Since I’ve started my PhD, I’ve found it difficult to tear myself away from the lab, the office, the mentality of ‘constantly-thinking’. I’m pretty sure nearly every other PhD student feels the same way, but it’s pretty hard  to work out how to stop. This weekend I decided to really challenge my body (& mind) by completely detaching myself (even just for half a day) by travelling to Finnich Glen, a beautiful gorge just north of Glasgow.

A quick ten minute walk from the road through woodland led us to the entrance, a steep 20 meter drop with some old stone steps, and lots of ropes.

We were greeted by stunning greens and reds, beautiful fern species, and perfectly clear water. There were a few other people there too, but not enough to disturb us.

Scrambling to the pulpit itself was a challenge for me, as I’ve only just gained enough confidence & muscle tone to really push myself. Shedding the shoes and heading in barefoot (up to my knees) across slippy rocks under water, it was well worth the struggle.

Even though it was a small escape, it’s left me feeling recharged, with a fresh perspective on my research. What seemed to be massive problems on the Friday had shrunk to small, manageable ones by Monday, and all it took was a slight change in perspective. I’d urge all PhD students to get out, escape, and immerse yourself in something different and new, even if it’s just for a day.

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