Written by Hana Vacková
Nov 17 2017
Walking around Copenhagen the day after we disbanded as a group, I felt immense gratitude and longed for someone to share it with. I wonder if the Danes noticed my grateful attitude which manifested itself through complimenting strangers in the street. Gratitude circles and appreciations were something we would usually do as part of our morning circle routine, core team meetings or right before sharing dinners in the evening. But those days are gone, so I thought I might share my imperfectly incomplete list of gratitudes with the online world instead. Who knows, maybe it will reach some of those who were such an integral part of our journey.
Thank you to nature for being so plentiful and giving during our entire trip. For all the colorful and juicy berries, the foraged mushrooms, the edible flowers and salad greens, the plenty of wood, dry kindling and birchbark, the soft moss carpets to sleep on, all the springs, streams, rivers, lakes for providing us with water to drink from and wash in, the songs of birds, the wind, and the sea. What an incredibly generous host!
Thank you to our (most of the time) healthy bodies for carrying us through 2 months of sunshine, rain, wind, and snow. Mine impressively carried a 60-liter backpack with very few bruises or blisters. And it did not even get sick from the massive temperature shocks of the Swedish saunas and icy seawater. Bodies are incredible.
Thank you to all the libraries (and librarians!) during our trip - from Mora to Malmö - providing us with quiet spaces for planning, group meetings, journaling, creating blackout poetry, charging our electronics, drying our wet tents (don't tell anyone!), having bathrooms to fill our bottles with tap water and so much more. I am so grateful!
P.S. I am finishing up this post in the public library in Helsingborg and love how full of life it is even on a quiet Friday afternoon.
Thank you to everyone who picked us up when hitching. To the young woman with a month-year old baby and not much space in her car. To Bilal from Pakistan for giving us a free ride from Malmö in his luxury taxi. To Bonnie in Höör who kindly offered us a ride from the supermarket when we were struggling to fit 6 days worth of food into our 2 backpacks. To the 2 Syrian men who taught us the Swedish and Arabic words for cold and friends. To the young Syrian man driving from Simrishamn who lost his entire family in the war. Each LiC participant could add many similar stories to the list. With each successful ride, I became more and more hopeful and trusting of people, so willing to help once you reach out to them.
PEOPLE IN GENERAL
Thank you to all the people who showed us their curiosity, care, and kindness and wished us well on our journey. To Ingrid, a teacher from Bergetskolan in Orsa, for such a warm welcome and sharing her passion for teaching and embodying the values of respect, freedom, and love in her everyday work with the students. Peter from VaraVild for kindly offering his workshop on intuition tracking. To Andy from Change of Nature for holding our group together in a difficult time and sharing his love for nature. To the man who stopped to chat with us when he saw us sitting by the road - just because. To the young boy who did not bat an eyelid to fill up our water bottles from his tap. To the waitress in a bakery in Kåseberga who gave us delicious bread and pastries that would otherwise be fed to the pigs. To the couple who stopped on the beach to admire the story of our journey drawn in sand. The list could go on and on. I seriously believe walking might be one of the best ways how to restore one's faith in humanity.
And most importantly, thank you to Chloe, Chris, Håkan, Joana, Jonny, Karl, Kit, Lauren, Marie, Tom, Sam, Sarah - the 12 (+1) brave souls who chose to dedicate their time and share their cheeky smiles, germs, and love for the outdoors. Sharing the past two months with you has been both a pleasure and a privilege. Thank you!