I live in Rovaniemi, the Capital of Finnish Lapland. Rovaniemi, a very international town today, is Europe’s largest by land area (diameter 130 km). Famous Santa Claus (Father Christmas, “Joulupukki” in Finnish) has main office at the Arctic Circle just 7 km north of downtown area. I make my living as a teacher of children 10-13 years old at Syväsenvaara comprehensive school. My school is well-known as an official Santa Claus school. I travel mostly with my husband Mauri (Timonen). As he is a forest scientist involved with many international projects, I have had an opportunity to attend many of his conferences. I have visited more than 10 times the USA, six times Greece, three times Singapore and four times Australia. I have also lived in Sweden (Stockholm) together over 4 years. My 'dream of dreams' came true in 1992 during our honeymoon trip around the World (Rovaniemi -Helsinki -Los Angeles –French Polynesia -Australia -Singapore -Helsinki -Rovaniemi). Tahiti had been in my special interest since the age of 11 (1964). My life dream arose from a tv series called “Villervalle in the South Seas”, based on Bengt Danielsson's book. Another outstanding trigger in my life was Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl's books about his Fatuhiva “paradise” experience and his Kon-Tiki expeditions to the Tuamotu Islands in the South Pasific. Music has always been first attraction in my learning about new foreign, ancient, original and ethnic cultures. Not until thereafter have come the other important aspects like history, science, culture of the region. That’s the way I discovered Greece through Mikis Theodorakis' music in 1964. Tahitian music style has always induced special yearning for distant memories in me. One of my honoured idols was French underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau. His amazing scientific tv series about sea life and studies about “sunken” human history inspired me to go to a scuba diving course in 1989. Having a diploma opened a new fantastic water world in my life. Well, sharing sea life with small sharks in a reef of Bora Bora (French Polynesia) at 20 m depth was really a lovely and shocking experience during my round-the-world honeymoon trip. My motto in life is: " Happiness cannot be sought, it comes through living ". One of the basics in my philosophy is: instead of thinking "Do today, not tomorrow" I prefer to " Do now, not today! " An enriching idea in life, in my opinion, is to view the world — not only “horizontally” — but also upwards and downwards and also vice versa. Having different, even opposite, perspectives provides more views to life, thus making it richer and more challenging. That’s why I also like, across from scuba diving, to challenge myself also with a world offered by sky and outer space “sightseeing”. I feel astronomy really has expanded my time spans and thinking. There is one more view: the United Nations and the Olympic Movement are close to my heart. Why? Because these two organizations try to advance World Peace by bringing nations from all over the World together. I feel very important to be a part of this kind community. I attended last summer the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. After this great and successful trip. I am already waiting for the London games in 2012 to come. But this is not all: I am excited to think whether to go in 2016 to the Chigago, Rio, Madrid or Tokio Games. My trip to Jamaica and Cayman Islands was indeed a pleasant experience: sea, sun, history, culture and rewarding talks with local people. My next longer trip heads to South-Africa, India or to a South-American country with a connection to Antarctis.I shall make my decison after the World Conference of Dendrochronology that is held in my hometown in Rovaniemi in 2010. The conference is important to me for many reasons. One of the important ones is to meet my many foreign friends. I am happy to finish analysing my mental life here.
Thank you so much to Charles for establishing, maintaining and developing this wonderful website. Belonging to this community of open-minded people, I have got a new criteria for judging my future trips: considering earning some MTP points wherever in the world I am travelling! I wish best luck and success to every member of the MTP community. I hope everybody's dreams will become sooner or later on true!
Photo taken in Kingston, Jamaica, June 2009. PS2. More about my activities at http://maputi.pp.fi
My Favorite Places:
Tahiti, Hawaii, California (White Mountains, Bristlecone pine, Death Valley), Arizona (Tucson, Mojave desert), Nevada (Las Vegas), New York, Monaco, France (Nice), Grece (Athens, Olympia, Santorini), Egypt (Abu Simbel), Sahara desert, Siberia, Ural Mountains, Beijing, Tibet, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean