A few days ago I was going through a difficult time. My mental health deteriorated, I felt pretty rubbish, my self-esteem went from ok to below zero. On top of that, I experienced very strong migraine which took me out for the whole two days. I was in so much pain. I knew that I have to make a move.
It was hard, I wanted this pain to go away, I wanted to disappear, to end this misery. After a busy week at work, mental health challenges, anxiety through the roof I was ready to give up.
I needed to get away, be with myself, out with the mother nature. I packed a few things, looked on-line for some good destination where I could hike a bit and clear my mind.
Decide to visit Glen Lyon. It is also known as Fionn’s Rock. Packed a few things, filled up water container, stock up some food, got my hiking boots and equipment ready. After fuelling our DIY camper I hit the road. I had around two hours of driving in front of me. Easy peasy. Set up my google map and started my journey up north.
I left my home around 6 PM and drove thinking about life, my depression. I came with the idea that I could start taking some fathers around in my camper and do carpool talks about fatherhood and mental health while driving. Get a few cameras installed and do a wee talk show while driving to the wonders of nature with men who struggle as I do with mental health.
While I drove the weather changed a few times. Typical Scottish day, four seasons in one hour. Sun, wind, heavy rain, warm weather. After driving for over one hour on A9 I went through A822 and A826 to Aberfeldy. Later I drove alongside Tay Forrest Park and alongside River Lyon. I can tell you now, what an adventure!
Road was getting narrower and narrower with each passing mile, it was getting foggy and clouds were coming down lower and lower. I had to drive pretty slow, sometimes throughout forrest corridors, hills and open fields. Sky was grey, with each mile visibility was worsening. Sometimes I had to break or stop as I had to give way to rabbits, deers or partridges.
After while I supposed to cross the bridge on River Lyon – It was already dark and very foggy. I realised that I’m 10 minutes away from my destination place but the further road is closed due to some works. So, I had no map, no reception so I could not look for an alternative route. It was wet and dark. Somehow I managed to turn my van around in the muddy and narrow road.
I decided to continue alongside River Lyon till I will find suitable place to stop. It was pitch black, forest was getting thicker and I had no idea where am I.
Lost in the woods.
I drove for a few minutes, finally, I came across parking with toilet facilities called Meggerine Estate with few outside tables and not much around.
Not having any GPS signal, no reception I decided to have an evening toilet and go to sleep setting my alarm for 6 am. I had a plan to hit some hills in the dawn. Not knowing where am I, what’s nearby. Tired, listening to the wind and rain hitting the side of my campervan I fell asleep. It was pitch black, I didn’t even bother to put window blinds. I was in the middle of nowhere.
At down I got myself ready, packed my backpack, ate some light breakfast and set for a hike.
Fighting with myself, with unpleasant weather, rain and wind, I climbed the nearest hill. It was seven in the morning. I was out of breath just after a few steep hills. The rain was getting heavier and the wind stronger. I cursed and stopped a few times, but after reaching one of the hills I was sure that It was the best decision ever.
It’s worth it.
Tired, wet, with muddy boots I sat down to rest. I took a deep breath and made a few pictures. At this moment, I knew that trip to nature was something I needed.
Firstly, I did not got to the Fionn’s Rock, but I discovered something more…
Realised that I have everything I could dream of.
- Amazing life
- Amazing kids
- An amazing woman in my life
- A great relationship with the mother of my children
- A job which I love to the bits
- Great friends and family
- Access to nature and all my needs fulfilled
In other words, I don’t need riches, big house with swimming pool, a Porsche on my drive way, luxury holidays or travel the world.
I could just lead a simple life, with my loved ones, closer to nature. Writing my blog, books, without first world problems. This is what I need to aim for, slowly, to move to the place where my head is feeling ok. I m not fitting in here, with all this mad race. I want to do what makes me feel happy. Love, hike and be closer to nature. Be more present.
After my hike, I was totally soaked. Went back to my camper van, got changed, made myself good breakfast and strong coffee. Drove back discovering amazing route alongside The Allt Baile a’ Mhuilinn and the dam.
After this breathtaking route and the views. It took me more than 3 hours to get home to celebrate my 39th birthday with my loved ones.
Now, we looking forward to next big trip – October break at Lewis and Harris