Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where Are you from?

- from Finland

- Aaa! Ari Vatanen, Mika Häkkinen!
(They are Finnish racers, were best known in Brazil)
2. How long are you going to travel more/
When are you returning back home?

- I travel as long as I have money. Then I have to find work and/or sponsors for further travelling. I have planned to return back to Finland in 1999 or 2000.
3. What did you do for your work in Finland?

- I was a computer engineer. I did software development for NMT mobile telephone exchanges in Nokia Telecommunications at Tampere.
4. How old are you?

- 34 years (in 1999)
5. Are you married?

- No. (Asked many times in Middle East :)
(later note: Yes! Married 28 Apr 2000!)
6. How much does travelling cost?

- A lot!!! I spent 18 kUSD in the first year, including two expensive flights. During two years: Nearly 180 kFIM = $30k U.S.
7. What language is spoken in Finland?

- The language is called Finnish. It is spoken only in Finland.
8. Is Finnish language similar at all to German or English?

- No. Finnish is very unique language. Estonian language has some similarities with Finnish, also Hungarian is related but it's similarities are only in grammar. Russian language is somewhat similar in grammar although Finnish is more complex. Estonian language sounds a bit same, Russian is totally different.
9. What currency is used in Finland?

- It is called Finnish Mark, FIM (Markka).
(later note: Mark is valid till end of February 2002 due to Finland's membership to EMU. After 28 Feb 2002 Finland's currency will be Euro.)
10. What city are you from?

- I'm from Kouvola. It's a small town 140 kms North-East from Helsinki. 32 000 inhabitants.
11. How much did your bike cost?

- $4800 U.S. (25000 FIM) as tax free. (Asked many times in Colombia)
12. Do you ever feel lonely?

- Not so often. I meet usually nice people. Sometimes I feel lonely, but very rarely.
13. Are you Japanese?

- No! (Border officer asked this when I was entering Burkina Faso, West Africa. Probably because of my second name is Sakari, which may look like Japanese name)

Are you of Japanese origin?
- No!
14. Will you write a book about your trip?

- No, I don't think so. I'm sure that I am not that good writer. If I decided to make a book, I should give the notes to a professional writer. And also travel books don't sell well, at least not in Finland...
15. Do you ever feel homesick?

- Not so often. But when I saw pictures from Finland the first time (2/98), I understood that I had been homesick.

- Another answer from South America: Sometimes I feel homesick. Especially in Christmas time I missed my family and I would say that I missed also snow!!
16. Is this still the same bike you started with?
(Asked a few times, after two years of travelling)

- Yes, it is the same bike.