– The purpose of my study is to find out what motivates each of us to walk this type of trail and to identify what insights we get from such an experience, says Lee.
For him, hiking has always been an essential part of everyday life and previous studies he has done on the subject aroused a curiosity about the connection between hiking and spiritual or “inner” journeys. To experience St. Olavsleden for himself, Lee walked from Selånger to Östersund in July.
-For me, it was a positive experience, says Lee. I want to come back and do the rest of the trail sometime in the future. It has also made me want to go on more pilgrimages around the world.
Lee comes from Virginia in the USA and for him it was an unusual experience to move to Sweden during a prevailing pandemic.
-When I moved, the restrictions were much tougher in Virginia than in Sweden, which was advantageous for me. But moving to a whole new country during these times has been strange to say the least. When I walked the St. Olavsleden this summer, it felt as if this whole strange “corona year” was washed away from me and I felt more at ease. The hike made me appreciate nature and the present, but I also felt excited for what awaits me beyond the trail, says Lee.
If you have walked along the St. Olavsleden in 2021 and are interested in participating in the study, you can contact Lee via email, email@example.com