For about a week now I have been feeling… insular.
I know this feeling. It means I have to get outside my own head, find something that inspires me, and then >boom<, all my energy comes back and I remember, "Oh yeah, life is awesome!!!" and feel better about everything.
Today I was planning on tramping around some blustery headlands on the north-west Scottish coast, but it was just a bit too wet and windy for all that. Normally I would embrace the wet and windy vibe, but normally I don't have to cook eat and sleep in the back of a heaterless, uninsulated campervan. Instinct told me: "you will remain damp and cold for the rest of your trip if you try to dry out inside that tin can".
Sooo with no blustery walks on the cards, I reluctantly poked my nose into the Mountain Cafe in Gairloch. From the outside it looked… irritating. It was a big garish orange building with stupid slogans on it about how much they loved coffee.
But inside… ohhh it was a godsend. The irritating slogans persisted, the coffee was kinda shit and everything was overpriced, but it was a little temple of wilderness and adventure travel and I got high on it. The walls were plastered in old posters and guides from national parks all through the US and South America. They had shelves and shelves of explorer biographies, books about wild and beautiful natural places, and one cookbook I dearly coveted: Campervan Cooking. Gimme.
I madly scrabbled together a pile of magazines: National Geographic, Lonely Planet adventure, Surfgirl UK. Reading them, and chowing down on a bagel, my spirits zoomed back into happy contendedness. Steph Gilmore! Surfing in Costa Rica! Exploring the Himalayas on a 2-foot gauge railway! Yosemite National Park! I drank it allll up. Spirits are restored. I will be back for more tomorrow and I will keep trying to embody that adventurous and exploring spirit. Yessir.