Photo of Helsinki courtesy of Vasilis Meschinis at Traveller’s Tree

Finland –  Land of a Thousand Lakes – well 188,000 to be exact. Apparently the Finnish are humble  counters of bodies of water. Home of the midnight sun, 75 ski resorts, 2 million saunas (the word is Finnish after all) and the world’s rarest species of seal; Finland beckons you.

The northern reaches of the country host one of the world’s prime destinations for viewing Aurora Borealis. While in Lapland you can drop in to see Santa Claus. Yes the jolly old fellow really lives there and greets visitors year round.

You dear readers are about to travel to Finland but first a wee bit of business to take care of.

Last week Cee at Cee’s photography extended an invitation to me to join a Virtual Blog Tour. This project asks each participant to compose a one-time post to be published on a specific Monday. It’s purpose is to introduce bloggers through a series of questions about the creative process and what inspires us to do what we do.

The same set of questions will introduce a blogger to another blogger’s readers, as well as the wider blogging community.  I was truly honored and humbled to be asked by Cee. Since I agreed to participate, I must answer these questions as well as invite another blogger to join the tour.

This my friends is how we are all going to head to Finland momentarily. You do want to look for reindeer don’t you?

1 ) What am I working on?

Canada cycling

Mid September will find us cycling in Italy. Having the stamina to cycle the hills of Tuscany and stay awake to blog about the day’s events; I am working on being fit enough to do it in a somewhat coherent manner. If you are coming along get on your bikes people we have got hill training to do!

2) How does my work differ from others in it’s genre?

Bannf Mount Norquay

The blog is a fun project for my husband and I that likely does not fit well in a genre. We love adventure, being active and have learned in 30 plus years of marriage that laughter is vital. The blog is our life story. Those of you who know us in person say this is how we are all the time. We are pretty open about our lives here on Travel Tales. That’s somewhat different I think.

3) Why do I write/create what I do?

Piedmont Italy

Five years ago we arrived in Italy for our first cycling trip and I sat down to write my Mom an email. Looking to save time I copied in a few  friends and family. Over the years and adventures the email list kept expanding. Basically people wanted to see what crazy thing we would dream up next. In August, 2013 before heading to Slovenia, with much encouragement from that group, I put my fear aside and signed on to WordPress, and back loaded the group emails as blog posts

I blog now because I still love to tell the stories, we enjoy learning about photography, albeit by baby steps, but moreso the interaction with extraordinary people from around the world leaves us with a much bigger view of this planet.

The comments section of my blog is the best reading of all and I mean that sincerely. The diversity and richness of writing, humor and conversation from readers has been an unexpected gift.

4) How does your writing creative process work?

Those are not wrinkles on my neck, merely shadows

Those are not wrinkles on my neck, merely shadows

I don’t have a formal writing process. (Gasp can be heard from the true writers out there.) While on an adventure whether it be cycling, running or a road trip an idea pops into my head. A story comes to mind. I write as though you were sitting beside me and I was talking your ear off.

Now with great pleasure I take you to Finland to meet Vasilis. He blogs at Traveller’s Tree. Dad to a five year old and married for 20 years the wanderlust bug has bitten them all. Originally from Athens, Vasilis is fluent in Greek, English and Finnish. He claims his Japanese is a bit rusty and can manage conversations in Swedish and Estonian. I barely speak English.

Finland Lake

Photo of Partsimaanjärvi courtesy of Vasilis Meschinis at Traveller’s Tree

Vasilis has a spectacular sense of humor and his fun shines through his posts and beautiful photos no matter where in the world he takes you.

Many of you have been so kind to me as I navigated this new blogging world. In turn I would ask that you visit Vasilis and I guarantee you are in for a treat.

If you don’t know where to start click here to read his post on designer outdoor loos in Finland. I promise a chuckle awaits you.

Feeling badly about the weather during your summer? click here and Vasilis will grab you a parka while you read about midsummer celebrations in Finland. That should make you feel better.

Enjoy your virtual trip to Finland and do say hello to Vasilis from me.