Let’s play Travel ABC’s

Hey fellow travel enthusiasts!

I’m currently doing a fun travel game over on my travel Instagram, @mirvaonthemove. (FYI: I also have an IG account just for Guadeloupe photos, which is @guadeloupeguide. So if you like palm tree photos, head over to that one!).

This Insta game that I invented is called the “Travel ABC’s” and the goal is to post a photo every day of a country/state/city you have been to, in an alphabetical order. I just started a few days ago together with a few other IG users, so it’s still easy to join.

If you want to take part, just use the hashtag #travelabcs and tag me @mirvaonthemove. You’d have to post four photos to catch up: places starting with an A, a B, a C and a D. It might be best if you could post a few photos per day so that you can quickly catch up with the rest of us. 🙂 Tomorrow is letter E.

Here’s what I’ve posted so far.

There are also a few more rules:

  1. When you post a photo, you should tell a little story of the place/country where the photo was taken. (Don’t forget to use the hashtag #travelabcs and tag me at @mirvaonthemove).
  2. You can post about a country, a state or a city that starts with that letter.
  3. If you can’t think of any place starting with a particular letter that you would have been to, you need to reach out to another IG user (maybe a friend of yours, or a new contact) and ask them to loan a photo to you from that place. Then post that photo to your IG. In the status you can say that while you haven’t been to a place starting with letter X, another IG user has in fact been there. And then tell what the IG user had to say about it. And make sure to tag them in the photo to give them credit! (PS. If you need a photo from someplace, feel free to ask me! I’ve been almost everywhere…haha!)

That’s it! See you on Instagram, over at #travelabcs!

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The Helsinki Airport Book Swap: From a random idea to reality

Back in the fall of 2011 I was on a 10-hour plane ride with Finnair, flying from Japan back to Helsinki, when I finished a book I had been reading for a few weeks. It may have been Pico Iyer’s colorful Video Night in Kathmandu, or Rusty Young’s Marching Powder, a novel set in the infamous Bolivian prison of San Pedro that I visited in 2008. I can’t remember for sure.

But I do remember thinking, “I wish there was a book swap at Helsinki Airport so that I could switch this book for another one before my next flight.” And thus I posted this suggestion on the Quality Hunters blog (at the time I was working as one of eight QH travel bloggers hired by Finnair and Finavia):

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Much to my surprise, the blog readers liked the idea, as did Finnair and Finavia. The book swap became reality in the spring of 2012! Hurray! It’s located next to departure gate 27, up the stairs toward the Fly Inn Restaurant & Deli.

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Even though the stylish Airport Book Swap has been around for more than a year, I only witnessed it with my own eyes two weeks ago. That’s because over the past year I’ve merely flown into HEL, not out of there. Luckily now I was at the airport working on a story for Finnair’s in-flight magazine Blue Wings, and I finally got the chance to see my little pet project in real life. Finnair’s own Markku Remes, a familiar face from my Quality Hunting days, showed me the place and I even left a book there. The space was really cute and cozy, it was great to see that it turned out so well! I will definitely go hang out there next time I’m flying somewhere. I hope you’ll do the same if you are ever stopping by HEL!

Have you visited the Helsinki Airport Book Swap? What do you think about the idea?

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