Family Road Trip

We have returned from our last minute road trip of the North Coast 500 around the Scottish Highlands.

It was incredible.
We live in a beautiful area and I never tire of seeing the sunsets over the sea and the Lake District mountains…but that west coast from Ullapool to Tongue had to be my favourite part…it blew us all away! Ben, my 26 year old summed it up… “I am almost tired of being constantly amazed!!” It was such a great trip…Nancy organised it all at the last minute. We should have been running 2 weeks of retreats in Portugal but they obviously had to be postponed to next year.
We wanted to make the most of the family time booked off and did not want to go abroad so decided on our Scottish staycation.
There was not a lot of availability left, in fact one night we had just 2 triple rooms between the 6 of us (lovely for Ben and his girlfriend Chrissy to have Joe, 21, sharing with them and Nancy in with us!)…but it was lovely, and one night we were even in 2 separate B&Bs!


This is us at Dunnet Head, the most Northern tip of the mainland! 

We stayed in a mix of accommodation, a bigger hotel, guest houses and B&Bs…our favourite were the personal B&B…the type where Louise cooks you whatever you like for breakfast and tells you all about the local history and her resident ghost! 

None of the places were posh…but they were all lovely in their own way. 

We loved that we had no idea what to expect each day, or, apart from Nancy’s directions, where we were going!  We pulled over whenever we saw a particularly lovely view, even if it was just 5 Minutes in a layby! We had some hairy driving sections…over steep winding mountains in dreadful rain and fog…we appreciated the views, courtesy of the internet!! The weather was mixed…pissing it down some days and glorious sunshine the next.  

Sometimes we ate in a beautiful restaurant and other nights we had a chippy tea on the seafront! It was a big, mixed up, mashed up bag of treats! A bit like life really. I loved the spontaneity of it all. The no fuss, take it or leave it, go with the flow vibe. The only ‘downside’, in quotation marks as it really wasn’t, is that there was a distinct lack of decent ice cream!! 


I managed to survive….just!! I would highly recommend it to anyone.


Nancy is working on putting all the information into a little book/pamphlet…she loved organising it. I was horrified at the thought as assumed it would take far too much time, of which I have been lacking. Left to me, it probably would never have happened.  I was right, it did take a lot of time to organise..but Nancy just reinforced her decision to want to do Event Management at University! One thing it has reminded me of, is to take more guilt free time off. To be more organised with my work/life balance. This is down to me and no one else. I have to be strict with myself…and to stop forgetting just to switch off at night and responding to comments, messages and emails late at night just so I can start the next day with a ‘clean sheet’
My ‘sheets do not need to be clean’ at the beginning of ever day, but I do need to enjoy family time, away from the computer!
We are reclaiming our evenings and Weekends..(unless we are in the middle of a launch or retreat of course!)
I hope you give your work/life balance some priority thought…whatever it is you do.
It doesn’t mean I like my job less…I LOVE it…I just want to be able to do it even better!
The trip also reminded me that not everything has to be perfect…but you have to be present to enjoy it.
I documented it all on my Instagram stories. It was quite tough at first choosing not to respond to all of your lovely messages and suggestions…I appreciated every single one…even the ones recommending ice cream stores…which were closed!!!
I put it all on my stories so that I have a record of our trip…its great to look back on. Ben and Chrissy said they loved getting into bed at night and re-watching our day!
It may have all looked perfect on Instagram, but believe me there were still teenage moods to deal with, morning can’t be arsedness when the mini van had the atmosphere of an abandoned library! Children throwing you the odd cutting comment, they think they are being funny but instead it leaves an ice pick size hole in the centre of your heart.
I also had a down day…well more of an afternoon. I remember stood on the side of a hill looking out at this amazing view, with my family and yet I just felt so flat and melancholy. It was bizarre and made no sense to my conscious mind. I have learnt not to judge myself and just accept what is. Needless to say, like any mood…it passed. (I think I have written an email about that!!)
So enjoy taking the rough with the smooth, the good with the bad and the happy with the sad. It is what makes up this rich tapestry of life…and without one mood…we can’t experience the beauty of the other.
Love and Lack of Ice cream,

The photo below is of us at the top of Bealach na Bà. I did not bother trying to get the scenary as we couldn’t see any!


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