There’s something so daunting about starting a journey home…
…especially when you’re travelling alone.
I’d been given moments of brief respite from my solitude on my way up North to Darnford Farms. I’d been able to chat to the capable staff members of the restaurants that I’d been eating at, plus there were the unexpected hitchhikers that I was fortunate enough to meet along the way. They’d all proven to be charming travelling companions. But as I waved goodbye to Mr. Watson and Jeremiah (who was staying at the farm for a few more days) an unexpected wave of melancholy swept over me.
With my goal complete, my slate was worryingly clean.
There were no burning tasks that I needed to complete, no ambition or goal that I was striving for. I’d enjoyed the journey so much that I’d reached the destination without a plan as to what to do afterwards.
My job down in Cornwall was being kept for me, plus cash reserves were still plentiful, meaning that I could stay on the road indefinitely. Most people dream of being in this kind of situation: a full tank of fuel and an open road with no particular plan. When you’re actually in this situation, you might be surprised at how daunted you are. That night I consulted my bibliography of travel bloggers, I was sure that someone had been in a similar position to me. Whilst I found plenty of useful articles detailing how to fund my travel blog, or even find cheaper airport parking, there wasn’t any information out there to tell me what I should do next.
My legs felt restless and that night, whilst parked up in some forgotten lay-by just south of Gauldry, I struggled falling asleep.
I dreamt of a stampede.
Hordes of Highland cattle, whipping up dust in the distance and creating a cacophony of hooves that thundered the ground and brought me awake in a moment. The sounds were still there, hundreds of feet hitting the ground just outside my van door. Surely the cattle weren’t right outside? Taking a deep breath, I yanked the door open to be greeted by the sight of runners – dozens of them, all trotting by at a pace.
The shock of so many people running past (with me still dressed in my pyjamas) knocked me back a little and I sat dumbfounded in the van watching the technicolor procession of dayglo runners drift nimbly by. I observed the expression on their faces as they ran by, they ranged from grim determination to amiably exerted – either way they all shared a similar look of apparent happiness. Their joy was infectious, so much so that I wanted to get out there and join them. I stopped myself from slipping on a pair of trainers and joining the pack, but decided there and then to incorporate running into my slow journey back.
Back on the road once more, I stopped off at Stirling to pick up some discount sportswear from a sports shop. Kitted out with running shoes, shorts and enough socks to last me 2 weeks of running, I was ready to embrace my new hobby.