Quite Interesting: Hirvikolari

An inevitability of travelling is picking up odd words and phrases in the various different languages you encounter.  And certain words and phrases can give you an insight into the local culture, environment or mindset, particularly those which don’t have a direct translation into your native tongue. Take for example, hirvikolari, a Finnish word that was used in a BBC news article the other week. The incident described wasn’t particularly newsworthy in international terms, describing a traffic incident in downtown Helsinki, but the word hirvikolari clearly tickled the writer enough to make it into a story for the UK.

Must dash, I have a meeting in the Helsinki office at 11am. Image from bbc.co.uk

A hirvikolari is a specific type of Finnish traffic accident involving an elk (also known as a moose in North America). Shambling slowly out of thick forest in the dark and onto quiet roads, the creature’s long legs and bulky body make a collision particularly dangerous for drivers.   Accidents are known to occur frequently enough that Scandinavian car manufacturers Volvo and Saab constructed their vehicles to cope with a “moose-crash”.

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2014 Travel Resolution #4: Travel More

Wanderlust, by adventurediva on Flickr.

Happy February! How did last month manage to pass so quickly? I have no idea. So slightly later than I intended, especially as it’s no longer January, here is my final suggestion for a resolution to make 2014 a brilliant year for travel.

#4. Travel More.

Ha, that sounds terribly simple advice, but please don’t think this last resolution is a cop-out and I couldn’t be bothered any more. A lot of us are tied down to a number of commitments, family, work, pets or property, that means the lifestyle of a full-time traveller is one we can only follow vicariously through reading blogs and browsing pintrest. But travel is all about your mindset, and I want to show you it’s possible to have amazing travel experiences with limited time. Here are my top 5 tips: Continue reading

2014 Travel Resolutions #1: Learn the Lingo

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you all have a healthy and happy year filled with fun and adventures.

Resolution
Resolutions. Image by Lori Ann on Flickr

So here we are in January. A month of possibility and new beginnings. The time to make resolutions that will make 2014 into the best possible year; to take the best of intentions and turn them into achievable goals. So while the desire to make the most of your opportunities is still strong in your mind, here’s the first in a short series of suggestions for resolutions that will improve your travel experiences no end.

 #1. Learn a language.

Make your travel experiences more intriguing with the ability to communicate with people in their native tongue. Not being able to ask important questions can be frustrating, and as a solo traveller, not speaking the lingo can make for a lonely time. Imagine talking to the passenger next to you on a long bus ride, discovering cultural, political and social differences, and similarities.  Becoming fluent in a language takes a great deal of time and effort, but it doesn’t have to be traumatic or take years.

Here are my 5 tips for success. Continue reading

Dem Dry Bones

Skeletons at Dia de Muertos by Guago on Flickr

Whilst writing yesterday’s post about my memories of Halloween as a child, I learned about another spooky date in the calender.  El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead in English, is a two day festival that takes place on 1st and 2nd November each year in countries around the world, especially throughout Latin America.  Whilst superficially the two festivals may appear similar, with the array of skulls and skeletons in their imagery, the Day of the Dead has a rich history of its own. Continue reading

The Great Debate

There’s nothing us Brits enjoy more than a nice cup of tea in the afternoon.  And down in the south-western corner of the UK, they’ve raised it to an art form with the creation of the cream tea.  But although the component parts are pretty much agreed upon, there is a great debate over how these are assembled to make the ultimate cream tea. Continue reading