12 weeks of city life in Berlin was enough to wake up again my longing to go outdoors, hike, camp, live again the simple and happy life outdoor. I enjoyed to the fullest being back in my flat, seeing friends and family, eating when and what I want, be clean, live in a clean place, have a daily routine. Search for a job that could possibly keep me happy, write applications, do interviews and get more confident seeing that the recruiters appreciate actually my time out. Starting to think about creating my own business, together with my sister. How can we combine my passion and knowledge of hiking and mountains with the ideas and business knowledge of my sister? Can I integrate my marketing knowledge and passion for writing I developed over the last year into something bigger? Can we build a business in a product space of which we don’t have any knowledge of, but the passion and will to move it forward? Well, a lot of things are keeping me busy lately but we are not yet ready to reveal more about our idea. Stay tuned!
But back to my hiking life! A few weeks ago I heard about an event organised by outdoor suppliers from Jämtland in northern Sweden, Jämtland Outdoor Experience (JOE). The goal is to provide an outdoor education and testing program mainly for retailers, but they also welcome bloggers and journalists. I only heard about it a day after the application deadline finished, but tried my luck anyway. And to my surprise I got invited to the JOE event! I will get to test quite a lot of the equipment from the retailers (including the high quality Hilleberg tents plus clothing, boots, backpack from Woolpower, Klättermusen, Lundhags!). So I actually wouldn’t need to pack much, but well, since I will be in Sweden anyway, I have to do at least a part of the famous Kungsleden as well 😉 And so I end up packing up all my gear again, enjoying this time buying and preparing trail food from home!
I have an early flight to Stockholm, luckily Air Berlin (who is now actually bankrupt) is still doing most flights, in my case on time and almost empty…
The airport bus takes me within 30 minutes for quite some money to the central station (still only half of the price of a train ticket). I put my backpack in the locker and Starr walking around town. Drottninggatan, the most famous “shopping” street and Gamla Stan, the old town.
Many years ago I went a few times to Stockholm for work and stayed often the weekend to explore this beautiful town. So I know Stockholm still quite well and it doesn’t matter that I reduce my sightseeing to a minimum as I am tired. During the weekend I was so sick I doubted I could even do the whole trip, now it’s down to a “regular cold” so bearable but I still feel a bit weak. So I enjoy a good lunch and a nice coffee before taking my train at 5pm to Östersund, a 5h train ride. [I have to add a personal note here to Camilla who I know is reading my blog – I wish I had more time in Stockholm to see you!].
It feels quite strange to be back travelling. After all the months of travelling on my own, I now feel quite lonely sitting in the train on my way into the unknown. How come I still have this feeling of unease at the start of a new journey even though I look forward to it? There seems to be always a fear of the unknown within me, despite my longing for it!
Finally I arrive in Östersund, just the time for a chat with 3 guys from Berlin who will be on a paddling trip the next 10 days. I let myself into the STF hostel as the reception is already closed. I am happy to get the last lower bunk and go sleeping immediately. It’s 10.30pm and I need a good rest! The other people in my room think differently, chatting, walking in and out till late before snoring like hell. I guess I really didn’t miss sleeping in a hostel! So much for my sleep, adventure is waiting for me anyway tomorrow!