Johanna & Leo


Johanna & Leo

According to "An explorer (=tutkimusmatkailija) is a person who explores new areas by traveling there in person." Our nick came into being more as an internal joke, but it fits quite well to wikipedia's definition so we've kept it so far! 😊

Although we don't aspire to become a new Ferdinand Magellan our goal is still to travel around the world. We are leaving on our trip in June 2013 and are planning to return to Finland in August 2014.

Total Distance: 0 miles / 0 kmMouse: 0,0

Around the world trip 2013-2014

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng July 5th 2016

Hi, It's been nearly two years since we've written any travel blogs. But, we're on the road again and will log our experiences & memories at Feel free follow it. - Johanna & Leo... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City August 3rd 2014

We have just got out of a 10 day meditation course retreat. Ten days of not speaking, waking up at 4am, not eating proper meals after 11 am, men and women being separated, and most importantly, meditating over ten hours everyday, was hard. But now, we both feel strangely zen - less irritated by all the small annoyances around us, and like seeing things more objectively and positively. We are wondering, though, if our good mood is mostly due to getting out of the course, or due to actual positive effects of the meditation. I think it's probably both, but we will try to continue practicing Vipassana also back at home, at least it has great promises that continued practice will liberate meditators from all their miseries, energy levels and results at working life will improve, ... read more
water buffalos in Hoi An
Hoi An is famous for lanterns
famous Japanese bridge in Hoi An

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 July 12th 2014

While preparing for our journey around the world and thinking about where to go, Vietnam popped out as one of the countries we both were very interested in. We both love Vietnamese food, and we pictured green rice paddies, peasants with conical hats and junks (the boat, not trash) slowly drifting along the mighty Mekong. Therefore we have reserved our last month of our journey for exploring this country. Our first stop in Vietnam was Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) as it is currently named. We have become a bit lazy lately, so we had asked the hotel to arrange an airport pick-up for us, and were dropped off in front of a shady looking alley with signs pointing towards our hotel. Our hotel still turned out to be nice, clean and centrally located, ... read more
HCMC - fruit vendor
HCMC - uncle Ho himself
HCMC - a park in the city center

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Bunaken National Park July 6th 2014

We, and especially Leo, had been seriously bitten by the diving bug, so we wanted to do still some more dives during this trip. Thus, we arranged for a week long diving holiday at a resort on Bunaken Island, next to Sulawesi in Indonesia. It was rather far, three and a half hours by plane from Singapore, and still half an hour by boat to get from the city of Manado to Bunaken. We were met by Sven and Esther, a German-Indonesian couple who runs the resort, and got to know a French family with two teenage boys, who later ended up joining us on most of our dives. The first impression regarding the resort was not great: our concrete bungalow was hot as ever, had no a/c, and the toilet was not flushable, but you ... read more
puffer fish
jumping into the water
all good!

Asia » Singapore » Bedok June 28th 2014

We arrived to sunny and hot Singapore on Midsummer’s eve. The difference to Java was striking; everything was clean and well organized, and there was space everywhere. After checking in to our room we went for lunch with Anna and Ville, friends from Finland currently living in Singapore, and their new born baby Viktor. Ville had to go back to work after the lunch, but the rest of us then went for a brief sightseeing through the business district with its sky scrapers and bold contemporary architecture to Gardens By The Bay, a big outdoor area with areas for different countries containing information on their culture. There was also a daily light show displayed on futuristic looking mushroom monuments that we watched before continuing to the Arab quarters for dinner. The next day, Midsummer day, Anna ... read more
Singapore - exploring the city
Singapore - Gardens By The Bay
Singapore - lightshow on the mushroom

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Yogyakarta June 20th 2014

The word interesting probably describes best our first day on the island of Java. We took a boat from near Pemuteran on Bali, and upon arrival on the Javanese side, we immediately witnessed an accident where one of the dock workers fell on the ground unconscious while they attempted to dock the boat. Either he fell from somewhere, or something fell on him, we heard also glass breaking, but are not sure how exactly it happened. Next, they failed to attach the boat on the dock properly, and we watched nervously as the cars drove from boat to shore on the swaying little bridge. Crossing it on foot was ok, luckily, and I was quite glad we had not gotten on one of the buses, even if we were offered those seats multiple times. We did ... read more
traditional music played at Sultan Palace
sunrise view to the temple, only the temple is hardly visible
Borobudur temple

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Amed June 16th 2014

If Ubud felt a bit centered around tourism, Amed at the east coast of Bali is even more so. While most things in Ubud seem to center around Balinese culture, in Amed it is all about beaches, snorkeling and diving. Most houses in the towns (the area consists of 7 separate towns, but as they are growing more and more into each other they are all referred to as Amed) are offering lodging, food, diving or all three of them. There are also a lot of fishers living there and many of the beaches are filled with fishing boats, but the tourists probably consume most of the days catch every evening. We had originally planned to try to find some kind of meditation and/or yoga center and spend some days snorkeling and stretching, but while googling ... read more
Amed - snorkeling at the Japanese wreck
Amed - say 'Aaa...!'
Gili Meno - Sun set

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud June 1st 2014

If we had been a little bit ­­on a waiting mood during our last days in Melbourne, not having real motivation to get out of the apartment until afternoon and just taking things at a leisurely pace, our trip definitely gained some fresh excitement as soon as we landed on Denpasar airport on Bali in the evening of May 24th. Suddenly being in totally different kind of environment, where hundreds of motorbikes occupy the streets (sometimes carrying entire families), and landscapes are dotted with Hindu temples, was exciting. Not to mention how nice it was to be in tropical heath again. Our first stop on Bali was the town of Ubud. We were met by the driver of our hostel at the airport, and he drove us the 1,5 hour trip there. Ubud was quite busy ... read more
what a cute baby :)
Balinese dance performance
at the rice paddies

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney May 24th 2014

After spending over a month living in our trusted campdome tent we were glad to return to civilization in the form of Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne for the end of our stay in Australia. Our first stop was Brisbane which turned out to be quieter than we thought, only on Friday evening did we see some action in the city center, otherwise the streets were quite empty compared to Melbourne or even Adelaide. On Friday evening the center however really woke up with several live bands playing and a lot of terraces serving beer, we enjoyed the bands so much we even ended up buying some CD:s from them. In addition to the city center we also tried to explore the suburbs around the city. Our host had mentioned an African we thought sounded interesting, ... read more
Sydney - wakeup call
Sydney - the operahouse
Sydney - a frying dog

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa May 5th 2014

It took us almost three days of nearly non-stop driving to get from Alice Springs to the Australian East Coast. Apart from the occasional stops to use the internet at one of the small town libraries, or to visit a Woolworth’s supermarket, we just drove and drove through landscapes, which didn’t change much along the way. The reddish bush landscape of the middle changed to fields at some point, but otherwise the views were more or less monotonic. The only actual sight on the way was Devil’s Marbles, giant rock boulders, which are a sacred site for the Aboriginals. Flies continued to be a major annoyance, since as soon as we got out of the car to cook our customary lunch of kimchi noodles with egg or pasta&pesto, or to walk a bit, we were surrounded ... read more
isn't this a fancy sand castle? built by us.
beautiful Whitsunday views
our place in the sun, Whitsunday Island

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