Far Far Up North

Admittedly, it is not the easiest place to get to. The journey itself is something of an odyssey, a gradual shedding of the familiar and the immediate. Landscapes begin to change, morphing from bustling towns and verdant lowlands into a wilder, more untamed terrain. The air grows cooler, fresher, carrying the scent of pine and the faint, earthy aroma of peat and then there is a sense of crossing into another world, where the rush of modern life falls away only to be replaced by a slower, more deliberate rhythm. 

To be in the Scottish Highlands is to experience a real sense of detachment. Life adopts a gentler, slower pace, dictated by the natural world rather than the ceaseless demands of technology. Here, Wi-Fi is certainly patchy and serves as a reminder of our reliance on the digital realm, yet it also offers a liberation from it, an invitation to disconnect and fully immerse yourself for a short time in the present moment.

For us, without the constant hum of digital connectivity, we found ourselves engaging with the world in a more immediate and visceral way and there is a freedom in this; a peace that comes from stepping out of the relentless stream of information and into the quiet of the natural world. Walking in the Highlands, we could not help but be struck by the grandeur and subtlety of the scenery. With the feel of the rough heather underfoot, the cool breeze on the skin, the ever-changing play of light and shadow on the hills—a gradual, involuntary shift started to take place. Conversations became more meaningful, undistracted by the incessant ping of messages. The mind, freed from the tyranny of constant updates, begins to wander, to explore the deeper currents of thought while the body becomes more attuned to the immediate surroundings. 

We would venture, that in the small villages that dot the Highlands, the patchy Wi-Fi is more of a feature than a flaw encouraging a life lived more locally, more attentively. People connect face-to-face, their interactions unmediated by screens. There is a sense of community, of shared experience, a simplicity of existence that is often lost in the digital blur of our urban life. Here, news still spreads through word of mouth, stories are told in the warmth of a pub, and relationships are built on genuine, unhurried connection. 

Perhaps, it is the distance that does it, the fact that you are quite literally so far from anywhere when you are in the Highlands. For us, our time roaming there was measured not in notifications and deadlines, but in the slow arc of the day and by the rugged landscape itself which demands a slower pace. 

At RUSKIN we believe in a quieter, slower pace and in those moments savoured and fully lived. In the Scottish Highlands, this belief really finds its perfect expression. 

On this trip we roamed with our diminutive Pablo bag as a lightweight companion with a pared down volume. 

Roaming With RUSKIN in the Highlands of Scotland

Imagery: ceciliaavolpi_ph