Spending the first half of May in Japan was interesting, but I was extremely tired when I returned home. Japan is a completely safe country to visit, yet I was unable to relax there. So many things needed to be explored and examined. I barely found time to sleep. Especially because the Japan that I like the most, was the version that only shows up late at night, when almost everyone are in their beds. Walking the dark streets. Watching tired people on their way home from a long day at work. For their size, the cities of Japan turn extremely quiet as midnight approaches. I love that. And I lost a lot of sleep because of that.
Now, what to do when you’re awfully tired? Well, in my case I prefer to just leave my daily routine and replace it with something much simpler. Like walking.
Southern Norway was exceptionally warm and sunny this May. I had another week before I had to show up at work again, and the forecast for that whole week was of the kind that would only bother someone whose life depended on selling enough umbrellas. I decided it was time to go hiking.
Ten years ago I hiked a long distance trail in Norway called Jotunheimstien. It starts in downtown Oslo and can take you all the way to Jotunheimen, a national park in one of the most scenic parts of Norway. It’s 320 kilometers long, a distance that took me 11 days to complete. I enjoyed it so much that I started looking for similar experiences. During the last decade I have completed several multi-day walks, including 800 kilometers of Camino de Santiago all across Spain, a 600 kilometers long stretch of Via Francigena from Milan to Rome, the Overland Track across Tasmania, Australia, and others. They’ve all been good to me.