travel musings

Taking Time Out Isn’t Always A Bad Thing

It’s a beautiful day outside, and here I am sat in my living room with no intention of going out.

Say whaaaaaat?

I’m sure most people would think, “yeah, so what?” rather than “say what” but if you know anything about me, it’s that I’m not very good at doing nothing. But of course I’m not doing nothing, because I’m always doing something, and that means day-to-day things often fall to the wayside.

Orphir road, road trip, landscape, Orkney, Scotland

So, in one of the most exciting days of my life, I got up early this morning after a night out and spent the morning cleaning the house and I actually feel the most relaxed I’ve felt in weeks.

I’ve been working six days a week and always utilise my one day off by driving somewhere with friends. I’m constantly exhausted in the evenings, and the one night I tried to be productive by listing a whole load of things to sell, I didn’t get it done because the northern lights decided to make one of their most stunning appearances in months. I know, how inconvenient!

Northern lights, Orkney, Scotland
Not the best picture of the northern lights unfortunately, but not bad considering it was my first time fully fiddling with all the settings & without a tripod! Note to self: invest in a tripod.

But I always feel beleageured by this idea of always having to do something or go somewhere or see people. I’ve spent the last several weeks going for walks and even discovering new things (yep, even still now! You’d think I would have exhausted every place in Orkney by now) and I feel guilty if the sun’s out and I’m not out there making the most of it.

But right now, the kitchen is clean, the living room is tidier than it’s been in weeks, I’ve cleared some things out, I’ve done a whole bunch of things I’ve been meaning to do for months, and I’m feeling pretty good.

Even so, yesterday we went for a wee drive and I met a black Highland coo.

Black Highland cow, Orkney, Scotland

And took a photo of my best friend continuing his trend of drinking tea in weird places.

Tea at Happy Valley, Orkney, Scotland

…and went out for lunch for a friend’s birthday, and then out for drinks for Ash’s. Okay, so maybe I’ve earned today “off”!

It’s the same when I travel, though. I concentrate so much on packing as much awesome stuff into a short space of time (something I’ve become something of an expert in) that I forget to actually have some down-time. And when I do have down-time, I get restless and go out and do something anyway because I feel like I should be making the most of it. I am very good at “making the most of it”, I think. But slowly, I’m learning that there’s nothing wrong with doing nothing every now and then.

Shipwreck of Irene, Grimness, South Ronaldsay, Orkney
Discovering a shipwreck on the coast of South Ronaldsay, Orkney

You may also have noticed that I haven’t written on here for a while, either. I guess there are a few reasons for that. I do have some posts in the works, all of which I’m hoping to get published before I leave for Canada. I’ve been doing some work on the blog in the background too, but lots of posts will definitely be coming soon.

But if I want to be productive, I need to remember that it’s okay to slow down once in a while, which isn’t something I think about because I’m at home, not travelling. I work a full-time job, not own my own business which needed 24/7 care. This is the slowest my life has ever been, even if it doesn’t feel like it when I come home from a 10 hour day mentally exhausted.


As my time in Orkney draws ever nearer to a close, I’ve realised all the things I haven’t done. Another dramatic, wild piece of coast line I haven’t seen. I had never taken a photo of the northern lights until the other night. I’ve still never taken a good photo of a puffin (thanks broken zoom). I still haven’t visited any of the north isles, and suddenly I have limited weekends to do them in because I work every other Saturday. I’m binging Lost with a friend who’s never seen it, and we still have a season and a half to go.

The world, even close to home, is filled with incredible things to do in every nook and cranny – but don’t forget to let yourself breathe sometimes. And it’s okay if you don’t get it all done.


6 thoughts on “Taking Time Out Isn’t Always A Bad Thing

  1. So true! It’s really important to take a day off every now and then. Especially when you’re traveling, it can be really exhausting to be on the go the entire time. Breaks are needed. But it’s hard to take a day off and not feel guilty when you’re “supposed” to be out exploring – especially if you have a blog or social media channel to update. Thanks for sharing about the importance of doing nothing from time to time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really thoughtful post. Sometimes its important to do nothing; when travelling too. It’s good to be somewhere and allow things to happen to and around you on occasion. Course… It’s all in the balance and hitting up the amazing spots is essential too. Often they’re the perfect spots in which to do nothing.


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