When Lysander visited me for the first time during the autumn holiday in 2020, we were noticeably stuck in two different realities.
I ended my work as an ambulance driver in Cologne, where Lysander was still living and going to school, earlier that year and went on a trip with the boyscouts to eastern Germany.
I packed my bag and went to Norway, in search of a more rural, forested part of the world. My hope was to find some cheap piece of land, that I could buy and live on and where I could hopefully sustain myself, so that I would not have to go back to Germany to work.
My journey finally led me to Finland, where I was working as a volunteer on a reindeer farm. This was where Lysander visited me.
Although he only visited for two weeks, some seed had been sown. Some part of Lapland had touched him and lay dormant for now. For him it was the seed of an alternative way of life.
Never having known anything but german institutions and a firmly regulated life, from kindergarden, to school and a prospective future as a student in physics, this was something outside of the usual. A complete unknown, that had an allure of its own.
During early 2021, the year in which Lysander would finish school, it was tangible that Lysander was becoming more and more unhappy with his life, the moment that he waited for, the end of his schooling, was becomming a big question. What would happen if school ended?
It was around this point that the seed germinated and slowly the idea was talking hold, that he would come to visit and we would continue where we had left off.
These were some grueling months of uncertainty for us both, as he was not sure in his decision and I was not sure, if he would actually come to Lapland again.
But finally June came around, I found out through a friend at the time, that there was a Rainbow gathering, in Sweden and so we decided to meet there.
A Rainbow gathering, is a place to come together and share stories, experiences and knowledge, get to know like-minded people and generally have a good time. It is a “hippie-thing”.
Here, surrounded by the seemingly endless expanse of the lappish fjells, we reached a peace of mind, that we have kept to this day.
Some kind of serenity became a part of us there and was only strengthened, when we moved to Kilpisjärvi, just across the border in Finland, where we stayed for one more month after the Rainbow ended.
It was there, that we built the first turvakota, a milestone of this long journey, towards freeing ourselves from many habits and ideas that we thought of as absolute truths.
All of us had our share of volunteering experiences. That is why we know what makes a great stay; nice food, community meals, quality housing, interesting work and fair hours.
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