Mountain hiking in Scotland

Heyyah!

Someone told me that we are all passengers, here just for a short time so we have to try to find the best moments and live them to the fullest. It’s okay if you fail sometimes, but you have to try.

Sounds good, huhh’?! But if you look closer, what are we actually doing?? Searching constantly for the most comfortable situations, where we can overthink and/or reject the real, outside World. Comparing ourselves to others, wishing we could be like them… Even though the beauty of this World is in the differences we have as human beings.

I’m speaking as if I knew what is happening in Your life… which I do not, but this is what I see: people giving up on their dreams for comfort. And I know it’s hard, because I have a loooot of trouble with my decisions as well… Moreover, lately I had the feeling that I’m disappointing everyone around me (especially myself). 

So when I was at my lowest point, I attended an Erasmus+ project.

ABOUT THE ERASMUS+ PROJECT

This project was the last one out of the three phases.

Step In Their Shoes #3: Mountain Hiking in Scotland

hiking in Isle of Skye. BUT what does this mean?

30 beautiful souls from 6 different countries (United Kingdom, Lithuania, Norway, Hungary, Spain, Greece) facing the magical force of nature.

Let me tell You what exactly happened to me. 

day0.
ARRIVAL

I met the other participants at Glasgow Airport. I was suuuper excited, because I wanted to see my friends (from the previous project) and also I wanted to meet the crazy people who would come to a project like this. Then we got on the bus.

We arrived in the middle of the night to the Middle of Nowhere. So I saw nothing, just felt that I stepped in the middle of every single sheep shit with my Vans shoes. (When I had the chance I changed them to my not waterproof boots :)) haha

Two amazing guys of our team were already there, so when we arrived the camp was build up, ready for the first night outdoors.

day1.
WALL OF ROCKS

When I woke up the first morning I realised we are camping right next to the ocean. It was beautiful…

We had some activities (in the rain and the wind) so we started to get to know each other. Meanwhile – because we had no other choice –  we had to get used to the Scottish weather and to the fact that in the following days we cannot take a shower or to use a normal bathroom (we had a shit shovel ♥).

Okay… I think it’s quite obvious that I’m that clumsy girl who does some silly things all the time. In first day, when we actually didn’t hike, I had an accident. I was walking on a wall of rocks and suddenly i decided that I’m gonna jump on the other side. But one of my legs landed on a rock while the other on on the ground. Result? I couldn’t really walk for the next days.

day2.
RAIN AND WIND

After a supersupersupersuper cold night (of course, I wasn’t prepared for this weather properly, even though I knew how it’s gonna be) breakfast and packing, getting ready for the first hike… ohh, wait. Everyone but me and the drivers of the two cars.

We got to the meeting point in 10 minutes and while we were waiting for the others, we enjoyed a cup of hot tea and the breathtaking view.

5 hours later

the group arrived and we decided together that we will spend the rest of the day here. After building up the tents and eating the delicious dinner we were hiding from the rough weather so we were playing cards in our tents.

The Team

day3.
AT THE LAKE

Packing and started to hike. I felt better but I still knew that my ankle should heal, so I was hiking without my huuge backpack. Anyway, it was a quite hard trip because of the climbs, the muddy or the rocky roads and the rivers we had to cross. At some points it was quite dangerous but we did it.

When we were next to the ocean for the last time, some of the craziest ones from our group went into the water :)) Daamn! Can you imagine how cold it was?! :)) Because I can’t!

Few more hours in the rain and the wind aaaand finally we arrived to our next campsite, next to The Lake. 

The view was – again – unbelievable, but Mammma… I hated it! The wind was so strong I couldn’t sleep that night more than two hours. I thought I’m gonna wake up with my 3 tent-mates in the middle of the lake…

BEST MOMENT. There was a Lithuanian/English girl and a Greek guy who were sharing a tent. Their home for that night, next to the lake, was almost finished, when the girl went to pick some flowers and the guy to get some rocks. These tools were needed to make the tent more comfortable and stable for the night. But they looked away just for a second and their home was gone… Imagine, knowing that you have a place to sleep behind your back, then you look away, look back and it’s not there… of course the wind took it, but the guy ran for it, and save their night! The End.

day4.
THE SILENT HIKE

“Pull yourself together, woman!” I told to myself, so this day I went with the group and with my backpack together.

But this hike wasn’t a usual one, because we did it in full silence. No one was allowed to talk till we got to the next campsite. When you’re with a bunch of other interesting people, you always have a chance for a good conversation. Being part of it or just listening, but you can’t really let your thoughts enough space. This few hours, walking together as one but not saying a word, was a unique experience for me. Also, the view was indescribable… The mountains, the lakes, the ocean, the rivers and the waterfalls…

After we arrived, we built up our tents and did some activities. Till midnight we were singing and watching the uncountable stars in the sky.

I felt that we are not just some people at a Youth Exchange project… we were friends. 

We were family. 

day5.
THE SUN

I don’t know how much do you know about the Scottish summer, but I think I never experienced this extreme weather conditions. So usually there’s strong wind. So strong you can barely stand. Then most of the time it’s raining. You know, that rain when you see it outside from your window, there’s no chance you gonna go out. But sometimes the Sun is coming out. And you really wanna appreciate it, but it’s really difficult because 1) you were not expecting it so it will burn your face down, or 2) the midges are coming out. Super small mosquitoes who are dangerous and annoying.

So the Last Day. We packed everything and went for the last hike without the backpacks…

Later we got on the bus again, travelling back to the civilisation, to Glasgow. 

day6.
THE CITY

Shower, warm bed, clean and dry clothes, charged phones and a place where we all could sit down for a cup of tea. These meant the World to us that day. It’s interesting how happy we were about the things we don’t even appreciate in our normal life…

But these things also meant that our adventure ended. We had reflections on our experiences and in the afternoon we went to a park.

There’s one more really important part of this project, that I didn’t mention yet: Step In Their Shoes. We were together on this project not just to survive 5 days in the Scottish Highlands, but to talk about, to understand EMPATHY. This afternoon we had discussions about human rights, the sources of our prejudgments and the possibilities we have.

day7.
ADIÓS MIS AMIGOS

The last day.

This day was about reflecting and understanding what we’ve been through the last few days. Honestly, I can’t remember much of this day because I was crying. I was crying almost the whole day…

CONCLUSION

Well, looking back on all these days… it’s really hard to believe it was real. 

I learned a lot.

I learned about nature. About how strong, powerful and merciful She can be. I hope that from now on, I can be around Her more and appreciate everything She’s giving to Us.

I learned about people. I learned how important it is to give a chance to everyone, to step in other’s shoes to understand this World and to make it better for everyone.

And I learned about myself. I realised that most of my time I spend with things I don’t even like. Things and people who pull me back and make me anxious or weak. I want to be strong, I want to believe that I can can do what I want, I want to travel, I want to learn, I want to help other people… I want to live.

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