Two Stories: Stranger On A Train & Internship At A Castle

A Stranger On A Train

“Hi,” a woman sitting next to me on the train said.

“Hi,” I answered, my mind deep in the newspaper I was reading. Oh great, I remember thinking to myself, not really interested in ending up next to a talkative stranger.

“You don’t recognize me, do you?”

“No, I don’t,” I had to admit.

There, next to me, sat one-fourth of “MOLN-gruppen” as they call themselves. What a pleasant surprise!

In other words, it’s a matter of a geocacher I had actually met a while earlier during a local event. Embarassingly enough, I didn’t recognize her at all, but in my defence there are so many geocachers out there you “should” recognize. And I can only name a tiny part of them.

Oh well. I apologized for the mistake and in no time at all my newspaper was forgotten. For the rest of the train ride we chatted about geocaching, various caches and an upcoming event.

It’s quite funny how small the geocaching world is. I had actually been in contact with the members of MOLN-gruppen only a few months prior, although only indirectly. By mistake I managed to disable one of their caches when I dropped it down a pipe. Now I learned that it was because of my clumsiness that the cache was finally archived.

To extend the mishaps even further, I met the family again a year after the train ride. It was during an event and this time the children were present. One of the children suddenly said: “It was you who destroyed our cache!” Since then, it’s a subject we’ve joked about many times.

The first time I met the male side of MOLN-gruppen was in the woods behind a church. My entire family was with me, and when we loudly approached the cache he hid behind a boulder. We were looking for the same cache and when he heard us coming he got scared. But when I shouted “100 meters to go!” he dared to show himself.

And so here we were, Miss MOLN-gruppen and I, sitting next to each other on a train. I love the fact that the geocaching community is so small, even in such a big world. Even though there are hundreds of thousands of people geocaching, you quickly learn to recognize those in your own area. And when I said goodbye to Miss MOLN-gruppen, I was sure I hadn’t seen the last of her and her family.

The Geocaching Internship

Is it possible to have geocaching as your profession? Absolutely!

Tourism is a wide subject and educating yourself in it means a wealth of areas of potential work. But an internship at a castle probably takes the prize. With focus in geocaching even!

The internship in question took place during the spring of 2011 at Tjolöholm castle in Sweden. At first, the idea was to get a foot inside the castle for when the fight for summer jobs began. But when the time came, a summer job was already in place. Instead of doing the everyday chores, my hands were free to develop a geocaching project. The result was a series of caches for those wanting to learn more about the history of the castle, and a mystery for families with tasks for children to complete.

The aim was also to make caching accessible to everyone, in an easy-to-understand fashion. The project was a success, and today local geocachers and tourists take part in it every week simpy by reading about it and trying the caches.

This all opened my eyes to one thing in particular: there are people out there who work with geocaching for a living. People who get to use geocaching in their everyday tasks, develop cool projects and sell “packages” to tourists. Perhaps that’s where I’ll be in a few years.

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