After we made our way back to the hotel, we collected our belongings and then caught the shuttle to the airport. We were considering potentially going to the town near by but the bus wasn’t the most reliable and you can walk from one side of the town to the other side of town in about 15 minutes so it didn’t really seem worth it. We ended up sharing the shuttle with a lovely couple from Atlanta that had actually just spent the last few months in Chile and hiking the glaciers in the southern tip. They are my inspiration.
We got to the airport and, I knew that the Ivalo airport was small after arriving there but I just didn’t realize how small. The security line was less of a security line and more of a just a quick 10 steps between arriving and entering the main area. The thing is, the airport is closed most of the time because they don’t have enough flights going in and out of there. So if you get there super early, you have one coffee shop to hang out at and then that’s it. So luckily, we didn’t have to wait too long so we stopped at the coffee shop to get sandwiches for the flight and then made our way through the security line and went to find seats where we could charge our phones. The area by the two gates of Ivalo Airport is basically like a food court. They have a free snack area for specific flights where you can grab a free cookie or some nuts. Then you sit and wait. There’s an adorable little fireplace with some rocking chairs, but the rest of it is pretty sterile and what you would expect out of an airport.
We boarded the flight and made our way back to Helsinki. We had booked our travels so that we could get a night in Helsinki and then fly back to the States the next day to minimize the stress of trying to get home. When we arrived, we tried to catch the hotel shuttle and it was so busy that the hotel shuttle was super late and then people were super rude trying to get onto the shuttle itself. I ended up getting on and having to stand to make sure we didn’t have to wait another hour before we got to the hotel. Once arriving at the hotel, we got to our fairly minimalistic room and got ready for bed. We were definitely pooped after our whirlwind trip.
The next morning, we woke up early, caught the shuttle to the airport and started our way back to the States. We stopped in Iceland on the way home and that was a terrible experience. As much as I hate to say it, all the flights leading back to the States were boarding out of gates right by each other and the lines were not descriptive as to which gate you were supposed to go to. It was a mess, super hot, and the food court right next to our gate had run out of most of their food. I believe that with the increase in tourism over there, their airport hasn’t upgraded their infrastructure to support the volume of people funneling through the airport. We eventually got to our actual gate, boarded the bus and then boarded our flight back to Seattle.
Once we landed in Seattle, Kristina and I parted ways and I found some time sitting by my next flight and started to crash. My body realized just how close I was to getting back home that it was over everything already. I boarded the last flight to Los Angeles, and had the realization that it was time to get back to reality. Once I landed in LA, it meant that my job hunt had to start all over again. It was time to officially get ready for adulthood all over again.