New Year’s Eve, the New Year and new resolutions?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

A happy and (hopefully) more sustainable 2019 to all of you!

I hope you had a great start?!

My start was rather wet an dull. But I still want to share the story with you. Because what mattered in the end was the inner journey of my mind. Which was triggered by the small adventure I had.

I had hoped to go back to our Saxon Switzerland National Park over New Year’s Eve, but the weather forecast was rather unpromising. I hestitated for a long time, getting other things done at home, until it was time to decide if I should take the last train to make it on time, or not.

My crazy side won over my lazy side (which was hoping for a comfortable evening)

And so I left my apartment at 10pm with my already prepacked backpack. Of course, I brought my bicylce too. At the train station of my destination (Wehlen) I got out and was instantly greeted by a thick drizzle of rain and fog. Great!

I locked my bicycle, which was only my means of getting back home. As I started hiking it became clear that the vision was anything but clear and that it would not change in the next 1,5 hours that I had left until 12am. After the first 15 minutes on the trail, a trail that I knew quite well, the fog became so thick that I almost walked the wrong way. I stopped and looked around.

And there motivation came driving by…

….on a biycle! Imagine my surprise! There was this guy, one of the 3 other persons that had left the train with me. I had noticed him, because he too had a bicycle and smaller backpack – the only other person who seemed to have a similar plan as me.

That is, who had exactly the same idea as me, or else he would not have been there on the same trail! I told him the direction and watched the lights of his bicylce go by, quickly stopping when he hit the very muddy part of the trail. From there on, he probably had to carry his bicycle, which was why I had left mine at the station.

I had been unsure if I should continue, but this short encounter gave me hope:

“Someone else is as crazy as you are. Going up there in this weather, at this hour, on New Year’s Eve!”

And so I went. After a while I had to get off the well marked trail into unmarked terrain. In daylight and with my map and GPS on my phone, I had always been able to find my way. Navigating through the many confusing trails, that have been created by people like me while looking for the real trail, at night and in the rain was anything but a breeze. My torch was almost useless thanks to the fog and so I slowly made process. Yet I managed to remain calm making sure I stayed off any cliffs or droppings, and checking the map on my phone every few meters to make sure I’m on track, I eventually arrived at my goal.

With 10 minutes to spare until 12am!

Under normal conditions it is a gorgous lookout. You can view the famous Königstein fortress from there and are very likely to meet any tourists there. But today there was nothing to see and it made no sense to waste time setting up my tripod and camera under these conditions!

View over the Lillienstein.
I got his view in the morning, but at night I could not even see the forest below the rocks.

Instead I looked for a suitable place – nothing dry or semi dry could be found – so I settled for a relatively flat spot close to young trees, that were unlikely to drop branches on me at night.

You are not allowed to tent in the Saxon Switzerland Natinal Park. Even though I was outside of the park, I was not quite sure if you are allowed to bring a tent, so instead I had only brought my rain cover, which I now tied to a few branches. By the time the fireworks went off, I had at least a ‘roof’ over my head.

I looked around but didn’t see a single firework

Only flashes of light arrived through the fog. But I had better things to do anyways: Like setting up my bed whilst making sure that none of my gear got wet.

Once that was done, I sat under my tarp thinking:

“It’s actually not that bad. In the end I am starting the new year doing something I love to do. Which is great! I also start my year doing something (camping) that I plan to do for many weeks over the summer. It’s like a positive premonition.”

The discomfort of rain that I had to over come… The fork, where I had hesitated and considered turning back… but showed perseverance… It had all been a test.

A test if I was ready for the big challenge to make my own photography book.

To get my footage I have planned several multi-day trekks in different regions of the South Chilcotin Mountain Park, which will be the main subject of the book. If I could not even handle this bit of rain – how could I dare to handle camping many days in the wilderness? I am determined that not finding people to join me, will not be an excuse to not go. There’s still time to find people who are crazy enough to join me and who also free to join me.

To me, this was the best start I could have possibly had. Sitting comfortably at home watching the fireworks from my windows was alluring, but mystruggle to find the motivation to get up was definitely rewarded!

The first thing I saw in the new year.
I woke up to no rain and the first light at dusk. I was surrounded by nature, yet the lights of houses in the distance greeted me warmly. 

In the morning the weather was much more stable, and though the view was still not what it could have been (resulting in no effort on my side to even try to take a great picture), I lingered and enjoyed the connection with nature. I love, love, love the back to basics lifestyle after all. No matter how challenging it can be.

my little camp site
My ‘campsite’ – my bed and the tarp that kept me dry. And, most importantly, my stove. There is nothing like a hot beverage on a crisp morning!

New Year Resolutions

On this trip, and especially while fighting my way back home – cycling against the wind for over two hours – I had plenty of time to think about my new resolutions.

But in the end, I simply want to continue my last year’s resolutions. And I’m not talking about the ones I made on January 1st 2018. I don’t even remember them.

Instead I agree with all the wise people saying that it doesn’t matter at what time of the year you resolve to do something. What matters is your motivation and your degree of commitment.

  • My resolutions to consume less sugar and stop being part of the plastic pollution problem, are both standing strong. My main resolutions therefore are to continue with what I have already started. Both require me to think about and reflect on my own behaviour and consumption. Thus helping me continue on the road to live more sustainably.
  • My resolution to keep learning and improving myself and my skill sets is also an ongoing effort.
  • That I would finally start plan my trip and book in the new year was decided long ago. With the trip planned to start in May it is really getting a necessity now.

Newer resolutions:

  • I also want to make an effort to keep track of all the days that mattered to me.
    It’s like writing a diary about what mattered to you on each day, or how you think/know you made a difference in the life of someone else. I really like the idea, because I have such a bad memory. By keepng track I can go back some day and review how much more purposeful my life (hopefully) was than I would remember. Because having meaning in life is important to me.
  • The same goes for living by my values and principles. Which had a great paradigm shift in the last year. It is thus my intention to live them out more – even at the cost of being disliked by others, or being called stupid or crazy.

With these words I want to wrap it up. Thank you for still being with me, if you have read this far!

I wish you all an inspirational 2019 – I hope the new year will bring you many transformational and inspiring encounters. Challenges that will provide growth and bring you closer to finding your true self. May it bring many opportunities to reconnect with nature and deepen your relationships. As well help us all live a more sustainable life – because we all benefit from a healthy Earth!




Leave a Reply