October came and with it the need to adapt once again to my London routine. I started the second year with the hope and expectation for it to be better. I now would be living in a flat with friends and was able to do the two modules I wanted to:photography and writing. As the weeks went by I started to long for traveling again, I needed to. “Ale this is your life now, grow up and embrace it” I thought to myself… One of the goals I had for my second year at university was to try to meet new people but I found it harder than ever to connect with others. After having lost most of the summer due to glandular fever, I lost self confidence and felt weak. I was frustrated and didn’t want to get back to school just like that. But I had to.
I put on my best smile and tried to be ready to tackle this year. I absolutely loved to have my own place with my best friends and to have a bit more of freedom with the modules but in my heart I still desired to get a little break and wander around somewhere I hadn’t been to. I started checking flights and I ended up setting myself to explore Scotland. All my preparation for the trip consisted of booking a first hostel night and hitting up some charity shops to get thermals and gloves for I was fearing the winter that The Highlands would already be experiencing.. In the tills of the one of the stores, a film camera caught my eye. After trying it I couldn’t leave without it, it was a great deal and perfect timing… I searched for my big Quechua backpack and started packing with the joy of a kid. I decided to get the overnight bus to save money and to be able to enjoy the entire day in Edinburgh. I had heard great things about the capital so deep down I feared being disappointed but I was wrong, it exceeded my expectations.
I got to the hostel at 8 am and, camera in hand, started to explore this hauntingly beautiful city. I already started feeling that freedom that traveling on your own brings you. I could do anything. I couldn’t stop smiling. After some chips and hummus (only affordable vegan meal out) I went to the national art galleries and saw a jazz bar that I decided to attend later at night. Once I got back to the hostel, the manager asked me to join to the pubcrawl where I would later meet people whom I connected with instantly. I always find it so much easier to make friends while traveling, when we are all on the same mindset and away from responsibilities.
It was halloween on my second day in Edinburgh and I got tickets with some people from the previous night to a really good event in the Old Town. I spent my morning hiking and found a really cozy and cheap place called Harmonium that gave me energy to keep walking around in the cold. We started the night in another pub crawl before heading to the party. A false feeling of freedom invaded me and I went along with it. I could do anything. I wanted to hitchike the next morning to The highlands and get to see the famous Loch Ness. I probably wouldn’t be back soon so I allowed myself to be completely open with who I was. After a good boogie and barely any sleep, I ended up getting a bus to Inverness, from where I’m writing now. I’ve spent two days here. The first one getting to know the city and its beautiful surroundings and the second one walking around Loch Ness and Drumnadrochit. Tomorrow I go to my last stop: Glasgow. I will spend the weekend with friends and then heading back Sunday night.
Everything seems simpler when all you have to worry about is finding clean socks and weighting how to spend the day… Simple things make your day as realizing that you didn’t fuck up with directions, waking up to 10 other backpackers who always smile back or finding a polish guy reading the same book than you… Then we get back to our routine and we overcomplicate it so much. We get carried away by how we see everyone else getting by. We lose that excitement in finding joy in the simplicity of things and we start to disconnect with everything and everyone around. This little solo adventure has reminded me of how easy everything is and of what to give importance to. I already feel how much this has helped me gain back some confidence. I keep on learning about myself and my boundaries and I’m really excited to carry on this process wherver it may be.