7 In Travels

Lesson Learned from our Scottish Road Trip

So ….how to start this…. well if you follow me on Instagram (which you should totes do) you’ll know that the Brit and I were on a road trip this Easter holiday weekend.

What started as an epic ‘7 days of driving through the Scottish wilderness‘ turned into a 3 day thing so we’d take fully advantage of our Easter holiday and really see one bit of the country instead of doing too much. I am really glad we pushed it down to 3 days because it was an emotional and exhausting 3 days!

I’m not an expert at road trips – and despite what I make it look like on my blog, I am not an expert on Scotland. The Brit, despite being Scottish, isn’t really that knowledgeable about the isles and the country side of Scotland.

Moreover, it was both our first times driving in Scotland – he only got his license recently in England and while I have years of experience driving, driving on the other side of the car on the other side of the road is a bit of a scary transition.

A while back, I read on Amanda’s blog LIAL about the different types of travellers and it really hit me, while I’d love to pretend I’m a fast pace crazy hobo traveller who goes from hostel to hostel with one backpack and does 3 countries in 2 days, that is NOT who I am. I am part of the slow travellers – the one who stay for a while in a country, I am after all residing in Scotland now, stayed for almost 6 weeks in South Africa, 2 months in Berlin, weeks on end in Chile. That’s what I like to do. While I have an urgency and would love to see everything and all countries, I like to take some roots and settle in and really get to know a place.

This weekend reinforced that even more. While I loved our experience – vlog to come on that by the way! – I was also an emotional wreck through the weekend and also came back absolutely exhausted. I’m not good at being exhausted – and neither is the Brit actually. We both love sleeping in and taking our time, which our crazy schedule didn’t really allow for.

I always wanted to do a road trip like this (it is on my 30 before 30 list!) – but the lack of experience really got to me – there was lots learned about planning a road trip in Scotland during the weekend (post to come on that too)! A road trip is exhausting if you’re scared because you’re driving in a totally new environment, it’s exhausting when you get lost because your boyfriend forgot to look at the map, when the weather conditions are horrible and hinder visibility (I mean a road trip is usually also about seeing stuff from the car right?), it’s exhausting when you didn’t book a ferry and when you get there they tell you it’s sold out for the day, it’s exhausting when you have to meet a time schedule because of ferries or check in at hostels, etc.

The weekend was a whirlwind, it was great and horrible all at once, it was dreadfully unlucky and yet full of miracles pulled out of a hat. It’s not something I would want to go through again. But by the end of the weekend I was starting to get a handle on things, I was driving better (and less scared), the weather had turned and the only deadline was trying to make it home before the end of the day, not too stressful.

But yes, the biggest lesson of this weekend is that, while I would love to do a road trip again, travel with the Brit again, see more of Scotland, we are not fast travellers. We like taking our time and driving at our own pace and stopping when we feel like it to take photos with cows and treating ourselves to a great meal specialty of the place we’re in. Some might argue that we didn’t try to see too much, but for our own pace, it was too much. We drove through the Trossachs and through Inveraray and then to see Oban, from there we crossed to Mull and drove the entire thing before heading to see Iona as well. So much for two inexperienced road trippers like us…

But lesson learned. Next time won’t be as scary!

What is your best tip to plan a road trip?xx

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  • My mom and I drove across the US from North Carolina to Southern California when I moved there. I insisted on driving b/c I’d never done a cross-country road trip and it sounded so cool to me. I wish I could go back in time and slap myself in the face. Not that I wouldn’t give it another try, but that road trip was so hellish… There was a thunderstorm every. single. night. (which of course made my cat at the time, who was traveling with us, screech in terror). And we didn’t make it to each of our hotels until around 1 or 2am every time we stopped. UGH. But it’s great to go through the experience and to (like you said) figure out for sure what kind of traveler you are. At least you can check this off your list!

    • Oh I totally get that! Isn’t it so stressful? I think you’re so right, it’s great to go through that experience and it’s good to look at it retrospectively, but it’s also good to learn the lesson that hell no I won’t be doing this again haha

  • I’m sorry that you had a rough trip, but it seems like you turned it into a great learning experience! I agree about being a slow traveler. I would so much rather have the time to truly experience a place than run around all the time, unfortunately, it’s usually not an option. I can’t even imagine driving in the UK! I got scared just driving my first time in Spain. Change to km and kilometers per hour and the signs and UGH. Sounds like you got the hang of it thought and did an awesome job 😀

    • It was rough but in the end when I look back on it it was still lovely! I’m the same about being a slow traveler, but like you said sometimes time doesn’t allow for that – and the experience might be great too really fast, it’s just not my cup of tea! And Oh my gosh I heard it’s nightmarish in Spain!! I mean in the UK it was scary because it was the other side of the road, but I got used to it pretty quickly! 🙂

  • We live and learn 🙂 You’re right, next time will be far less scary! I’m also going to check out the post that you linked to. Also, looking forward to seeing your vlog, ooohh! Lastly, your posts from last week only just showed up on my Bloglovin’ now… weird!

    • Urgh I know! I’ve been having a massive server/feed problem since last week – contacted Bluehost today and it seems like they fixed it and then everything showed up on Blovlovin! Well better late than never 😉