I am not a very nostalgic person. Partially because I do not like to dwell on the past, I rather look out for new adventures but also because I have a memory like a sieve. I hardly ever remember things that happened a couple of years ago.
Last night, after I had finished packing my backpack for my autumn trip, I snuggled up to my boyfriend (who will stay at home) and we talked about our hike in Japan. His memory was way better than mine especially when talking about details and that is why I tend to write a blog for my longer trips. It basically is my diary.
Now, where am I going this time of year? 38 years back in time! Yes that specific and yes that long ago.
In 1983 our class teacher (in)famous Andreas von Dechend took about 35 students who were 7th graders at the time and hiked with them the “Westweg” in the Black Forest. Roughly 280 km from Pforzheim to Basel. With backpacks and tents. I was one of them.
I know we did the trip, I even remember that I wrote a short piece about it that was published in the school wide magazine, but besides that there are only three things I have never forgotten.
No 1. In my whole life I have never frozen as much as on that trip. With my todays hiking knowledge it is a wonder that I did not die of hyperthermia. Okay, perhaps I am exaggerating but only so slightly.
No. 2 borrowing shoes sucks! We were poor and I mean not knowing how to pay for food poor at some stage. So my mum became extremely thrifty, even though at that time we did much better. So I got a pair of old and heavy hiking boots from my teacher’s wife. I think at some stage my feet only consisted of blisters… they hurt and I really struggled not giving up.
No 3 was a lesson for life and became my unconscious credo and saved my behind more than once: There is no limit to what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. Everyone back home thought we would fail but we have proven them wrong. Don’t get me wrong, it was not easy and a mental and social challenge, after all we were between 13-14 years old and in the midst of puberty. Still it was the most powerful lesson and message I got in my 13 years of being a student at the school.
You might ask why am I hiking the same bit again and why now? An easy explanation is to test equipment that I want to take on a much longer trail in a couple of years and getting some exercise. Than it also fits nicely with the new book Béa I are writing and that hopefully will be published early next year. Though I have the suspicion, that part of me needs that energy boost combined with some quality solitude hiking through mountains and woods and sleeping in the middle of nowhere at times.
If you want to see some beautiful pictures of nature the coming two weeks head over to my instagram account orimon because if all goes well the IPad will be on its way home on Monday.