Olympus Digital Camera

Teemu Karhapää

Scandinavia Specialist

Biography

Born and raised in Finland, Teemu spent his youth playing bandy (a popular ice-game in Scandinavia) and actively traveling for sports and leisure in Finland, Sweden, and Norway. He moved to the United States to go to college in 2017, and the fascination with the American culture and people – as well as the opportunity to share his knowledge and advice for people traveling to Scandinavia and Finland – has kept him in the U.S. Teemu is excited to listen to your ideas, and will help you organize the trip of your dreams.

What aspect of travel do you enjoy the most?

Waking up in the morning at the destination: knowing that you will have a full day of unforgettable exploration and big learning experiences in front of you is unbeatable!

What is one thing you would never travel without?

Good shoes! Successfully immersing oneself into a new culture requires a lot of walking – good shoes help to stay focused; or rather, bad shoes prevent from fully focusing, which is a mistake travelers too often make.

What has been your most life-changing travel experience?

As someone who lived the first 19 years of his life in Finland that is known as a calm and highly organized society with quiet people, coming to the United States and being exposed to the dynamism of this country has been life-changing. With that being said, I could imagine the same phenomenon occurring – just reversed – whenever someone travels from the United States to Finland (or Scandinavia).

What has traveling taught you about yourself?

Traveling has taught me how lucky I am. Being healthy enough and having things that well in home that I can – instead of only seeing photos and videos – take an airplane and actually travel to foreign lands is, from my opinion, the greatest celebration of wellbeing in life, and the more I travel, the more grateful I am for being able to do so.

What is your favorite destination, and why?

My family’s summer cottage in Finland. Located far from cities – roughly 70 kilometers (43 miles) from my home city Oulu – this rather small, red wooden cottage in a riverfront with a separate sauna building is a place where I traveled for almost every holiday growing up and still travel every summer. I could imagine that a big portion of Finns would have the same answer: going to a (red) cottage with a sauna in a lake or a riverfront for holidays or weekends is in the DNA of Finns whose heritage is closely tied to the calmness of Nordic forests and nature.

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