FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT DOES ZOMBAILUT MEAN?
It’s a Finnish slang term for 'aimless wandering’. It perfectly defines what my travels are all about. When I started this whole thing back in the day, I had no idea what I was getting into and that's why I chose Zombailut as the title of my books. I’ve been trying to find a perfect substitute word for it in English for a few years now, but so far no luck finding one. I guess some words just don’t have the same effect when translated to other languages (Fernweh, Wabi-Sabi, Kalsarikännit etc). So please excuse me for trying to keep our close-to-extinction-language alive just a bit longer.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
I’ve been traveling solo since 2007. That’s when I flew over to Ireland to work there for six months. My plan was to draw my first comic travelogue while I was working there, but life there was quite monotonous. Few years later when I decided to get my ass over to Asia in 2011, I took my sketchbook with me and drew my very first travel journal on the go.
WHY AREN'T YOUR BOOKS IN ENGLISH?
My plan is to translate at least a couple of my books in English in the near future. Right now I'm translating my Asia book (Zombailut – First Blood) in English, but it's gonna take me a while – it's almost 300 pages long (and I'm doing it pro bono). If I ever get to do a book about Africa, that will definitely be available in English from the scratch.
I actually wrote about my travels in Latin America (2014) originally in English but the publisher for that book wanted me to translate it into Finnish because they published books only for Finnish readers. The title of that book was originally Zombailut – Second Trip Syndrome, but I changed it into Zombailut – Tummaa paahtoa (Dark Roast).
HAVE YOU BEEN TO ALL OF THE CONTINENTS?
Not yet. So far I’ve been to Asia, America (North, Central and South), and Europe of course. I’ve visited around 50 countries and drawn roughly 900 pages of travel comics in total.
WHEN’S YOUR NEXT BIG TRIP?
I honestly don’t know. I’m trying to gather money so I could finally go to Africa. I’m hoping to go there before I turn 40 (Right now I’m 32).
HOW LONG ARE YOUR TRIPS?
From five days to a few months. My longest trip so far lasted for 8 months (Asia 2011-2012).
WHAT’S YOUR DAILY BUDGET ON YOUR TRIPS?
Of course it varies depending on which country I go to. I usually try to pick cheap (and eccentric) countries just to be able to live with around 10-30 euros per day (that includes food, shelter, transportation and other activities).
AREN’T YOU AFRAID OF GOING TO THESE WEIRD COUNTRIES?
Not really. Of course I was worried before my first odyssey but after a while the fear wore off. Now I kind of miss that particular fear.
WHERE'D YOU LEARN TO DRAW?
I've been drawing since I was maybe four [source?]. I've noticed that drawing keeps me sane, which is why I try to draw something every day, even if it's just some small scribble on a napkin. I've studied graphic designing at Lahti College of Arts and Crafts 2002-2005 and I have a Bachelor's Degree in graphic design from Lahti University of Applied Sciences 2013-2018. Also, I guess drawing is in my genes, since my uncle and brother are also professional comic artists.
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS ON YOUR TRIPS?
Sure. Even though I’ve traveled in some of the most violent countries in the world, I haven’t encountered nothing I couldn’t handle with just using common sense or my master ninja skills. I’ve met a lot of people who’ve had some truly awful luck on their journeys, but for some reason my trips have been relatively easy compared to those stories. I mean, I've also had situations where I could've easily been killed or robbed or horribly mutilated, if I would've made the wrong move. But that's just part of life, I guess. I still find my hometown Lahti way more frightening than, let's see, some towns in El Salvador.
CAN I GO AND ZOMBAILUT?
Of course you can.
STEP 1: Get some money (Professionals don't need money)
STEP 2: Go explore
BONUS STEP: Don't plan anything before the trip, don't use maps or guide books & draw a travelogue about your trip.
WHAT OTHER PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON?
Feel free to follow me on Instagram. I illustrate and draw comics mostly.