Notebook Entry: 2010 Sweden

Who knows better than the explorer about the pull between home and the call of the trail, to be suspended between saudades (the pathos of things) and the lust of the unknown. We might have run out of finding the untouched and the new. The antique idea of the explorer who covers the arctic or crosses monstrous oceans now read as fables. Yet every man is still an explorer of his own deep psyche and the quest for truth.

The noble explorer Fridtjof Nansen explained it in the following manner:

“We all have a Land of Beyond to seek in our life—what more can we ask? Our part is to find the trail that leads to it. A long trail, a hard trail, maybe; but the call comes to us, and we have to go. Rooted deep in the nature of every one of us is the spirit of adventure, the call of the wild—vibrating under all our actions, making life deeper and higher and nobler.”

To be an explorer means moving through the worst conditions and the roughest of terrains, where your only limitations are provided by nature and your inner dialogue.

“Sometimes I delude myself of charming dreams of my return home after toil and victory, and then all is clear and bright. Then these are succeeded by thoughts of the uncertainty and deceptiveness of the future and what may be lurking in it, and my dreams fade away like the northern lights, pale and colorless” . .. Fridtjof Nansen

Swedish trails © 2011 Anja Marais