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A Solo Road Trip to the North | Note 45

According to some scientists, during the Palaeolithic period the gene variation responsible for ADHD was associated with certain evolutionary advantages. In other words, in a nomadic, hunter-gatherer society, being a restless, risk-taking novelty seeker – your classic ADHD kid – was a recipe for success. Although I came across this research only in the last few weeks, the idea didn’t seem like much of a surprise. I might not be a geneticist or even a psychiatrist, but nearly forty years of experience in living with AuDHD is enough. I thrive in motion. I have a deep, visceral craving for new horizons and unknown roads – and if I don’t satisfy it, it is as if something were dying in me.

So, last week, I threw a mattress into the back of our car, left A. in his family home near Birmingham, and headed north. After six hours on the motorway, I made it past the horrendous junctions of Glasgow and found a layby on the shores of Loch Lomond. There was already one campervan parked there – a good sign for a peaceful night of sleep. I had again forgotten to fit blinds in the windows of my car, and even wrapped up head to toe in my sleeping bag, I felt unsettlingly exposed. But, apart from the trucks rushing past on the other side of a thin strip of trees, and my neighbours in their fancy campervan, I was alone – and even if only for a few days, finally on the road again.

The increase in traffic woke me up at dawn and it was the first time that I actually saw where I was. On one side of the car, a steep path led down to a small pebbly beach designated as a Camping Management Zone, probably because of its proximity both to Glasgow and to the road. In Scotland, the Outdoor Access Code means you can wild camp anywhere with the exception of the few sensitive areas where permits are required during the busiest times of the year. Loch Lomond is one such area. Following its western shore, the A82 cradles the lake in a menacing embrace. Undoubtedly scenic while driving, as soon you stop your engine, the road turns into a monster. The noise and the... continue reading now→

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