An unexpected walk
Have you ever thought about living in the forest for a couple of months? Neither had I! Sitting on a terrace (in January!) during one of my last days in Barcelona, the idea for this adventure started to form. For the previous years I had worked and lived just a few hundred meters away from the sea. Even during winter months, I could simply walk to the beach, sit in the sand, and watch the waves. I was surely going to miss that! After all, I had quit my job and was heading for Berlin. From past experience I knew that the sea there is not close at all. And besides, winters can be quite harsh. Still, who said I could not live in Berlin and walk to the beach in winter anyways? Sure, it would take a bit longer and I better had warm clothes with me. But other than that it simply seemed like a matter of time and determination. The idea stuck with me over the coming weeks. And so, in the beginning of February I started to walk. Equipped with a small backpack and hotel reservations for the first three nights, I stepped out of the door, onto the street in Berlin-Neukölln, and on foot started my way to the German coast. My goal was to walk over the course of two weeks to Zinnowitz, a little town on the Baltic sea. I had plans for the time after, so there was no time to loose! The weather forecast was anything but promising, but it felt like it was then or never! Not for a second did I think of the possibility that this walk ultimately would last in total for almost four months. Quite the opposite. On DAY four I thought I had to go back. I had caught a cold. And my feet were in such a bad shape that walking just a few meters was super painful. As a consequence, I was checking the train connections for the next morning back to Berlin. After an extended shopping spree to the local pharmacy, however, I put in another day. And from there everything went uphill. After about two weeks I reached Zinnowitz!
On the next morning, I went to the local pier and watched the sunrise, feeling happy I had really made it to the sea. Then I realized, it was not yet time to go home! After all, I had quit my job in Barcelona to get out, to have some time to think. And so I had another “If not now, then when?”-moment. Finally, I decided to simply go on and walk through Sweden! I cancelled all my plans and took the ferry to Ystad, from where I first walked to Malmö. There, I bought a lot of equipment, since I knew I could not afford to live in hotels for a couple of months. And then I walked and walked and walked, sleeping most of the time either in wind shelters or the little tent I had bought. There were some cold nights! But with a fire, I was pretty warm most of the time. Plus I was really lucky, as it was a rather mild winter in Sweden. In May, after about 1500 km along the red path on the map above, I arrived in Oslo. Quite an adventure it was! With many exciting, happy, scary, beautiful moments and wonderful encounters along the way. During these months, I wrote a tumblr. So if you are interested in pictures and hearing some more stories about this unexpected walk of mine, you can follow this link and read some more.