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Highlander Adventure: My First Post-lockdown Trip


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Arly Cathey



After months of being cooped up at home due to the global pandemic, the world is slowly reopening, and the urge to embark on an adventure is stronger than ever. As an avid traveler and adventure enthusiast, I couldn’t wait to pack my bags and hit the road once again. This time, my destination of choice was the majestic highlands, a place known for its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and exhilarating activities.


Choosing the highlands as my first post-lockdown trip was an easy decision. I had always been fascinated by the raw beauty and tranquility that this region offered. From rugged mountains to cascading waterfalls and serene lochs, the highlands promised a perfect escape from the chaos of everyday life.


Planning the trip required a careful balance between immersing myself in the great outdoors and experiencing the local culture. I wanted to embark on thrilling adventures, witness stunning vistas, and also get a taste of the unique traditions and warm hospitality of the highlanders. With these goals in mind, I started to meticulously plan my itinerary.


Preparing for the adventure was just as exciting as the trip itself. I gathered my hiking gear, packed my camera, and made sure to bring along a healthy dose of curiosity and enthusiasm. I was ready to embrace the unknown, challenge my limits, and create unforgettable memories in the highlands.


Join me as I take you through each day of my incredible highlander adventure. From breathtaking hikes to cultural immersions and adrenaline-filled activities, this journey will showcase the beauty and excitement that the highlands have to offer. Get ready to be inspired and let the wanderlust take hold as we dive into this unforgettable experience.


Choosing the Destination

When it came to choosing the destination for my first post-lockdown trip, the highlands immediately stood out as the perfect choice. The allure of this mystical region, with its untamed nature and rich cultural heritage, was simply irresistible. From the moment I set foot in the highlands, I knew I had made the right decision.


One of the main reasons I chose the highlands was the stunning natural beauty that awaited me. The rugged mountains, emerald-green valleys, and crystal-clear lochs created a picture-perfect landscape that captivated my imagination. I yearned to hike through ancient forests, wander along remote beaches, and soak in the tranquility of these breathtaking surroundings.


In addition to its natural wonders, the highlands also boasted a rich history and folklore that fascinated me. Castles, clan battles, and tales of mythical creatures stirred my curiosity, and I was eager to delve into the past and uncover the stories that lay hidden in the hills and valleys of the highlands.


Another factor that influenced my decision was the highlands’ reputation as an adventurer’s playground. From mountaineering to kayaking, there was no shortage of adrenaline-pumping activities to satisfy my craving for excitement. Whether it was conquering a challenging summit or braving the rapids of a fast-flowing river, I knew the highlands would provide the perfect backdrop for thrilling adventures.


Furthermore, the local culture and warmth of the highlanders played a significant role in my decision. I had heard tales of their hospitality, their passion for traditional music and dance, and their deep-rooted connection to the land. I longed to immerse myself in this unique culture, to taste local delicacies, and to engage in conversations that would allow me to truly understand the spirit of the highlands.


In the end, choosing the highlands as my post-lockdown destination was a no-brainer. The combination of natural beauty, rich history, exciting activities, and warm hospitality created an irresistible allure that I simply could not resist. So, with my heart set on the highlands, I eagerly began planning my adventure, eagerly anticipating the incredible experiences that lay ahead.


Planning the Trip

Planning a trip to the highlands required careful consideration and meticulous attention to detail. I wanted to make the most of my time in this captivating region, ensuring that I had a well-rounded experience that encompassed both outdoor adventures and cultural exploration.


The first step in planning my trip was to set a realistic timeframe. I knew that a few days would not be enough to fully immerse myself in the beauty and activities that the highlands had to offer. After much consideration, I settled on a week-long adventure, giving me ample time to explore different areas and indulge in various experiences.


Next, I researched and prioritized the key attractions and activities that I wanted to include in my itinerary. From hiking in the majestic Glen Coe and scaling the summit of Ben Nevis to visiting historic castles and immersing in the local whisky distillery, there was no shortage of options that captured my interest. I made a list of these must-see places and activities, ensuring that I had a good balance between nature, history, and adventure.


After deciding on the highlights, I started mapping out the logistics of my trip. This included determining the best mode of transportation, whether it be renting a car to have the freedom to explore at my own pace or relying on public transportation to navigate the highlands. I also booked accommodations in strategic locations that allowed easy access to the attractions on my list.


While planning, I made sure to leave room for spontaneity and flexibility. I understood that the magic of the highlands often lay in the unexpected encounters and hidden gems off the beaten path. I wanted to have the freedom to deviate from the plan if I stumbled upon a captivating lookout, stumbled upon a charming village, or met locals who recommended unique experiences.


Lastly, being mindful of the current situation, I kept a close eye on any travel restrictions, local guidelines, and safety measures in place. It was important to adapt my plans accordingly and prioritize the well-being of myself and the local community.


With my itinerary set, transportation arranged, and accommodations booked, I was now ready to embark on my highlander adventure. The excitement was palpable as I eagerly anticipated the breathtaking landscapes, cultural immersion, and adrenaline-filled activities that awaited me in the highlands.


Preparing for the Adventure

Preparing for my highlander adventure was an exciting process that involved gathering the necessary gear, researching the local customs, and mentally preparing myself for the challenges and experiences that lay ahead. I wanted to make sure that I was well-equipped both physically and mentally to make the most of my time in the highlands.


The first step was to ensure I had the appropriate gear for outdoor activities. Since hiking was a key part of my itinerary, I invested in a sturdy pair of hiking boots to provide comfort and support on the rugged terrain. I also packed waterproof clothing and layers to be prepared for the unpredictable highland weather. Additionally, I brought along a backpack, a map, a compass, and a first aid kit to ensure I was prepared for any situation that might arise during my adventures.


Another crucial aspect of preparation was researching the local customs and traditions. I familiarized myself with the etiquette of visiting sacred sites, such as castles and historical landmarks, and made sure to be respectful of these significant places. I also learned a few basic greetings and phrases in Gaelic to show my appreciation for the local language and culture.


Mental preparation was just as important as physical preparation. I reminded myself to embrace the spirit of adventure, to be open to new experiences, and to let go of any expectations I might have had. I knew that the highlands had a way of surprising and enchanting its visitors, and I wanted to be fully present and ready to embrace the magic of the moment.


Additionally, I made a conscious effort to disconnect from the digital world and immerse myself in the natural surroundings. I limited my use of technology to focus on the present moment, allowing myself to fully absorb the beauty and serenity of the highlands. This helped create a deeper connection with the surroundings and allowed me to fully appreciate the experiences as they unfolded.


Finally, I packed my camera to capture the memories and the stunning landscapes that I would encounter. While I wanted to be present in the moment, I also wanted to document the journey and share it with others, inspiring them to embark on their own highlander adventures.


With the preparations complete, I felt a mix of anticipation and excitement as the departure day approached. I was prepared physically, mentally, and emotionally for the adventure that awaited me in the highlands. It was time to embark on this journey of a lifetime and embrace the beauty and wonder of the highlands.


Day 1: Arrival and First Impressions

After months of anticipation, the day had finally arrived. I landed at the nearest airport to the highlands and felt a surge of excitement as I stepped off the plane. The crisp air and the panoramic view of rolling hills in the distance instantly set the stage for what would be an unforgettable adventure.


As I made my way towards my accommodation in a small highland village, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the beauty of the landscape. Verdant meadows stretched out as far as the eye could see, dotted with charming cottages and grazing sheep. The air was filled with the fresh scent of heather and the gentle sound of flowing streams.


Upon arriving at my lodging, a cozy bed and breakfast nestled amidst lush greenery, I was greeted warmly by the owners. Their genuine hospitality and enthusiasm for sharing local insights instantly made me feel welcomed. They provided me with a map and suggested a few nearby attractions to explore on my first day.


With their recommendations in mind, I set off to discover the wonders of the highlands. My first stop was a picturesque loch that shimmered like a mirror under the clear blue sky. The tranquility of the surroundings was mesmerizing, and I took a moment to breathe in the serenity of the moment.


Continuing my journey, I found myself immersed in a dense woodland, following a winding path that led me deeper into nature’s embrace. Sunlight filtered through the thick canopy, creating a play of light and shadow on the forest floor. The silence was broken only by the rustling of leaves and the occasional song of a bird.


As the day wore on, I stumbled upon a hidden waterfall tucked away in a secluded glen. The cascading water, framed by moss-covered rocks and surrounded by a carpet of wildflowers, was a sight to behold. I sat in quiet contemplation, allowing the sounds of nature to soothe my soul.


As evening approached, I made my way back to the village, stopping at a local pub to savor a hearty meal. The warm, cozy atmosphere and the friendly chatter of locals made me feel like a part of the community. Conversations flowed effortlessly, and I listened enraptured as stories of highland legends were shared.


Reflecting on my first day in the highlands, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of awe and gratitude. The beauty of the landscape, the warmth of the people, and the serenity of the surroundings had left an indelible mark on my heart. I knew that this was just the beginning of a remarkable adventure that would continue to unfold in the days to come.


Day 2: Exploring the Highlands

Waking up to another day of adventure in the highlands, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Today, I planned to explore the vast expanse of the highland region and discover its hidden gems.


I started my day by driving along the winding roads that carved through the majestic mountains. Each turn brought a new breathtaking vista, with rugged peaks, lush valleys, and shimmering lochs stretching as far as the eye could see. It was a paradise for nature lovers like myself.


My first stop was a renowned hiking trail in Glen Coe, known for its dramatic beauty and rich history. As I trekked through the valley, the towering peaks on either side of me seemed to stand as guardians of nature’s magnificence. The trail led me past cascading waterfalls and ancient rock formations, making me feel like I had stepped into a mythical land.


After a challenging but rewarding hike, I reached a viewpoint that offered a panoramic view of Glen Coe. The sight took my breath away. The valley unfolded before me in all its grandeur, with lush greenery contrasting against the rugged cliffs. I sat in awe, absorbing the sheer beauty of the highlands.


Continuing my exploration, I made my way to the mystical Loch Ness, famed for its elusive creature, the Loch Ness Monster. As I stood on the shores, gazing out at the vast expanse of water, I couldn’t help but wonder about the mysteries that lay beneath its surface. It was a humbling reminder of the realm of the unknown that still existed in the highlands.


The day wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a historic castle, a symbol of the highland’s rich heritage. I chose to explore Eilean Donan Castle, perched on a small island at the meeting point of three lochs. The castle’s imposing structure and its picturesque setting against the backdrop of mountains and water made it a sight straight out of a fairytale.


As the day drew to a close, I found a quiet spot near a loch to witness the stunning highland sunset. The sky exploded with hues of gold, pink, and orange, casting a warm glow over the landscape. In that moment, I felt a sense of peace and harmony, as if the highlands were whispering their secrets to me.


As I made my way back to my accommodation, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to explore the highlands. Each step, each sight, and each interaction had deepened my connection with this extraordinary region. The highlands had truly exceeded my expectations, leaving me eager for what the next days of the adventure had in store.


Day 3: Hiking to the Summit

Today was the day I had been eagerly anticipating – the day I would embark on a challenging hike to reach the summit of one of the highlands’ iconic mountains. With my hiking boots laced up and a sense of determination in my heart, I set off to conquer the majestic peak.


The mountain I had chosen was Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the British Isles. As I began my ascent, the trail meandered through a diverse landscape, starting with gentle slopes covered in vibrant wildflowers before transitioning into rugged terrain cloaked in mist. The ever-changing scenery added to the allure of the adventure.


The hike was demanding, but the rewards were plentiful. Inching closer to the summit, I was greeted with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountain ranges, vast valleys, and the glittering sea in the distance. With each step, I felt a sense of accomplishment and awe at the raw beauty of the highlands.


As I reached the summit, a rush of exhilaration washed over me. Standing atop Ben Nevis, surrounded by sweeping views, was a truly unforgettable experience. The sense of accomplishment and the overwhelming sense of peace, knowing that I had conquered this majestic peak, was indescribable.


I took a moment to absorb the serenity of the summit and reflect on the journey. The highlands had pushed me to my limits, both physically and mentally, but the sense of achievement was incredibly rewarding. It was a reminder of the power of nature and the inner strength that lies within us all.


After a moment of rest and soaking in the awe-inspiring surroundings, I began my descent. The journey down allowed me to appreciate the mountain from a different perspective and savor the beauty of the highland landscape.


Upon reaching the base, a mix of fatigue and contentment washed over me. The hike had tested my endurance, but it had also rewarded me with a sense of accomplishment and a profound connection to the highlands. It was a day filled with challenges, triumphs, and an overwhelming appreciation for the raw beauty of nature.


I spent the evening recounting the day’s adventure, reliving the breathtaking views and reminiscing about the profound sense of achievement. The highlands had once again proved to be a land of adventure and exploration, leaving me with memories that would last a lifetime.


Day 4: Immersing in Local Culture

After days of exploring the natural wonders of the highlands, I decided to dedicate this day to immerse myself in the local culture. I was eager to learn more about the traditions, history, and the warm-hearted people who call this mystical region their home.


I started the day by visiting a nearby highland village known for preserving its rich heritage. The narrow streets were lined with quaint shops, showcasing locally made crafts, tartans, and traditional kilts. I couldn’t resist the temptation to bring home a piece of highland culture, so I carefully selected a handcrafted souvenir to commemorate my journey.


Next, I visited a traditional highland museum, which provided a comprehensive glimpse into the region’s fascinating past. From displays of ancient artefacts to interactive exhibits showcasing the everyday life of highlanders, it was a captivating journey through time. I soaked up the stories and legends shared by the knowledgeable museum staff, gaining a deeper appreciation for the highland culture.


With a desire to experience the highland music and dance, I sought out a local gathering spot known for its lively ceilidhs. Stepping into the vibrant atmosphere, I was immediately swept away by the sounds of fiddles, bagpipes, and lively dancing. The infectious energy of the ceilidh took hold, and I found myself joining in the revelry, learning traditional dances and forging connections with both locals and fellow travelers.


As I explored the village further, I had the opportunity to meet some of the highlanders and hear their personal stories. Their warm hospitality touched my heart as they shared anecdotes about their lives in the highlands, passed down through generations. It was through these encounters that I truly understood the deep sense of community and love for their homeland that resonated within the highland culture.


To further immerse myself in the culinary traditions, I indulged in a traditional highland feast at a local restaurant. From haggis to venison, each dish was a testament to the region’s rich gastronomic heritage. The flavors evoked a sense of nostalgia and a connection to the land that had nourished generations of highlanders.


The day concluded with a traditional storytelling session, where a seasoned storyteller shared ancient tales and legends. As I sat enthralled by the stories of heroes, mythical creatures, and fierce battles, I realized that these tales were not just folklore but a window into the spirit of the highlands.


Day 4 had allowed me to delve deep into the heart of the highland culture, and I felt privileged to have witnessed its richness and authenticity. The people, the music, the stories – they all added layers of beauty to my highland adventure, leaving me with a profound appreciation for the spirit and traditions that make the highlands so unique.


Day 5: Adrenaline-Filled Activities

On day 5 of my highlander adventure, I was ready to inject a burst of adrenaline into my trip. It was time to trade the tranquility and exploration for thrilling adventures that the highlands are also known for.


My first stop was an outdoor adventure center nestled in the heart of the highlands. With a wide range of exhilarating activities on offer, I couldn’t wait to challenge myself and push my limits. The center provided all the necessary equipment and experienced guides to ensure a safe and adrenaline-pumping experience.


I started the day with whitewater rafting, plunging into the furious rapids of a highland river. The rush of adrenaline as the raft navigated through the swirling currents was electrifying. The stunning natural surroundings – towering cliffs and dense forest – added to the excitement, creating an unforgettable adventure.


Next on the agenda was a thrilling zipline experience that allowed me to soar through the sky, taking in bird’s-eye views of the mesmerizing highland landscape. The wind rushing past me and the panoramic views stretched out before me created a sense of freedom and exhilaration.


Eager to continue the adrenaline rush, I decided to try my hand at rock climbing. Scaling the rugged cliffs of the highlands was both physically demanding and mentally stimulating. With each handhold and foothold conquered, I felt a surge of accomplishment and a renewed sense of confidence.


The highlands are also a paradise for mountain biking, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to explore the trails on two wheels. The challenging terrain and breathtaking scenery made for an unforgettable ride, where the thrill of speed and the beauty of nature seamlessly merged.


To cap off the day, I chose to try one of the most iconic activities in the highlands – paragliding. As I soared through the sky, suspended by a colorful canopy, the vastness of the highland landscape unfolded beneath me. The feeling of weightlessness and the awe-inspiring views filled me with a pure sense of joy and exhilaration.


The adrenaline-fueled activities of day 5 had tested my limits and provided a rush like no other. They had allowed me to embrace the wild side of the highlands, experiencing the incredible landscapes from entirely new perspectives. The combination of adventure and natural beauty left me with an undeniable sense of vitality and gratitude for the adrenaline-filled wonders of this incredible region.


Day 6: Farewell to the Highlands

As my highlander adventure drew to a close, there was a bittersweet feeling in the air. Day 6 marked the end of my journey through the captivating highlands, and it was time to bid farewell to the breathtaking landscapes, warm-hearted locals, and the sense of wonder that this region had instilled in me.


Although it was time to say goodbye, I wanted to make the most of my final day in the highlands. I started by embarking on a leisurely hike, allowing myself one last opportunity to immerse myself in the beauty of the natural surroundings. The peace and tranquility of the highland trails provided a perfect backdrop for reflection and contemplation.


Throughout the hike, I paused frequently to capture photographs, wanting to encapsulate the memories and preserve the essence of the highlands. Each scenic vista and hidden gem held a special place in my heart, and I wanted to carry a piece of the highlands with me as I ventured back to everyday life.


After the hike, I decided to take a boat tour along one of the picturesque lochs, allowing me to marvel at the stunning reflections of the mountains dancing on the water’s surface. It was a calming and immersive experience, a gentle farewell to the mesmerizing landscapes that had captivated my soul.


I concluded my time in the highlands by visiting a local highland gathering, an event that showcased traditional music, dance, and camaraderie. It was a fitting tribute to the spirited culture that defines this unique region. Engaging with the lively atmosphere, I found myself participating in the dances, savoring the soul-stirring music, and engaging in heartfelt conversations with locals and fellow travelers.


As I said my goodbyes and walked away from the gathering, I couldn’t help but reminisce on the incredible moments and experiences that had shaped my highlander adventure. The sense of awe, the thrilling adventures, the deep connections with nature and culture – they had all left an indelible mark on my journey.


Farewell to the highlands meant saying goodbye to a place that had both challenged me and filled me with a profound sense of peace. It was a place that had awakened my senses, invigorated my spirit, and taught me the power of nature and human connection.


As I left the highlands, I carried with me the memories and lessons that this transformative journey had bestowed upon me. The highlands had left an imprint on my soul, and I knew that the spirit of the highlands would forever hold a special place in my heart.


As I boarded my return flight, I looked out of the window one last time, bidding farewell to the highlands – a land of breathtaking beauty, thrilling adventures, and unforgettable moments. I left with a profound gratitude for the highlands’ majestic embrace and the memories that would stay with me for a lifetime.



As I reflect on my highlander adventure, I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude and fulfillment. The time spent exploring the breathtaking landscapes, immersing myself in the rich culture, and embracing thrilling adventures in the highlands has been nothing short of transformative.


The highlands welcomed me with open arms, captivating me from the very first moment. The raw beauty of the mountains, the serenity of the lochs, and the enchanting forests painted a picture-perfect backdrop for my journey. The highlands reminded me of the awe-inspiring power of nature and the importance of preserving its untouched splendor.


But it was not just the natural wonders that made the highlands so special. It was the vibrant culture and warm-hearted people who embraced me as part of their community. I cherished the moments of sharing stories, engaging in local traditions, and being captivated by the melodic tunes of highland music. These experiences opened my eyes to the rich heritage and the deep sense of pride that the highlanders carry for their land.


Each day brought new adventures and thrilling activities that challenged both my body and mind. From hiking to the summit of Ben Nevis to whitewater rafting through raging rapids, the adrenaline-filled moments pushed me beyond my comfort zone and left me with an exhilarating sense of accomplishment.


Throughout the journey, I learned about the resilience and strength that resides within me. I discovered the joy of embracing the unknown and surrendering to the beauty of the present moment. The highlands taught me valuable lessons about the importance of connecting with nature, immersing in local culture, and embracing adventure with an open heart and mind.


As I conclude my highlander adventure and head back to the bustle of everyday life, I carry the memories and lessons learned as precious treasures. The highlands have left an indelible mark on my soul, forever reminding me of the profound beauty that exists both within and outside of ourselves.


I encourage all who have the opportunity to embark on their own highlander adventure. Let the highlands ignite your sense of wonder, invigorate your spirit, and fill your heart with awe. Whether it’s hiking through ancient glens, exploring historic sites, or immersing in the vibrant culture, the highlands offer a journey that is both transformative and unforgettable.


As I say farewell to the highlands, I take with me a renewed appreciation for the beauty of our world and the experiences that shape us. The highlands have become a part of me, and their spirit will forever inspire me to seek adventure, embrace nature, and immerse myself in the rich tapestry of cultures that make our world so remarkable.