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THE RESTLESS WANDERER – A FAIRYTALE


Once upon a time in a small town in the middle of the legendary Jutland there was a building made of bricks. This was the destination of a young wanderer, only equipped with a huge suitcase in her right hand and a pot plant in her left.


by Eleonore Witschaß

She was making her way up the lawn, also struggling with a giant backpack that made her bow under its weight. It was about lunch time, 12 PM, and it was the start of a new life. For more than 5 months, 153 days, the wanderer was supposed to live in a place called Odder Højskole. What would that be like?

One week, two weeks, 17 days passed and she looked outside the window. She had become used to the everyday events. And suddenly the feeling of being stuck hit her. It was rainy, stormy and snowy – and so she was. Feeling restless, staying at the same place for so long.

“Is there a way out of Odder? “, she asked the lumberjack, who usually knew everything about life and the things beyond.

“Wait. Time will come,“ he answered.

Waiting was something the wanderer did not like. Moreover, for something uncertain? Why? She wanted to travel, see the world, explore! But the weeks became blurred as they passed and now it was 12 PM again. Time for lunch. She grabbed a ‘rugbrød’ and started thinking.

„I know the people here already, and I learned a lot in the courses I chose. Everything is so perfect and well-planned, yet… where is the spice of life? The sudden encounters? When is the time coming the lumberjack told me about? “

She took a bus to Aarhus and returned. At 6 PM, just in time for dinner. Was that travel?

It was another Wednesday. 7.30 PM ‘Højskoleaften’.

An unforeseen event was about to happen, just as every Wednesday. This time they were invited to the mysterious gingerbread cottage just across the school. The old witch living inside there was talking about her daily struggles:

“The children leave the town as soon as possible, so what is left for me? Herbs from the ecological farm? Please. There has to be something. It is getting boring. When I was young… How could life be more exciting? I was exploring all of the surroundings, but now I know every pebble in the brook“. Then the witch talked about her life and her education as a magic baker with a master in seduction. The wanderer was fascinated. How could she escape the routine that was also grasping at her life more and more?

After the cake at 9 PM she asked the messenger of the school. This man got around in the world quite a bit, collecting letters and information for the whole school. Now he just laughed.

“What do you want? An adventure? That requires an amount of insecurity as well. Calm down. And think backwards. You may not be travelling, but this school is full of fairies, princesses, trolls and knights. You do not have to find them any more in the outside world. They can tell you everything about their life and their perspectives. Acknowledge that! Just as the story of the witch, you heard today“.

With that, he headed off, a halfway eaten piece of chocolate cake between his fingers. And the wanderer sat down. In the common corridor, surrounded by all these beings and their stories, thinking about travelling backwards. Letting the world come to her. She did not need to go anywhere. The adventure was to be found in the Højskole. But how could she then conquer the feeling of routine? At the end of the day writing a list helped.

The wanderer lived happily ever after. At least until the end of the semester.


Altivisten has payed a visit at Odder Højskole, to meet up with the young inspiring people staying at the school. From this visit a series of articles has been made to discover the possibilities of sustainable living, social communities and action toward a better world.