’t want to complain! Please know from the bottom of my heart that I know I’m privileged to be able to travel the world.
At the same time, I’d just be lying if I didn’t say that travel has changed for me for the good… and the bad.
Finland Work Trip
Thankfully, there’s one destination that always seems to be an instant mood booster – Finland. For four years in a row, our PR client has been named the “happiest country in the world” by the U.N. Happiness Report.
Finland, is indeed, my happy place. There must be something in the water, lol. Maybe it’s the fresh air, nature, sauna experiences or people, but the Nordic country is just a stress-free zone that makes me feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
For this particular trip, we had the opportunity to visit Helsinki, Lahti, Jyväskylä, and Saimaa for a range of experiences. This was the first time that I’ve visited the Lakeland region (Lahti, Jyväskylä, and Saimaa), and WOW. Just wow. It did not disappoint.
Helsinki is also one of my favorite destinations to visit. While in the city, we had the chance to stay at Hotel Haven and Scandic Grand Central Hotel. Both hotels were FANTASTIC. Scandic recently opened, and the design is absolutely impeccable. Furthermore, Hotel Haven is centrally located to everything, and it’s run by one of my fave hotel groups – Kamp Collection Hotels (be sure to check out their other properties, St. George and Lila Roberts!).
We kicked off the trip in Lahti with the Haasi Mirror Houses. Beyond the gorgeous accommodations overlooking the serene lake, our group woke up to the most picturesque sunrise. It was one of, if not the, most gorgeous sights that I’ve seen in my entire life. No joke.
The fog was lifting off the lake towards cotton-candy colored skies. In those moments, I sincerely got chocked up. Who knew a sunrise could make me so emotional? In fact, I had to re-record my Instagram Stories because of how overcome I was with the beauty of those surroundings. I will never ever forget the beauty of those moments for the rest of my life.
I highly, highly recommend a visit to the property if you love nature, water activities, sauna and the great outdoors.
Next up, we head to Jyväskylä, Finland, which has a more urban vibe. Filled with micro breweries, stores and a high-profile university, it’s a dynamic location if you’re looking for a more diverse itinerary. Best of all, it’s a three-hour train ride to/from Helsinki so it’s easy to get to/from the airport.
Just outside of the city, Revontuli Resort feels like a million miles away. We had the pleasure of staying in glass igloo accommodations overlooking the lake. Furthermore, they have a ton of sauna options, including smoke, tent and beyond. Plus, they have a full-on diner, bowling alley and golf course.
Last but not least, we headed to Saimaa, which is known mostly for Lake Saimaa. Countless Finns head to Saimaa for their summer cottages and special experiences on the Lake. For this particular leg of the trip, we stayed at the oldest hotel in Finland called Hotel Punkaharju. The owner, Saimi Hoyer, is a Finnish supermodel and has stories for days. Be sure to chat with her and get to know some of her background!
Finland Work Trip – In Closing
While travel can be a blessing and a curse, I had the BEST time in Finland. The group was truly incredible, and I had the most amazing time getting to know the women better. Yes, I’m biased, but I truly believe that Finland is one of the best destinations in the world. Be sure to make a trip there – you won’t regret it.