April 27, 2015

Christopher Millington is a 24-year-old model from Glasgow, Scotland, who has spent 2 years living on the road in the world’s major cities. As a result, he recently embarked on a journey with some dear friends towards The Highlands of Scotland, to escape the manufactured world that had numbed his sense of connection to the wild.

Story: Christopher Millington
Photography: Stewart Brydon
Photography Assistants: Jawn McClenaghan, Billy Lusk

The long and winding paths on the trail to The Highlands spoke to us in ways we couldn’t yet understand. Soon all would make sense. 6pm, September 20, 2014. Four of us; city dwellers, in unfamiliar surroundings. Narrow paths and cliff-edge roads brought us to our destination. Through difficulty we had found peace. The hills welcomed us with open arms as if our years of neglecting their beauty had been forgiven. The sun had risen before us, preparing for its descent to the dark. Our tired eyes watched the Highland hills cast shadows as big as battleships, across seas of green, until they disappeared into the distance. The golden sky slowly fading and soon, all glory would be lost, it seemed.

Glen Etive (Scottish Gaelic: Gleann Èite) provided a fitting
backdrop for our narrative, The Escape.

A group of travellers, less travelled than our minds had led us to believe. Our lungs clouded by the thick, city air. Our eyes dimmed, by the steel and concrete jungle that we call ‘home’. This natural landscape captured our attention, every detail of every rock, every noise of the streams running down the hillsides, every detail. Amateur travellers.

With roaming hills and soaring peaks, finished with the glorious Highland skyline, the grand city heights that we had left behind, seemed minuscule in comparison.

We climbed the rocks and crossed peaceful rivers, in search of light. The sun burst through the Glens in spectacular style, golden flashes danced on our faces like fireworks on a Summer’s night. In those moments, we were free, cradled in the arms of The Herdsmen of Etive. The dream of success and prosperity had been replaced by a new perspective, peace, tranquility. In Irish mythology, they say that Naoise and her love; Deirdre, fled to Glen Etive, as their escape from the conflict in broken Ireland, to find peace. We roamed around like dwarves in a pathway built for giants. We walked until the sun fell out of the sky. Under a sea of stars, we laughed like kings. We had found peace of our own. As sure as the sun did set, the stars shone down upon us, bringing with them a new day, and a night’s dream of freedom. The dream that will now, never die.

By Chris Willington