The Nordlaaw family: “Relationships can be strengthened when doing challenging things together.”

Hiking is for the whole family. Case in point: the Nordlaaws. This Swedish family describes itself as “couch potatoes turning hiking amateurs”. Mother Charlotta and her twelve-year-old son Katle are currently hiking the St. Olavsleden, their “absolute longest hike so far”.

“We are a family with two parents and three children (aged 16, 12 and 7) who are actually amateurs when it comes to hiking. But we try to get out and walk as often as possible, sometimes in our vicinity and sometimes a little bit further away.

We decided to post our hiking stories on Instagram because it is fun to share them with friends and other followers. We had absolutely no social media experience at the beginning, but we found lot of tips and inspiration online. Now we hopefully inspire others to venture out on the trail.

The people we meet during our trip think it is fun that my son and I are traveling together. We are a very close family and like doing things together, but for various reasons the rest of the family could not come with us this time.

Katle says that he thinks that all relationships can be strengthened when doing challenging things together. You will get to know yourself and the other persons better. I think that you will also learn to be more understanding when you are out on the trail. You will experience how the others are when they are tired or hungry and need your support.

We have not yet gone the whole trail, but so far we experience it as very engaging. People along the path are inviting and helpful, and love to have a chat with us when we pass by. The connection between pilgrims is even stronger: you are not just cheering each other on, but are also checking wether everybody is feeling alright, while sharing tips and food.

The part that we have walked so far has been great, with beautiful views. But sometimes it was also tough, for example when we had to walk a stretch along the highway and through one-metre-high grass. It would also be nice to have more toilets along the route. The accommodations are really charming, but the prices can be a bit steep for some pilgrims. So there is still work to be done along St. Olavsleden.

One of the absolute highlights for us are the stamps for your pilgrim pass that you can get along the way – incredibly fun and a proof of how far you have traveled. Perhaps entrepreneurs and shop owners could give pilgrims small discounts when they show them their passes. Another highlight was camping at Rävelsbovallen (near Stöde): a fantastic beach with a clean toilet and lovely grass field.”

Follow along on Instagram: @familjen.nordlaaw