Ever since coming back from my Scottish journey, I have tried to write about it. I had seen amazing scenery, experienced wonderful history and folklore, as well as met countless friendly people. My experiences felt marvellous but I had one problem: I did not want to share them.
Upon my return, friends and family asked me about my trip and I complied with vague sentences and words I knew they were expecting “Oh yes, I had a wonderful time and got really lucky with the weather.” “No, Scottish people are very clever, they build their roads around the hills, so it was flat most of the time.” “It was such fun, especially breaking into a hostel.” “The silence was astonishing.” But nothing was told. The experiences and memories remained mine. I didn’t want to go into details as I knew no one would really understand. They couldn’t understand why I had set off to cycle and camp on my own for almost two weeks. How could they comprehend what I had found?
I came to WordPress often, and started to write but was never satisfied with my words. I wanted to tell the story of how the roads and experiences had changed me – but they hadn’t, not quite. I have noticed a change but it wasn’t a struggle and at no point was it difficult. Free from the clutter of my everyday life, I was able to shed all pretence and life on the road felt completely natural within the first hours. I became open to strangers as I had always believed I should be. I relaxed and re-learned the quality of a slower pace of life. I was allowed not to think and this freed me from my inhibitions – allowed me to be more me.
So what did I had left to share online?
I could tell of my joy at finding honey for sale on a doorstep honesty shop, at my primal fear at having to cross a long metallic bridge over a river, or at my exhalation at seeing the Orkney Islands for the very first time at night. But those stories have nothing to tell. They would simply be an account of what I had written in my journal and I do not believe those words worthwhile enough to be read by any other than me. They are not extraordinary nor unique. Thousands of others have experience the same feelings and their accounts can be found throughout the Internet. I didn’t see the point in adding one more.
So what was I left with? An exercise in description maybe or an account of the history I had witnessed? But none of those options appealed to me. So I let it go, feeling I was trying too hard. I had not gone to the Orkney Islands for anyone. I had gone for myself, seeking peace of mind and hoping for answers to my many questions. I had found peace of mind and along the way some answers to questions I didn’t know I had. And this was enough. So I stopped trying so hard to find words to relate my travels and instead turned to my photos to send some to my family and friends. And by doing so I found a way to share my journey.
A typical sunny day:
A typical misty day:
Details that caught my eyes along the way: