Since I came back from Patagonia, my thirst for the great outdoors have been endless. And that was the primary motivation for this May trip to Scotland. Dornoch was our first pit-stop on the North Coast 500. Lately, I have been pretty serious about making the right choices. And that was entirely part of the trip: yes, I wanted outdoors. But I also wanted to spend some time meditating and to be able to practice mindfulness during my trip.
However, when you travel with a group, it’s not always easy to find the time. Especially on a road trip. To avoid the frustration and the feeling of being constantly on a roller coaster, I chose my traveling companions wisely. All of them where in the same state of mind as I was and we all wanted to be present for each and every moment of that adventure.
A breath of fresh air on Dornoch beach
When we arrived in Inverness, although I could feel that the wilderness was getting closer and closer, I still was in a town. And my heart started beating faster when we left the highway to take a more scenic route to our first pit-stop: Dornoch’s beach.
Beside the four of us, there might have been a couple other people on that beach, but that’s it. And there, I started to breathe better. We had been cramped in a plane, cramped in a hotel room (as charming as the Cedar Villa Guest House was), cramped in a car (although we got upgraded on the size of the car since we had to wait two hours to get one. Thanks Europcar!). Now it was time to spread our wings and make a run for the ocean.
That’s what Alice did, as she took her first Scottish bath. Well, at least up to the knees… I stayed quietly on the dry land and let the smell of the ocean fill my lungs as I enjoyed the silence.
Julie decided it was a good place to meditate.
Meanwhile on my side of things
I couldn’t close my eyes on so much beauty. Despite the grey skies that gave a much subdued light on the sand, sea and dark rocks. Those were making a wonderful frame for incredibly bright colors that never ended to fascinate me. Like the acid green on the rocks or the wild yellow of the Gorse flowers.
I had discovered Gorse flowers (and its stabbies) a little earlier in the day while trying to get a rental car. Pay attention, it smells like coconut. Very hard to imagine when you’re locked in an air-conditioned vehicle. But, oh so pungent, when you frolic in the wilderness.
Although it was only the second day, I felt like I had already opened my senses to Scotland (tastebuds got hit in the morning with my first Full Scottish Breakfast). That first stop in Dornoch was a wonderful opportunity to stretch our legs and our minds into absorbing even more of what makes Scotland such a magical place.