On my own.

“And I am not afraid to try it on my own
I don’t care if I’m right or wrong
I’ll live my life the way I feel
No matter what I’m gonna keep it real you know
Time for me to do it”

From the song On my own performed by Whitney Houston.

I arrived in Helsinki-Vantaa airport on Friday the 13th. It was 5:30 a.m. I was sleepy and with butterflies in my belly.

I grabbed my heavy backpack and walked to the bus station near the airport. I immediately went back to the airport. It was freaking cold. I sat in the airport and I started to think “What am I doing here? I can’t do this on my own.”

I was feeling completely hopeless.

 After warming up a bit at the airport I decided to wear most of my warm gear and give it another shot. I stood in front of the exit door and took a long breath. “Here I go.

Suddenly I was not feeling that cold any more. I smiled with proud. Next mission: look for the right bus station. For my surprise the bus that would take me to the city centre was already in the station. I was so glad I didn’t have to wait outside for it. I smiled again.

It took 30 to 40 minutes to get to the city centre. It was almost 7:30 a.m. First impression of Helsinki. No snow in the streets. People were walking really fast to get to work. Maybe I was the one walking very slowly since I was with my heavy backpack. Or maybe it was too early for me to walk fast. Unlike me most people were not wearing bulky clothes. It was a surprise for me.

I printed a map with the directions from the bus station to the hostel. It seemed pretty easy in the map, but I quickly found out two critical issues. First, it is hard to grab a map and read it with thick gloves in a windy and snowy weather. Second, the street names had too many letters which make it hard to distinguished them. So I decided to skip the street names and to guide myself with visual cues from quick glimpses to the map. When I found the station of the tram #4 I almost jumped with joy.

I arrived to the hostel around 8 a.m. It was so warm inside. It felt good. Although I could only do the check in at 2 p.m. I was able to do it right away. I smiled once more. I remember exactly how I felt when I got to my room. It was a feeling of accomplishment. Two hours ago I was feeling completely hopeless. Somehow I was able to find my inner strength on my own. This was the moment I knew my life would change.

I dropped my backpack in the floor, eat my breakfast and planned my first day in Helsinki.


My first day in Helsinki. The sun was raising. Photo taken by Cláudia Mendes at Helsinki Harbour, Finland, January 2012.
This entry was posted in Challenge, Moments, Plans. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to On my own.

  1. mindfuldiary says:

    Have fun in Helsinki! If you somehow end up in Tallinn (in Estonia), let me know, I’ll give you some insider tips to the town. 🙂

  2. fgassette says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.

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