During the summertime, when I try to work near home to get some downtime from my intense winter periods and assignments abroad, I take a few easy hikes every week.

My favorite place is Tiveden Nationalpark and during the daytime, it’s so crowded there, so I avoid it. But during the evenings there are never any people out on the trails. Perfect for me!

My competition with myself is to do the trails at 1/3 of the approximately time the Nationalpark says it will take. So if they say it takes six hours to hike around the lake Stora Trehörningen, I do it under two hours and so on.

This evening when I went out on the trail I actually met someone. We came from opposite directions and I just said hi and let her pass me on the trail since it was a bit narrow. I wondered who is this girl hiking here, alone and this late in the evening. Most unusual.

Then two hours later I had lost the trail markings and was a bit lost. I knew where the sun was and which direction I needed to go so no biggie, but I thought that I would need to climb up on higher ground just to look around and get my bearings. And who do I see there? The same girl, also lost.

We kept company back to the starting point and her name was Kate. She was doing a two months solo road trip around Sweden, visiting different interesting spots. Sometimes camping, sometimes sleeping in the car and sometimes CouchSurfing.

She asked me what I was doing tomorrow and I said I’m free from work and will go out doing some stand-up paddle. Sounds great she said, maybe I can join you? So we got a few days of great adventures with paddling, hiking, and camping.

I love meeting people like this and when I’m working in different countries around the world I’m always in need of friendly local people, showing me where to go, what do do, and they usually take me on adventures like paddling, riding, sailing, diving, climbing, rafting, biking, hiking, etc. This time I got the chance to give back the same way.

Thanks for great adventures Kate!