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  • Writer's pictureNadine Almer

Day 103 - 116: Three months living the Hebridean Dream

15.4. - 27.4.2021

Two weeks ago I was in Aird Uig, contemplating on how to compress three months worth of experiences, adventures and lessons learned, into one blog post. That said I could not even keep up with my personal journaling so there was no way I could write a post about the time I spend here before I left.

Now I am in Glasgow. Marjorie and I travelled by ferry to Ullapool on the mainland, by bus to Inverness and the next day by train to Glasgow.

It is so strange to remember how I had my last long windy and rainy walk just this Monday. On top of the cliffs with the vast ocean in front of me, a million shades of blue and white and gray, the howling of the wind when it sped up and brought minutes of heavy rain, then clear view again without movement, the charming little flowers emerging slowly from the patches of grass and moss, colors I had not seen for months with the shy promise of a multi-facetted spring palett made in heaven, here on this remote Hebridean island. Apart from the waves, the wind, maybe here or there a cow, sheep, or dog, there were no noises, just tranquil freedom.

Even stranger to think back to this moment of my last walk when the weeks prior to that moment went by almost with a blur. So much happened, and did not at the same time. Because although it pretty much was the same routine, tasks to be done like caring for the animals and the plants growing in the polytunnel, somehow there was no routine to all of it. And then came the last weekend and goodbyes to people I cared about and that cared about me, people that would miss me when I was gone.

Now that I am so far away and on to a new adventure, I wanted to really think about what the last three months had done to me, for me and with me. I feel so different and yet I am not able to name in what ways. So during the train ride from Inverness to Glasgow, I lost myself in thoughts, questions and stories, while watching the world outside pass by.

What do I miss? Who do I miss? And why?

Now after one full day spend in Glasgow the answer to the first row of those questions is easy. I miss the serenity of nature and all it brings with it. I miss the feeling of timelessness which carries so much calmness with it. I miss the people and the smile on their faces, always eager and joyful to have a little talk in between engagements. I miss the pure joy of life both of my hosts let me witness each and every day. I miss all of the animals, especially the beloved five dogs of my hosts household. I miss the clean air and most of all the vastness of the ocean, of the land, of simply being. And why I miss all of that is self explanatory I guess, I have changed. Two or three years ago I would have jumped with excitement to have five full days in a big city with shopping and eating out and consuming. Now the first thing I did upon my arrival was googling the biggest parks and where I could find nature. The second thing was to make sure I am able to go on to Northern Ireland by Sunday and escape the loud citylife, back to remoteness and nature.

What had I learned, if anything?

As far as new learned skills goes, apart from all of the newfound abilities I earned from the life of crofting, I have started to develop accomplishments by attending regularly online classes for diplomas in "Social Media Marketing", "Yoga" and "Coaching". Self-development was a huge focus in the last three months as well. The self-love challenge and four day water fasting made me grow and be proud of myself for seeing things through to the end. There is also something else I have noticed intrinsically.

I am not as stressed anymore when something does not play out as planned. See, from the first day of my travels everything went wrong, everything that could turn out other than I have planned did exactly that. All preparations I needed to do in order to carry on with my journey turned out to be a lot of mental stress. Adapting to spontaneoustrain redirections and reschedules and transfers,sudden changes of government restrictions due to the pandemic, finding new accommodation in a short period of time and organizing a COVID test kit with all the things required for being able to carry on travelling or even having no internet access apart from the limited one provided by my swiss telephone company, all of it seemed like huge endeavours to be mastered. I was tested and I am now at a place where I can say that I am more calm, more trusting that every thing always will work out as it is supposed to be. During my first two weeks in January upon my departure from Switzerland, I was not even able to eat because I was so anxious. So although I did not know what would happen this time around while on the road again, I could not only eat, I was able to enjoy the travel time. Good to have this new sense of security and trust, as I am facing another challenge right now where it is not at all sure if I can reach my next destination in Northern Ireland. Fingers crossed that all will be well, I definitely will keep you posted.

Who was I now, had I changed?

When it comes to the question of who I am now or if I have changed, I definitely can say I have. Now I know when to act and when to rest. For example right now I am enjoying this city even though I do not have any plan on how to get to Northern Ireland on Sunday and do not have accommodation from Sunday onwards. I rest because I have taken every step I could have taken, now I need to wait for a reply to confirm if I can travel with Marjorie by bus or not. Until then, I might as well realx and enjoy myself, whereas months ago I would have stressed over it for the whole time with anxiety, probably even panic. What plays into this also may be that I have replaced self-judgement with self-compassion. Instead of punishing myself mentally how stupid I am for not being better prepared, not ensuring Marjorie's and my safety beforehand, how unable I am to travel and how absolutely silly it was to go on this journey in the first place and giving up all of the security at home in Switzerland. Now I focus on having a good time, despite being in a city, despite missing nature and the Isle of Lewis, despite knowing no one and being on my own once more, despite all the uncertainties, I enjoy the experience. Basically I keep to the quote from the Dalai Lama out of the movie 7 Years in Tibet:

"If the problem can be solved, there is no need worrying about it.
If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good."

I am much more confident that I am able to achieve and do whatever I set my mind to, I am much more aligned with my needs in order to stay mentally healthy and act faster if I feel like something is off. I love myself more, not fully and unconditionally yet, but I am on a very good way, especially when it comes to my body image. I become aware more easily if and when I change, losing myself in old habits of taking on roles to fit in or to be more likeable.

Just four months after my departure and I feel much bigger, more resilient and able, matured even.

And most importantly of all, had my dreams evolved into something else?

When it comes to my longterm goals- no, they have not changed. On the contrary, they became even more carved in stone. I want to live in Scotland. I want to live in an intentional community. I want this community to live in alignment with our Mama Earth which could be achieved with the concept of an ecovillage. I want to create a healthier, thriving environment for my children, if there ever will be children, preserve the beauty and abundance nature presents us with for all the children born already or yet to be born. I want to give Mama Earth everything she provided for me back a hundredfold, in the most loving, compassionate and respectful way.

My five year plan is still up, I have not lost focus and due to my first experience with absolute secludedness and a preview of what farming life looks like, I am even more intrigued and even more focused on getting there.

There are a lot more steps to be taken, a lot more experiences to be made, a lot more people and places to visit. There is so much out there and for some reason I think for now, this is all I need to do to get where I need to be. Explore, travel, experience, keep going. And all of this with my loyal partner in crime, Marjorie. As of now I feel blessed again to be able to live my dream, be out on an adventure to seek what ignites joy in my heart and soul. I am full of gratitude again. Especially because of all people out there, my support system, my friends and family, my guidance and guardians! From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you, without you I would not be here, I would not be able to have the courage.

Love and light to all of you, beloved souls


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