Friday, 5 January 2018

scotland + summer 2017 // part III


A very spontaneous, wild, goat/sheep ridden (found species hard to identify), adventure inhaling, photo taking road trip around the Scottish Highlands. Easily one of the most magical holidays I have ever been on...

The North Coast 500 is a 500 mile drive around the very top of Scotland - mountains, hills and oceans. We flew to Inverness, picked up our hired car and began venturing across the most enigmatic, devastatingly beautiful roads. It truly did heal my soul.

Good things:

- stopping off in Applecross (set in the mountains by the sea) to have pizza at The Junction
- travelling along roads covered in goats - which were actually sheep
- having to step out of the car and take a picture at every single corner
- becoming very accustomed to Scottish radio
- staying at a Youth Hostel in Torridon surrounded by huge mountains
- visiting wild beaches - Gruinard Bay, Lochinver, Achmelvich
- singing very loudly
- gripping the door on the more perilous roads
- having SUCH a good brownie in a little fishing village
- buying a poetry book in Ullapool
- highland cattle
-stags
- Scottish air
- mountain roads
- open roads
- drinking water from the top of Victoria Falls
- wishing we lived in the houses by the lakes
- forests by the ocean
- our air bnb in Bonar Bridge 
- roads only open in summer
- and feeling very very small in a such a wild world

iPhone photographs:












camera photographs: 





















Saturday, 14 October 2017

the three week mark + what's to come?



Firstly, I cannot pretend like university (or the tiny fraction of it I have completed so far) has been easy. Tears have fallen and phone calls consisting of pleas to come home have been made.... more than once. The emotional, and often illogical, side to my brain does not always see life in balance: I am either really happy or really sad. Sometimes when I phone home all the laughter I've had that day is eradicated by a sad thing that decides to leave a stain. And it is the hungry kind of sadness that eats and eats until all you can possibly feel is that one emotion. That is the time I'm saying, "Why am I here?" "Do I even want a degree?" "I'm so lonely." 
BUT.

I can type these words with confidence: I am enjoying university. Sitting on my bed at home, reflecting on the last 21 days, I can smile. Leaving home is terrifying, and I did it. Walking in to a lecture hall thinking 'I must make friends' is terrifying, and I did it. I'm meeting new people and asking questions in seminars and reading books in 72 hours. I'm adapting and learning and going to church for the first time in years. I'm walking round lakes and dancing in silent discos and getting drunk off cider (the world's biggest lightweight). And I can feel lonely. Stress, pressure, homesickness - days when I have visits from all three and days when I have visits from none. Days when I feel a little like screaming it all away. 

BUT. 

I'm excited by the what and the when and the how and the why of the "next." It feels right, even on the days it goes wrong. 

There is a plan,
-J