OLYMPIC PENINSULA, WA

Relax. We just wanted to relax. And I think after nearly two months on the road we earned ourselves some resting time. A time without constant movement, without the necessity to stay alert all the time and without restricting ourselves on food and water. Our idea was something like living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, something you would read in Robinson Crusoe. And since the Pacific Ocean isn’t too far away from Seattle, we decided to go to the Olympic Peninsula, a National Park that connects huge mountain ranges, with rainforests and Pacific beaches. A perfect surrounding to end our demanding trip.

We wanted to live like Robinson Crusoe and that is what we did. We build a camp by the sea shore and installed a fire place, a hammock hung between some old stranded trees and our tent. We designed our own environment with set places and routines. It made a huge psychological difference and we felt right at home. Even the most minimalistic changes made all the difference. Arranging some tree stumps to act as couches, a hammock to act as a retreat and a tent to act as your safety net is huge! These are all things we do intuitively and are often not thought about. But those circumstances made our time on the peninsula that much more relaxing and comfortable.

For the first time there was a feeling of being on holiday. Even though these two months in the US were technically a long holiday, there is a difference between lying all day on a lounger in the sun and travelling on the open road or hiking a long distance trail, utterly exposed to nature and people. There was never a moment on the trip before where I felt: “Oh this is so relaxing”. There was just too much going on each day, too much new to take in and process. Normally we like to sleep in, but somehow we naturally always woke up early – ready for the day and the next big adventure. I think there was always a slight nervousness, drive and excitement within us, that never gave us the ability to relax but at the same time it sharpened our senses, made us concentrate more on our environment and live life to the full extent.

Having said that, we needed a break after all that travelling. The Pacific Ocean gave us room for that. On one of our beach excursions, we have met a young man who sat outside his tent. Next to his tent was a small fire. I saw that the high tide water mark came right up to his tent, leaving a tiny bit of sand dry for him and his tent, maybe 6 square meters. Behind his tent were steep cliffs, leaving him trapped during high tide. I ask him about it and he said that he didn’t realise at first how high the water is coming up but that he is enjoying the solitude now. He told me that he had to adapt to the rhythm of the earth, for example he always has to collect his drinking water in a nearby stream before the tide comes in. He seemed happy there all on his own and the Pacific gave him all the room he needed. He had been there for three weeks…

This is the end of the US series, leading me and my girlfriend across America – from New York to Seattle. It was legit and I will never forget the journey! Thanks again for all the friendliness and kindred spirits we have met along the way.