I woke up in the middle of the night, feeling stressed. In my dream, I was out walking again, and I had to reach my destination before the darkness settled in. It took me a while to realise that it was in fact just a dream, and that my journey through Norway was over.
I was lying safe and warm in an extremely comfortable bed at Lindesnes Hav Hotel and my hiking days were in the past. After 119 days and 3.969.371 steps, my journey was ended. I couldn’t believe it. I had reached my goal, I had finished what I set out to do, and I was more proud of myself than I can say. But the physical and mental tiredness was quite overwhelming, so I felt more like a zombie than a champion.
The best thing about being done was that I could see Simon and my family again. My trip had brought me closer to myself, and therefore closer to the ones that I love.
So after a huge breakfast containing of eggs and sausages, bred, butter and jam, yoghurt, fruit and berries, waffles and coffee, the road trip from Lindesnes to Asker and family reunion could begin.
It was weird to see the kilometres fly by while sitting still. 375km in five hours instead of 12 days, wow!
In Asker, my mum was waiting for me with a hug only a mother can give. Simon and I joined her yoga class before we drove back to her place for a delicious dinner: får-i-kål (directly translated: sheep-in-cabbage). An evening of complete relaxation, just what I needed.
Next day, I drove to ask my friend of honour Evelina to be my maid of honour, and she said yes! Evelina and her husband Frederic were leaving for a five months sailboat-trip the very next day, so I was so happy I could see them before they went. They’re just as adventurous as I am, and I can strongly recommend their vlog (see video below) - @everlastingeweline @fredericnyborg - www.wildfire.no
The last reunion before Simon and I went back to Denmark, took place at my dad and Liv’s mansion. Hugs, tacos and ice cream were on the menu, a perfect recipe for a good evening.
Home, sweet home
In Norway, we have a saying: “Borte bra, men hjemme best” (directly translated: Away is good, but home is better). For four months, my home had been anywhere I decided to camp, in a cabin or in my tent, in the wilderness or on a camping site, and I loved it. But the time had come for me to return to a stationary home: the cute cottage-like house from Simon’s mother’s childhood in the charming village of Bylderup, Denmark.
It took some time to get used to the “normal” life. I no longer had to register how many steps I had taken or writing down how many kilometres I had walked.
My legs were still stiff as hell, especially in the morning. I could hardly walk straight, I was crouched like an old woman and limping like a wounded soldier. I probably looked more like Quasimodo than a tall Scandinavian woman.
My subconscious was still processing my trip through Norway in my sleep, because in my dreams, I would still stress about everything that was my daily life for four months. I would wake up feeling stressed, and spent hours pondering about my worries until I would finally realise that my journey was over.
Right now, I’m sitting in my (soon-to-be) in-law’s house in Belgium, thinking back on my long journey through the exceptionally long country of Norway this summer.
I remember I said that I had come to realise that the wilderness lifestyle is not my lifestyle. Which is the truth, but the adventurer inside me loved all the challenges I had to face and all the difficulties I had to overcome. Especially now when I can sit inside with dry clothes and a stomach full of food, when I can think back and remember everything that happened and everything I learned.
One of the most important lessons I learned, was to take it step by step, and that each step would bring me closer to my goal. This, I think, is also an important lesson in life. If you try to do everything at once, or keep worrying about how much there is still to do, things will seem more complicated than they actually are, and you’ll easily feel overwhelmed.
To see what you can do today, what you can do at this very moment, will always be good enough.
I am still processing what happened. Everyday, a memory or a flashback comes to me. It can be a cherished memory or a traumatic one, but they all matter, they are all important. I treasure them, because I learn from them.
People have been very curious about my trip through Norway, and I’ve noticed that a lot of the same questions are being asked, so I thought, for my next blog entry, to have a Q&A. So if you are planning to walk NPL, or if you’re just curious, please ask and I will gladly answer. So stay tuned, and thank you for following.
Here are some photos from the neighbourhood of my current location: Damme, Brugge, Belgium.