“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”


Mark Twain

As I boarded the flight to Glasgow, I had to rely on Twain’s words as a mantra to combat my self-doubt. Journaling from the plane, I wrote: “Why did I book this trek when I could have easily hung out at home, enjoying London and applying for jobs? I could be laying on the chesterfield and watching Netflix and going for runs to keep up with my ½ marathon training, and…. But here I am, and all of the above will just have to wait until next week.  Instead, I am courageously trekking the West Highland Way, and prepared for whatever mother nature throws my way. If I have learned anything this year, it is to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. So, here I go!”

September 13, 2019

Upon arriving in Glasgow last night, I dropped my backpack off at the CitizenM hotel and quickly scooted back out to meet Heather. It had only been a few days since we had seen each other in Dublin, but it felt like an eternity had passed given how much we had to catch up on. We went for doughnuts at Tantrum Doughnuts and spoke in a hurried flurry about moving complications, dancing, past travel adventures, and plans for the next few months. We walked through Glasgow Green, and then grabbed a carb-y pasta dinner to fuel up for my upcoming hike. Only a short year ago, we had been on the ferry up to Stornoway to see Claire, sharing dreams of living abroad; we toasted to a mission accomplished, and a new adventure begun.

I slept so soundly that when my alarm went off, I was completely disoriented as to where I was! I had wanted to get an early start, but between the giant, comfy bed and missing the train by 20 seconds, I am only now en route via train to Milngavie, on the 10:09 AM run. I have to remind myself that the only time restraint I have is the hours of daylight, and there are still plenty of those left!

7:00 PM

49,000 steps recorded on my Fitbit, 35 kilometres, and one very muddy pair of hiking boots later, I made it to Balmaha from Milngavie (pronounced Mul-guy)!

From the moment I stepped off the train in Milngavie, my fears evaporated, and I was just giddy to get started. I picked up a few snacks at the Honeybee Bakery, which was just as “twee” – to borrow one of Claire’s Scottish terms – as the name suggests. A cup of tea in hand, I skipped off towards the obelisk marking the trailhead, signalling the start of a great adventure.

To be continued…

One Comment on “West Highland Way | Pre-Departure

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