If I tell you I love being at home, that probably doesn’t come as a surprise. I openly embrace chilled out self care and cosy days. That’s why I’m not an easy traveller. An itinerary without a minute for myself makes me anxious, and depending on other people’s needs as well. Next to that I have a head that never stops thinking. Too many stimulants – as trips can often bring – can make me panic or shut down. However, during our trip to Scotland everything felt different. I had zero anxiety, I felt clear-minded and utterly happy. I realized why: it was a slow way of travelling. And here’s what slow travel meant to me.
Being fine with doing nothing
One of the things I will never forget about this trip is the bus ride. We took a three-hour bus ride between Glasgow and the Highlands twice. And both times I didn’t do anything during that trip. Whereas at home I always have to fill in commutes and waiting times with books, podcasts or work, I literally didn’t do a single thing when I was on that bus. I didn’t read, put my headphones on or even sleep. I didn’t check my phone for any other reason than writing down ideas for this post. All I did was stare out of the window, absorb the breathtaking view of the Highlands and clear my mind.
All of this was a revelation for me, because as I mentioned earlier I have a lot of trouble with over-thinking and feeling too much. On this trip I felt perfectly fine doing nothing at all and that’s something I very much want to keep up at home, instead of always having that itch to multitask or that guilt of not being productive.
Skipping the tourist destinations
We stayed in the lovely Croftview Pods up in Clovullin, which is a short ferry-trip away from Corran where you can easily get to Fort William, Ben Nevis and Glencoe. Our original plan was to indeed take the ferry back and discover Glencoe during our stay. But as we talked to our host John, we realised we might want to skip that tourist-crowded destination and stick to Clovullin instead. And that was one of the best decisions we ever made. We took the hike that John suggested and walked in the woods, alongside a beach, through swamps and on steep hills all day long and we didn’t encounter a single person.
It was a very mindful experience to cross such a distance and not meet anyone along the way. All we had was each other, hundreds of sheep and crazy views – which was mind blowing and soul charging at the same time.
Letting go of usual habits
It’s something my yoga teacher often talks about: us humans and our high piles of habits. I too am quite aware of having a day full of them, and it was in letting them go that I felt a little bit of freedom. One thing was using my phone: we spent three days without internet access, so I couldn’t check my phone every twenty minutes (or more) like I do at home, nor could I check my socials first thing in the morning or stay up way too late scrolling through my feeds.
Another habit we stepped away from was the usual pattern of our days. We went for an hour’s walk before breakfast, then headed out for a full day of hiking and as we didn’t encounter any restaurants or other places to eat, we totally ditched the idea of lunch and dinner and just ate our healthy snacks whenever we felt like it.
Finding comfort outside of your comfort zone
This is probably my favourite as for me it is the perfect way to travel. I’m anxious as well as adventurous. Those two often clash. But in travelling slowly, I found that comfortable spot outside of my comfort zone. It’s hard to describe. It’s something with new experiences and doing things I’d never done before, but also listening to my mind and body and just doing whatever I felt I had to do. Letting go of prejudices and fear, but also embracing myself and my thought process. I hope any of you ever experience the same so I feel less weird trying to explain this feeling with words!
I very much hope I’ve inspired you to go on a slow travel experience too. If you’re like me and being away is a little bit of a challenge for you, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this way of travelling to the fullest.
If you’d like any more information about our Scotland trip, feel free to drop a comment or contact me in your preferred way!