On Walking the West Highland Way

This July, I walked 40 miles of the West Highland Way in Scotland while en route from Africa. The Scottish highlands are, as my priest from back home would say, a ‘liminal space’. Hiking in Scotland was a way for me to physically transition from one reality to another.

There are lots of helpful blog posts about what kind of gear to bring and what kind of clothing to wear while you are walking the WHW, and I definitely read a lot of them before I went hiking. This is not one of those posts. This post is about what and who to bring if you want to have fun while you’re walking.

1. Your best friends

These guys are mine:

2. A healthy repertoire of camp songs and canons

I highly recommend including ‘Oh you can’t get to heaven,’ ‘Arky Arky,’ and a smattering of Taize.

3. Someone to help you pop your blisters

I randomly ended up with four blisters on the second-to-last day of our hike. As an inexperienced backpacker, I wasn’t sure what to do. Armed with a pocket knife and first aid kit, Maddie expertly helped me pop and bandage my blisters.

4. All the deep conversations

Consider topics ranging from gender roles within the church to moral exemplar ethics, missiological approaches, and theology of the body.

5. Your prayer book or app

Start your hike each day with a morning prayer service from the BCP. I promise you won’t regret it.

A few more things:

Bring a deck of playing cards and stop at a local pubs in the evening to watch soccer. We watched and won women’s world cup on this trip 🙂 Also, eat lots of sharp cheddar cheese. You can’t go wrong with sharp cheddar cheese.

Peace out, friends! Next post will probably be about reverse culture shock because it is indeed a thing.

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