Janne Koivistoinen is not your average freelance web designer. He creates visual identities and responsive websites for clients around the world while living his own adventure and doing extreme sports.
Combining graphic design, snowboarding, surfing and adventure
I think the introduction of my portfolio "I enjoy life as a graphic designer, snowboarder, surfer and adventurer" says it quite well. Of course, there's always more to one's lifestyle than just titles, but I have always needed that balance between analog and digital lifestyles.
To me, digital lifestyle is when I'm working, designing websites, playing FIFA or just browsing the internet. I love it, I always get the latest gadgets and read tech news. I recently spent way too much money just to wow my girlfriend with some smart lights that I can control with my phone. But, to avoid getting dragged into that world where you don't have to lift a finger anymore, I need something totally opposite.
That's where the analog lifestyle comes in. No computers, electricity or internet. Just being in remote mountains or beaches and breathing in fresh air; it gives you energy, stoke and inspiration, which you can store and then use in the digital world.
Excitement and motivation in the sharing economy
I surround myself with motivational people in my personal life and at work. Working in a sharing economy start-up, Sharetribe, it is also important to share the same goals and get excited about ideas as a team – not just on your own. Excitement creates motivation and motivation creates inspiration.
I wish everyone had the chance to travel by themselves at some point in their life. Fresh out of school, between jobs or when retired, it doesn't matter. Just pack a bag, be open-minded, pick a country and smile - you'll be surprised how much you can learn and receive from strangers when you're willing to give something yourself. I promise, you won't regret it. If one person goes travelling and lives their life to the fullest because they were inspired by me, that would be my greatest achievement.
On a more personal level, being able to do the same activities and extreme sports when I'm 68, motivates me to take care of my body. I want to have an impact on something. I want to overcome my personal fears. I want to inspire.
Lessons from 963 days on the road
My parents always told me that I could do whatever I wanted, if I just put the effort and sweat into it. My mom was a little bit worried when I told her that I was going to travel the world, without a return ticket. That trip took 963 days. It moulded me the same way Bane was moulded by darkness in Batman.
Travelling helped me notice that I'm capable of more than I've ever imagined. I got more confident, and pushed my physical and mental limits. It forced me to adapt to uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations. I realized that you don't have to save a whole village or end famine to impact lives. Be the difference for one person at a time.
It's impossible to point out one moment that taught me the most. Also adjusting back to "normal" life after a long trip is a learning experience, but not the easiest, I'll tell you.
Drinkable Supermeals in startup and outdoor life
Ambronite fits well into both of my lifestyles, digital and analog. When I'm designing, I can easily work 4-5 hours straight without even noticing time pass by. For those creative sessions, I like to keep an Ambronite on my desk so I can fuel up, even at night. Working in a start-up can also get quite hectic sometimes. You don't have the time to shop, cook and eat as healthy as you would like to, and just settle to have something quick and easy - unfortunately not always the healthiest option. So that’s where Ambronite comes in.
It's also a good trekking meal, lightweight so you can bring a few, easy to store and prepare – you don't need gas for it, just add some water and shake it up. Excited to see how it performs during the winter on those freezing snowboarding backcountry missions!
As a bonus tip, I'll always have one package in my carry-on bag, for those long intercontinental flights or layovers. This way you don't have to pay a fortune for an airport meal.
Final advice from the road
Want to see what you are truly made of? Travel and do something that scares you. You can do it