Friday 1st May 2020
“And the people stayed home, and read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still…”
What if the universe is trying to slow us down? To say “stay home, let the earth breathe a little, let it recover”.
To take a step back and realise the impact we really do make on earth.
We aren’t as in control as we seem to think. A virus can come and go, wipe us all out but the earth will still be here…We need to listen to the universe.
It feels like the Universe has just sent us to the naughty step for us to think about what we have done…how can we change and do things differently.
For now, traffic is gone. The air seems cleaner. There seems to be less pollution. The world appears quieter. Wild life returns. The stars seem to shine brighter. Money doesn’t seem to make the world go round. We now have time to stop, appreciate what we have, value the ones closest to us and reset the button for humanity.
Though travel is off the table for much of the global population at the moment, soon we will have our freedom back and we will look at this as a dark page in our history, but also, as one big lesson to learn from…that is my hope.
As the borders closed around the world due to COVID-19, I started to think of the destinations I had planned this year but would not reach, and also about the places I’d still like to go and some of the places I have been lucky enough to have visited in the past.
As a girl I had big dreams. I wanted to, and still want to be part of big changes that can help make our world a better place to live in. I strive to create opportunities for myself, and travelling is one of the ways I do it.
In my daily life I also try to create opportunities for others, to enable them to make better life choices by providing educational opportunities outside of a ‘normal’ classroom environment, sometimes using the natural world to encourage and motivate young people and families that I work with. Promoting active learning through a see, do, get model, to instigate change.
I try to inspire others at times with tales from my travelling adventures, whether that be my family, friends, colleagues or strangers…travelling does that to you, it turns you into a story teller.
I look to the future with a spirit of optimism and perseverance. From far-flung continents, to the near-by boltholes, I dream of visiting and supporting – just as soon as its safe to hit the road again.
When this is all over, we can live our adventures in the outdoors, stronger and more than ever before. I’m already aching to travel again, to feel that buzz…to meet new people…to experience different cultures…to see nature…to get lost…to truly socially isolate…on my terms!
Adventures faraway may be off the cards for now, but we can still dream about them!
And it’s still possible to have small adventures close to home whilst complying with the rules of course! And that I continue to do. Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to experience beauty.
During this time I have also been drawn back to reading past blogs I have written, as-well as looking through photo albums from pictures of my travels. I have even started that ‘scrap book’, or a ‘treasure book’ as I’d prefer it to be called, which I had been meaning to do for years.
I am continually drawn to my time spent in the Himalayas where I left a piece of my heart and where I plan to return to one day…some day…I know I will.
It is a place where I made so many memories and where I’ll be forever grateful for opening my eyes and my heart. For me a very special place I will always remember.
Other great memories are of times spent in the Grand Canyon. This had been in my dreams for years and after driving for miles on our epic West Coast Of America road trip, I finally witnessed her, I was speechless, awestruck.
The vastness, depth and colour was truly unique, something so wonderful, a sight to behold.
Witnessing this natural wonder from the air opened my eyes further. Then hiking deep down into it truly put the grandeur of Mother Nature into perspective.
California’s Yosemite National Park, was another spectacular moment which words cannot describe I guess.
Breathtaking and beautiful wouldn’t even hit the mark, but a visit here would not disappoint, even although we never got to see a bear!
Dramatic landscapes, diverse outdoor pursuits, and the opportunity to simply escape.
This park offered granite walls more than twice the size of the Empire State Building, it’s one of the wonders of the natural world.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike,” wrote John Muir in his beloved 1912 book The Yosemite…he got that one right.
Then there was the richness of the Patagonia landscape, exotic, wild, with infinite beauty, a totally unspoiled wilderness of mountains, fjords, glaciers, forests and stepps.
Travelling in one of the most remote and deserted places I have ever been to and loving every minute of its untamed wilderness, I could have stayed there forever.
And then of course my treasured memories of journeys here in my beloved Scotland, some of the best journeys I’ve ever had, as beautiful as you can ever imagine.
The wild landscapes that the Scottish Highlands and Islands offer are the ultimate escape for me.
I love exploring my country, finding another piece I have yet to discover.
From towering mountains, glittering lochs, dense woodlands and miles upon miles of golden beaches, Scotlands landscapes really do take my breath away.
It’s where I go for genuine solitude.
Playing on the many mountains, wild camping under the stars, midnight hiking, I miss it all and cannot wait to get back out there. Its where I am most happy.
As I have travelled I have met and established connections with people from all over the world.
Meeting interesting people along the way is all part of the journey.
I’ve made many new and meaningful friendships. Meeting others similar to myself, who have more or less the same kind of mindset, similar interests, enjoy doing things together whilst embracing each other’s differences and similarities.
Travel has made me tolerent, appreciative, and has shown me diversity of cultures, customs and traditions.
At times it has touched my soul. It has connected me with nature, wildlife and people. It has amazed me, energised, simplified and magnitised. It has tantalised my senses, soothed my spirit and boggled my mind. It has humbled me.
Sometimes our travel journeys have not always been easy, but it’s these thrills, challenges and adventures which make me love travelling even more so…I always feel a sense of satisfaction on completion and then there’s that whole need to go again.
I cannot wait until the world is open again so I can appreciate her even more….until then I dream.
“To move, to breath, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give. To roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live”, Hans Christian Anderson
Stay strong. Stay healthy. Have discipline. Think of others.
Be kind to mankind, to nature and to our planet.
Listen to her!
4 Comments Add yours
Some great photos there, Mary.
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Hey thanks Mike…probably a bit like yourself…I have so many photos…trying to decide which ones to use was the difficult part! Some beautiful local ones though 💙…hope your taking some of this time to keep up with your own blogs 😘
Hi Mary amazing pictures we live in such a beautiful world. We have been stopped in our tracks to some extent and limited in the things we can do. I certainly appreciate being able to get out every day for a walk no matter what the weather is doing I am not sure how I would feel if I couldn’t do that. Theresa x
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Hi there…times like these certainly do make you appreciate the amazing world we live in and something we all take for granted! It’s certainly beautiful and when you take the time to look around it’s rewarding! Like you I have been out everyday, mostly in the evenings as still working…but I need that time….it’s what keeps me sane! Hopefully after all this is gone more people will appreciate each other and the world we live in 🙏…glad to hear you are still getting out in the fresh air and your safe and well…😘🤗