Dream Now…Travel Later

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…”

Harren Hill

What if the universe is trying to slow us down? To say “stay home, let the earth breathe a little, let it recover”.

Sunset up Benarty Hill

To take a step back and realise the impact we really do make on earth.

Moine Thrust Knockan Crag, Inverpolly

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.

Benarty Hill

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.

St Ninians

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.

Night sky over Blairadam
Maryburgh

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.

Iceland’s Icebergs – Climate Change Is Real

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.

Views from Benarty Hill, across Loch Leven towards Scotlandwell and the Bishop Hill
Lochore Meadow’s Country Park
Blairadam Forest

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.

Mount Everest beside me on my right

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.

Himalayas – Everest Base Camp Trek – and that famous bridge!

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.

Hiking down deep into the Canyon
Views from the helicopter
Another view from the helicopter

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.

5 days wild camping in the wilderness – could it get any better

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.

Glacier Perito Moreno, Argentina
Fitz Roy – remembering that moment 5 hours previous to this picture being taken whereby I cried for joy when Fitz Roy finally appeared from behind the clouds, I was overwhelmed. After being in El Chalten for 4 days and thinking we weren’t going to get that view then witnessing this on our last day was magnificent! Then forcing Andy to walk for a further 1.5 hours to get this view when we had been walking since 4am – he was not impressed – but I was with this picture and this view!
Experiencing one of my favourite ‘towns’ El Chalten, that funky, hippy, chilled out place, that was so laid back, just my kind of thing. The scenery was stunning and it was here where we got to experience our first gaucho rodeo and the skills of these horse riders were ridiculous and on wild horses as-well!

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.

Rothiemurchus Forest – One of the glories of wild Scotland

The wild landscapes that the Scottish Highlands and Islands offer are the ultimate escape for me.

Sunset on Ben Nevis with no-one around just us

I love exploring my country, finding another piece I have yet to discover.

Isle of Skye, Loch Coruisk & The Cullens with ‘woman’s best friendmy dog Brogan

From towering mountains, glittering lochs, dense woodlands and miles upon miles of golden beaches, Scotlands landscapes really do take my breath away.

Isle of Skyepure freedom

It’s where I go for genuine solitude.

Glen Coe – I will never tire of watching a sunset

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.

Cairngorms National Park – Weekend Wild Camping & Munro Bagging

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.

Feeling absolutely done in and still having at least another 9 hours to endure having already been climbing for over 8 hours with no sleep the previous night as we started our climb at 12.30 am. Eating little food as altitude had given me stomach problems which gave me all sorts of other problems!!! Heat exhaustion as the sun beated down on us but needing to layer up as conditions were so extreme – here I’m trying to hide from the sun and get a moments respite, all sorts going through my head. Nearing the end of this climb thinking my body cannot take anymore, pushing my body to extremes I never thought it could achieve and being rewarded for my efforts – that’s the reason why I do it – that complete satisfaction at the end of it, even if it is madness!
Feelings of elation at reaching my destination – EBC
Reaching my limits on Mount Elbrus and coming out stronger than before

I cannot wait until the world is open again so I can appreciate her even more….until then I dream.

Benarty Hill at Sunset

“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

  1. t1cfan says:

    Some great photos there, Mary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 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 😘

      Like

  2. Theresa Skelhorn says:

    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

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 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…😘🤗

      Like

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