Alumni Spotlight: Aki Latvanlehto


Mr. Aki Latvanlehto is an engineer originally from Finland, where he also got his education and graduated from the University of Oulu in 2001. He has been living in Asia since 2007, mostly in Japan, and shortly also in China. He was traveling on the Peace Boat's 68th global voyage, Dec 28th 2009-Apr 9th 2010, and at the time he was 33 years old.

What made this abroad experience unique and special?

There are other boats that sail around the world and in my understanding, all the others are just very common tourist ones. In Peace Boat there is a huge amount of different activities where everybody can participate, including lectures and workshops related to peace awareness and similar topics, participating in volunteer work to help running the everyday life on the boat, and participating in exchange programs in the cities where the boat stops.

Also, most of the daily activities are actually filled by the other participant, as anybody is encouraged to teach or share any special knowledge or skills that they have. Then, totally depending on the participants and what is shared, every voyage end up being very different from each other. I think all this make it a very unique program.

Describe your favorite must-have food abroad.

The Brazilian meat buffet is simply amazing, with so many different meat options and various flavors, and they all are delicious. And of course not only meat but also a wide variety of side-dishes.

What is one piece of advice you'd give future passengers on Peace Boat's Global Voyages.

As I mentioned, I wasn't any kind of student during the voyage, but just a common tourist, although participating in many activities and also some volunteer work. Anyway, as there are so many things that can be done, or at least tried out, due to the sharing of so many people, I would recommend to start participating in anything you might be interested, from the very beginning. In Japan it is possible to start participating already long before the actual voyage. You might regret later some missed opportunities if you leave them behind, or even to a later time.

If you could do-over one thing, what would it be?

I made few extremely good friends during the voyage that I spent most of the time with and have been regularly meeting ever since, however, I still would have liked to have met more people and shared experiences and knowledge with them on-board. Fortunately, the networking between the participants have been efficient, and I have been able to make new friends among the participants even after the voyage.