Originally from Luxembourg, Kathrin Deter is a freelancer in Helsinki, Finland in travel and event projects. In addition to writing for the city blog Spotted by Locals, she recently launched her own website and blog, Luminoucity, to share her passion for Helsinki and her trips – but her true mission is to make people see Finland for more than the common stereotypes.
Why do you love traveling & what is the most exciting trip you’ve ever taken?
Traveling is proof to myself that life is exciting. Discovering new places and breathing different air are the most liberating things ever. It can open a whole new world to you, literally!
My parents took me out of Luxembourg, my home country, and around the world starting when I was a kid. The most exciting trip with them was certainly a cruise to Antarctica. I was very little, but I have very vivid memories of that trip because it was so different to things I had seen before. I never liked beach holidays.
Of my personal travels, my road trip through Scotland with one of my dearest friends in the summer of 2012 was without a doubt the most exciting. The landscapes and the feeling of freedom during that trip were incomparable!
How have you designed your life to include travel as a core part of your lifestyle?
Every once in a while I get a tickling in my fingers that I need to get out of my routine, see something new and reboot my brain from all the daily things around. I guess it’s in my blood that I have to travel — I can’t help it!
It doesn’t need to be far away though, and it doesn’t need to be for very long. During the last years I have “mastered” how to travel affordably and to combine my passion for traveling with a little bit of work.
Now with my blog I always try to get a deeper insight of the place I visit and then write about it, so that someone else can also benefit from my experience.
What is one key lesson you’ve learned from living in another country?
You will need to be proactive to make it work for you, and you can’t rely on it working out.
I am a committed optimist, and I believe that you can achieve great things with a positive attitude and patience, but when you’re abroad you can’t rely on things going smoothly. What I enjoy most about living in Helsinki, Finland is the international community of fellow expats and locals who truly makes me feel like I’m home.
What is your dream trip?
That is a really tough question! Probably a roadtrip through New Zealand, but I think first on my list would be to finally see the Northern Lights, wherever! And I have this crazy idea that I want to stand on the North Pole one day…
What would you be doing if you hadn’t started traveling?
Travel was always such a big part of my life that it is really hard to imagine how it would have been without it. If I hadn’t started traveling, I’d probably start traveling!
Any advice for first-time travelers?
This might sound boring, but my advice would be to be cautious and plan ahead! Read blogs, speak with friends, get an idea of the place you’re going to visit, make sure all your arrangements are fixed, surprises are not always fun.
And of course: visit friends or family! In the best case scenario they have some time to guide you around a little bit or even let you crash at their place. There is nothing better than seeing a place with a local.