Freedom in the vastness of nature is something I have yearned for since I was young. It’s something that can be hard to achieve when you live in Singapore. After living in the UK for almost 10 years, I discovered freedom in many different ways; in artistic freedom, the ‘right to roam’ and freedom of speech.
We live in a world where 1% of the population owns 99% of the wealth. The legal protection of the right to roam means this could never happen to the land, allowing it to remain open to everyone. Scotland offers the right to experience freedom in the wilderness as there are few restrictions to accessing private land. As I grew up in a strict urban jungle, this is a wonderful joy for me.
I first visited the Cairngorms in winter, and this arctic plateau was a completely foreign world. I found it vast and expansive, featureless, and quite a contrast to being down in the glen, with the brutal mountains towering above you.
I had to navigate carefully using contour lines, as paths were impossible to make out under the blanket of snow. The flip side is the complete freedom of the land. You create your own route, selecting a ‘natural path’ yourself. This, with the right to roam, is the definition of freedom.