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“Get out of the comfort zone”

copyright @Jacob Maibaum, www.jacobmaibaum.de

The preparations

When I bought a van in 2017, I started to build it myself. A small kitchen, a bed and a wardrobe inside the van and outside a roof rack with my kayak, roof box and a solar panel. After countless hours of work, the van was ready to go, I had already roughly planned the route – now it was time to travel!

I am infinitely grateful that I was given the opportunity to take a sabbatical.

The journey

For a long time I had the dream to travel to the Lofoten, Norway. But without time pressure, because the roadtrip with the van would take a long time and I wanted to be able to explore everything in peace.

June 2019 -> departure to the north: From Denmark I am on the ferry to Stavanger with my travelling home. Through Fjord-Norway I am heading north to my geographically most northern point Andenes, a small town above the Lofoten. Finally the time had come. The next two weeks my girlfriend, who took her whole summer holiday for it, accompanied me. She had to travel from Hanover to Zurich, further to Oslo from there to Bodo by plane. How crazy is this connection?

The Lofoten, Norway

There is a lot to discover, so we made a plan. In Andenes we start with an incredible campsite right on the beach and see a sperm whale on a whale safari. We continue to the Djevelsporten, a trapped boulder at 500m altitude. On the roads we pass beautiful small fishing villages with red and yellow wooden houses in Hennigsvaer and in Nusfjord. You often see cod hanging on wooden scaffolding to dry – a wonderful smell, not! 😉 The bridges that connect the individual islands of Lofoten are good fishing spots. So there is often freshly caught fish for dinner, fried directly on the campfire.

To reach Kvalivka Beach, you have to hike about two hours. We pack our hiking backpacks with tent, sleeping bag and food and spend the night there. That was our personal highlight! A paradise off the road.

Haukland-Beach – sometimes we do not know if we are really in Norway or in the Caribbean. White sandy beach, crystal clear turquoise sea with mountains rising steeply out of it, water from rivers and lakes with drinking quality and full of fish – all in one place.

Towards the south

After I dropped my girlfriend off at the airport in Bodo, the journey continues for me – again alone. In Trondheim I picked out a laundromat and washed the mountains of laundry. Then I had to dry them at a funny clothesline construction in the van, because it started raining in the afternoon – of course. The next days I spend at the Nærøyfjord, which I paddle down with my yellow kayak. Surrounded by mountains up to 1,400 m high I pitch my tent and spend the night here at the campfire with freshly caught fish. Another highlight of my road trip.

Slowly I approach Kristiansand, the ferry and the end of my adventure.

Conclusion

It is not easy for me to summarize all impressions. What I can say in any case is that “The way is the destination” describes my journey very well. It’s crazy how little you can get by with and how the day structures itself when you are on the road for so long. Norway is a dreamlike beautiful & diverse country. I am very happy that I was given the opportunity to fulfill my dream and that I was able to return to my old position in the local IT department in Hanover without any problems.

Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/PKvLMlY-1Os

Simon Lau

Simon Lau

Hi, my name is Simon. I am in the local IT team in the headquarter of Continental AG. I took a sabbatical to make my dream come true.

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