Appreciating the Paths In Between


I forget how exhausting travelling can be. I wanted to write about yesterday’s magical adventure, but this day is so far from magical that I don’t know where to begin. Nothing bad has happened. It’s just small things adding up, and like the pattern of midge bites over my neck and chest and back, they keep itching.

I am tired of my running nose and the fact that I always seem to fall ill when I take a break. I am tired of checking in at yet another hostel, never feeling quite welcome, because even if I am, that is just how I feel around new people. I am tired of never really knowing how or where or whether I will be able to get any work done. I am starting to miss a home that isn’t even mine anymore, a place where I could just lock a door and not have to look for a free seat every time I eat.

And then again there are moments that make travelling worth every sleepless night, every awkward conversation, every itching midge bite.

When I climb a mountain path and stop to catch my breath and turn around and the view makes a warm nest in my chest for dreams to hatch.

When I put my camera back into my backpack and start capturing everything around me with my eyes instead.

When I meet people whose stories grow in my mind, shaping characters and plots I would never have found at home.

When I plan to work at the hostel until lunch and the man in the reception lends me a map held by hundreds of hands before mine and says the bus leaves in four minutes and I run and when I get off the bus I walk and walk for hours, in the wrong direction first, but then the right, and I listen to the waterfalls and the wind because there’s no one else around and I whisper should I come back and stay longer, and I think I hear a yes in the rushing water and back at the bus stop six hours later my feet ache and I get trapped in a huge cloud of midges with a guy from the hostel, but we are laughing all the same because at that moment, for some strange reason, life is wonderful.

When I travel, I live for those moments. I soak them up and try to make them last as long as possible. But I know I need to get better at appreciating the paths in between.

Today, the path was long and tiring, but writing this helped. I realize that I fell so deeply in love with Isle of Skye that I didn’t want to leave, but knowing that I will return sooner or later, I am finally starting to look forward to the rest of my journey.

All adventures go uphill and downhill with sudden twists and turns and there is no way to plan for every step. Sometimes you just need to slow down, hold on, close your eyes and appreciate the journey.

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