I’ve been back from my backpacking trip for about 6 months now and many places that I visited come back in flashes. Flashes of memories that sometimes I have no idea how they were triggered. There are certain places that I find my mind wandering to when I need to feel relaxed. And most of those times, I find myself reliving my time in the Scottish Highlands.

Before my trip, this was definitely a place that was not on the top of my list. I thought it would be the most similar to Canada because of the language. But I was oh so wrong. Yes, we speak the same language, but the culture is still very different. The celtic way of life is so rich and the landscape is what I truly fell in love with. I’ve been told that the highlands are the least populated region of Europe, and did it ever feel like it. After visiting sites that were packed with sardines, making me want to run for the hills, I truly found so much peace visiting this region of Scotland. The sky was so vibrant, the grass was the greenest I have ever seen and the sand was fine and gold. It was just the place that I needed to be. I saw thousands of years old ruins and castles that were barely holding together. There was something so deep and almost spiritual about the land.

I didn’t realize at the time how important it is to visit places that give you this experience, a feeling of calmness and escapism. When you are back in your day to day life there are often more opportunities for stress than there are when you are travelling or on vacation. But, having these experiences to look back on and loose myself in at times has been the best medicine. It enables me to feel more rejuvenated and calm when I take myself back to the highlands. By being able to separate myself mentally and bring myself somewhere else even for a few minutes, it helps put things into perspective.

I think we all have experienced places that can give us this mental escape, whether it is a simple walk through the woods or visiting your favourite park. These experiences not only give you an escape at the time, they act as places that your mind can escape to when you need it the most.

Think about one of your favourite places and lose yourself in it for awhile. It might be just what you need <3