I was sitting in my sleeping bag in the tipi on my last night there, and it feIt surreal. Had it only been three weeks? Well, just living there without travelling in between it was actually just two weeks, but it felt like I had never lived anywhere else but there.
It had all started with that gut feeling, that I needed to come to Sweden and experience living outside without a program or course. Initially I had thought of a week or so, and then it got so much more. Things fell into place, and I could stay at a place in the forest with a woman that I basically just met two months before, and even then only saw for two days. But we both felt a deeper connection. That there is more in store for us in this life.
I had it all planned out, but it came so very different…
Self-sufficient as I am, I had ordered a Kohte (tipi-type tent, actually more a Lavvu) to live in that should have arrived right on time before my departure. But there was a delay because of holidays, and so it came a week too late.
Well, I’m a wilderness person, I thought. I will just bring my tarp and I will be fine. And I probably would have been. To some degree. For a while. Somewhat “roughing” it. But since I arrived pretty late in the evening, I had asked my new friend if I could stay in her tipi on my first night at least, so I could put up my tarp during daylight and not at pitch dark. And she was gracious enough to pick me up from the train and we drove to the nearby parking space and hiked to camp through the dark.
And step by step, the magic happened. It was so cozy in the tipi, with the tiny wood stove and having that round shape of the building, with the natural canvas. And since we had such an instant connection, l asked her, if I could keep sleeping in the tipi with her. – and she was okay with it!
Leaving before even having arrived yet
But before we could even really get to know each other, I already had to leave again for a scouting trip north, for the training I would be doing in February. So I was staying at friend’s places, in a tarp-tent, under a tarp in the middle of nowhere, in a cozy waggon, until about a week after I had first arrived, I was finally back at the tipi, that was going to be and become my home for the following two weeks and who knows how long after that.
Now, our journey of instant Connection could finally begin.
Well, even with instant connection there is bound to be some “getting to know each other” friction. There is that phase of “Who are they? What do they expect? What do they want and not want? What might piss them off?” And we went through that phase in about 2 or 3 days. By the end of the first week of staying at the tipi, we had reached a stage, where we had already started to sync each other’s thoughts. And by the end of the whole experience, we were joking of not even having to talk any more, because we were thinking the same thing so often.
I’m still not sure, what this is all about, and if it’s more about us being together so much and also out in nature, or if it is really a very special bond between us. Well, it is a special bond, BECAUSE we’ve spent so much time together out in nature.
Connecting deeper without a plan or program
The plan for my trip was to spend more time in nature for my own exploration of nature connection and nature immersion without any program or course. To simply live outside as a normal, everyday kind of thing. And to see how to combine this nature immersion with still somewhat running my online business. This included figuring out where to keep my devices so they won’t freeze, how long the power banks would last, where to have good reception or internet, and where to load all the power banks up again. While still connecting with the nature around me and not get caught up by technology.
Even though this might sound stressful, I managed to more and more get into nature’s speed. In November in Sweden, this means, that it gets dark between 3 and 4pm. So if you live in a tipi, with only candlelight, staying up until 7pm already feels really late. And even if you stretch it further, 8pm is the latest time you actually go to sleep. Giving you a solid 10 hours of sleep. Each day. It is truly fascinating, how calming the effect of enough sleep is to the body.
cold is relative
It took me a while, to really adjust to the cold. Not because it was too cold, but because I needed to get a feel of the temperature, how much I was moving, and how many layers each action would require. In the beginning, I had way too many layers, but shed them one by one. Just like my weight. Staying out in the cold and also moving a little, is the best way to burn calories. And for some reason, a lot of people (including myself) actually want less food when living outside.
Also, washing yourself in icy cold water (or snow), as well as drinking icy cold water takes some getting used to. But the more the body adjusts to the surroundings, the easier it is. And: Knowing and remembering how good it feels AFTER washing, helps to just jump.
Remembering, what’s important
Before coming to the forest, I had again reached a stress level that wasn’t compatible with my values any more. I was so focused on getting things done, that I had completely lost sight of what’s important to me. And even though my stress level was already way lower than only a few years ago, I had also adjusted my standards accordingly. So even though I still felt that pressure of wanting to accomplish “everything”, I was already taking a lot more time for self care.
Staying out in nature for a while though, allowed me to go even deeper into slowing down and relaxing, and simply needing the time it takes. Especially hauling up a huge backpack full of firewood up the hill each day was teaching me yet another level of patience and humility.
I took the time to actually start reading a book that wasn’t mainly focussed on work. And simply doing everything in a slow and deliberate pace. Taking a lot of time to check in with my friend, connecting more bit by bit. Taking the time to clean up, cook, eat, let my thoughts wander and most importantly, after about a week of just being out at camp, I got a lot of inspiration to write again.
The hardest part is letting go
So after those three weeks, it felt almost impossible, to leave this place and the people that had given me the space to come back and connect to my deepest essence more and more. And even though it is a temporary goodbye, since it is just the start of my vision to build a rewilding area for all beings, humans included. It feels like the first step. The prototype, that will continue in just a little less than 4 weeks. But especially when you’re in love, you want to spend every waking moment with that person. And with projects and places there is no difference.
So it is, just like with so many nature connected cultures, that it is not a goodbye, but a “until we see each other again.”