Uncharted Traveller

Tag - ireland

Hiking Donegal: The Choice Is Always Yours


This photo was taken while hiking Donegal, Ireland a few of weeks ago. I was travelling the west coast of Ireland while trying to work remotely in my tent each evening. It ended in disaster.

It was a logistical nightmare in which I was unable get any connection or signal to work online. As a result, I was very concerned during this trip about the constant thoughts of failure and the many reasons that almost stopped me from taking to it in the first place.

Ironically, these first steps of learning how to become a full time travel writer brought a distinct reminder for why it was suddenly so difficult.

The Atlantic ocean was crashing along the shore on a particularly stormy night and once more, I was fretting about not being able to get online again to earn any income and forget about the many obstacles that seemed to be unfolding each day.

With nothing else to do, I picked up a book and beneath the glow of my little head torch, I read a passage which told me everything I needed to hear.

“The red road is the tough road because it’s narrow, it’s winding, it’s full of storms and obstacles. The black road is easy, it’s straight and it’s wide, it doesn’t offer any challenges. The storyteller never says you have to travel this road or you have to travel the other road, they end up telling you the story of the red and black road by saying: the choice is yours, the choice is always yours.”

Thanks to the fact that all my clothes and the contents of the backpack were soaked, I ended up with an emergency blanket wrapped around me that night. But the next morning, I was still alive and able to continue until I found somewhere to dry off and reevaluate what I was doing.

In the end I decided to ditch the tent and go travel somewhere where the cost of living would be almost as small as living in a tent in Ireland. This is the story of a digital nomad; something tells me I have no right to be doing any of this but really, that’s got to be what life is all about, making a decision, and I choose the red road.

Travel is Not a Far Away Place

uncharted traveller

My feeling is that most people travel to experience a change of some sort in their lives but it means we wind up travelling to top destinations in far flung places around the world at a huge cost when really, a lot of what we are looking for is on our own doorstep.

Although  I was born here in Ireland, I realised recently that I knew more about Africa, South East Asia and South America than I did about my own Country. So I decided to take a hike in the Countryside somewhere for a break, to find out a little bit more about my homeland.

Derry & Donegal

I took a bus to Derry City which was an interesting stopover enroute to the North tip of Ireland, Malin Head. There is a great walking tour of the city walls and the history is no less than engrossing, with many sad stories along with uplifting messages to those who are open minded enough to hear them.

Malin Head was insanely beautiful. I stayed at the Sandrock Hostel there but it was most memorable for the beautiful country roads which winded around the headland to the most Northern point of the Country. There you will find the old outposts which were used by the British in Word War 1 and these same buildings were then used by the Irish during World War 2, as they attempted to communicate with oncoming German bombers. The reason for this was to let them know that the land below them was Ireland and not the nearby, United Kingdom.

New Experiences

It was nice to walk around this area and set foot inside the historic buildings before walking back along the roads through quaint villages with beautiful scenery.

I finished the evening off by watching a beautiful sunset over Malin Head and wondered why I don’t do these things at home more often? It was a wonderful feeling to get away from the city, to go somewhere new and refresh, at a low cost. It dawned on me that I usually travel to far away places for new experiences when I could so easily do them in a much more local travel destination.

I vowed to do it more often, to be more aware of my immediate surroundings and stop thinking of travel or adventure as a far away place. Because it’s not, Travel and adventure is what happens the minute you walk out that door.