Es heißt nicht, dass man sich einfach durch das Leben planlos bewegen soll, man sollte aber in der Lage sein, sich einfach gehen zu lassen, weil es ein bestimmtes Wunder gibt, in die unberechenbarkeit der Zukunft. Und wenn man sich überraschen lässt, der Welt wird einfach viel spannender.
Wir kommen in Stockholm an, nach eine lange reise von 500 km ungefär und der Plan ist nacher Oslo. Wir machen couchsurfing bein einem Mann, der kam zurück von einem Trip im norden von Norway und Schweden. Der kennt sich aus mit der Natur des Landes und da er gibt uns den Ratschlag zu die kleine Inseln rum Stockholm zu fahren, wir machen das. Und der Ort ist wunderschön. Wir lernen viel jeden Tag und etwas, dass immer wieder kommt ist, dass manchmal planlos ist das beste Plan.
One of the great things about hitchhiking is that you get to meet a lot of people you wouldn’t normally meet if you would travel by bus or train and your destination is a lot more vague and open to changes. On top of that, many of the people are locals, for which you get a closer look into the culture and the places. I have to say, the first time Cate and I engaged in a hitchhiking trip was in Spain and we took a week off to hitchhike to the north of the country and as it was our first time, we had everything planned beforehand. We had our couchsurfers already waiting for us and the places we wanted to visit pinned on the map. We had to, I mean, it was december and although winter in Spain is not as rough as in other places, sleeping outside without a sleeping bag or a tent was probably the worst idea ever. And thankfully we were lucky enough to find a place to stay every night after realising that we were not always able to reach our planned destination. But we learned a lot in that first encounter with the road. First, you’ll definitely need a sleeping bag and preferably a tent as well, if you don’t want to die of hypothermia due to the cold and high level of humidity on the ground. Second, you can plan as much as you want, there is no way on earth that your days will end up as planned. Maybe you get picked up, maybe not, maybe you end up camping in the middle of nowhere or maybe in a different destination. All of these make of hitchhiking our favourite way of transport.
In this post I want to talk about planning and why we avoid it was the plague. And although planning can be useful most of the time (and necessary) while hitchhiking, there are thousands of factors that come into play for the developing of the situations we find ourselves in. One of them is people you meet on the way and the influence they can have on your planning. We were staying at a guy’s place in Stockholm, Lasse, who had just returned from a road trip to the north of Norway after having quit his job for the hope to rewrite his present. The wonderful thing about him was that he was an expert on the nature of his land and we talked long about national parks and all what Sweden and Norway had to offer in terms of camping in nature. Our plans were to go to Oslo after Stockholm and maybe stop in a nice place on our way there. But we got some advice from Lasse, who recommended us to try hitchhiking a boat to the islands that surround the area of Stockholm. So our destination changed to Runmarö, probably the most famous little island of that region.
We had no problem hitchhiking a boat and because the weather was good, blue sky and the sun shining bright, we walked the entire island in search for the best place from which to see the sunset. We always use google maps in satellite mode to see how the terrain looks like and where we could camp and so on, and on the other end of the island there was a place with cliffs that faced the sunset directly and looked like a good place to put our little tent on. So we headed into that direction following the path. At some point however, the path ended and we had to go inside the forest. Different paths would emerge and disappear and we just kept going, following the right direction.
At some point, we came to a little house with an old man and asked for some directions. There is no direct path, he said, and pointed out some different paths that should take us there but would probably take too long, since our aim was to see the sunset on top of the island and it was slowly getting late. We thanked him for his time and told him we would find a way somehow. And the old man replied: “I can see you will not take the path, you don’t look like the kind of girls that will take the easiest way out”. To which we responded that we don’t necessarily try to make it more complicated nor look for the most difficult path. If there is a path that can lead us to where we want to go, we will most likely follow it, is just when there is no path to our destination that we will open up one ourselves. That’s all. And we kept on going. At some point the vegetation was getting more and more tight and we had to sort our way through branches and bushes but we finally made it to the cliffs, and it was breathtaking.
The thing is, we have learnt that it doesn’t matter where you camp, it will most likely be a great experience (the being in nature is already something wonderful) but if you try a little harder, there is always a place that will blow your mind and those places are the ones that really make you see how much beauty you can find in this world. And the moment you arrive after all the effort is compensated by a feeling of strength and enjoyment. We watched a beautiful sunset and got to camp in the most amazing place so far.
Totally unplanned, but a wonderful experience. And the fact is, planning will somehow narrow your opportunities. When we plan to get somewhere for an exact date, we cut out all the other possible destinations. We decided not to plan because of moments like this, moments of complete spontaneity in which you get to seize the moment and let yourself be taken away by where you day brings you. And I think this can be applied in every part of our lives. Sometimes organization is necessary and will take you a long way but in other situations, being free to be spontaneous will bring you so much more. Spontaneity is a gift, using it is what brings you to happiness, I mean, at the end, all gets reduced to the act of accepting the unknown of the future.