Embracing Nature 

  
We live a fast-paced life, working, volunteering and a schedule waiting to be met. For myself, I find it hard to believe how time flies working and living a busy life that it’s hard to stop    and think. It’s at times like these, you should stop, take a minute and listen to that little voice in your head that is telling you to give yourself a break. 

For a while I had been thinking- ‘I just want to get away!’ Go on holiday or do something to ease my mind and not have to think about ‘life’. The initial plan was to grab a friend and head to another city for shopping and a bite to eat. But even that thought exhausted me- get up, get dressed, buy more clothes I’m not going to wear, spend more money unnecessarily and come home having tired myself out! Worth it? Maybe if it was something you haven’t done in a while, but not in my case. 
As a teenager, I loved cycling, hiking and doing activities out of my comfort zone. I used to get a lot of joy out of it, knowing that I challenged myself. Then I realised, this is what I needed to do- go for a long pleasant hike out in the middle of nowhere! 
That is exactly what I did! Called my bestie, made a nice light healthy lunch and took off in the morning for an adventure! It was great to just get my hiking boots on, my hoodie and backpack and not care in the world what I looked like… Well apart from the time I wanted to take a ‘selfie’. 

  
We set off and drove to Glen Doll and went for a nice long pleasant hike. It was beautiful to hear nothing but the sound of nature, the sheep baa’ing at us and the sound of nearby waterfalls. The view was absolutely stunning as well as the weather! 

  
 I didn’t have a care in the world about anything for those couple of hours, other than being with a good friend and enjoying nature. The lack of signal on our phone was a bonus as it meant switching off from the consumerist and materialistic world and spending time with what is truly important- the people physically with us. Just catching up, appreciating the wild and freeing our mind was truly a momentarily blessing. I realised that we take time out to go shopping and do other activities but we never feel at peace. Just being in an isolated place and embracing the silence was fulfilling for the empty soul.

  
Then I came across this beautiful quote on a postcard which was fitting for our time and friendship we have had- ‘leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but memories’ 

  
Exactly what we did folks! 
By Shaista Ali 

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