The past eleven years of my life have been kind of a rollercoaster. I became mother of two lovely sons, who turned out to have autism and ADHD. I had to stop working because of a burnout and discovered that I have mental health issues as well. On top of that I had to undergo a heavy operation. And my mother died recently.
During my burnout I discovered the healing effect of long walks in nature. Walking makes me happy – instead of sad, angry and frustrated.
I have always had a deep love for Scandinavia, ever since I was a kid and read Astrid Lindgren’s lovely books. But I had never travelled there. Then friends of mine bought a wonderful house in Sweden that was located along an old pilgrim’s route: St. Olavsleden. When I heard about this, it was as if someone or something was calling my name: I simply had to go and walk this path. So I will. And I am sure that walking St. Olavsleden will not only be good for me, but also for the people I love – especially my dear husband and my two sons.
I will begin my ‘pilgrimage’ in May 2018. Right now I am preparing: I already walk every day with our dog. He’s my favourite training-mate because he doesn’t talk. I still have some time to prepare – so I am confident I will be ready by the time I actually start walking.
/Francine Postma, Netherlands
Francine plans to write a book about her experiences along St. Olavsleden.
During her hike, she will also post on Facebook and Instagram about her adventures. By walking St. Olavsleden Francine wants to raise money for other special needs parents. She hopes to make people more aware of the impact that mental health issues have on parents.