- Tomasz Oryński is a trucker who drives through the mountainous Scottish Highlands.
- While delivering packages, he also finds the time to be a writer and podcaster.
- Here’s Oryński’s story, as told to Insider reporter Kate Duffy.
Firstly, I’m not your typical truck driver.
The problem isn’t as bad in Scotland, where I’m based, and I haven’t been severely impacted by the driver shortages as I work for a small family company called Hebrides Haulage.
I spend three days a week blissfully driving across the scenic Scottish Highlands with the worst danger being a deer jumping onto the vehicle in the dark, damaging the bonnet.
It’s my job to deliver packages of any size and shape from Glasgow to the small islands off the west coast of mainland Scotland, called the Outer Hebrides. I transport everything, from fridges to fresh flowers, and I even collect whiskey deliveries from mountaintop distilleries.
I have to take a ferry to reach these islands. Some ferry journeys last two hours, but I’m able to eat in a restaurant and take a shower on board if necessary.
What I love most about my job is driving through the Scottish Highlands and taking in the beautiful scenery.
I’ve spotted eagles, otters, deer, badgers, and even the odd Barn Owl, some of which I’ve caught on camera and posted onto my YouTube channel.
Sometimes, I drive for more than 40 miles down a one-way coastal track.
My day starts at around 8 a.m. The truck is always loaded from the night before, so all I need to do is work out the best route to reach my destination.
Before setting off, I plan the best places to take breaks where I can walk on the beach for 45 minutes or grab fish and chips from a takeaway and sit on the sand.
When I have night shifts, I tend to sleep in the van, but if I’m lucky, I’ll find a cabin along the way. There’s a strong sense of community in the Highlands, and the people living there are more than happy to help you out if you need shelter or your truck breaks down.
I wouldn’t like the job if I had to drive on the motorway all the time, going from warehouse to warehouse. I did it a few years ago and it was boring. It was admittedly less boring than being stuck in an office and filling out Excel spreadsheets — I used to have an office job and hated it.
I try to find balance in life so I’ve decided I’d rather earn less and have a nice job, than earn more and be in the mainstream trucking industry which is littered with staff shortages, poor working conditions, and heavy workloads.
When I’m not driving, I make time to write and produce podcasts.
On Mondays, I spend the day at home in Glasgow, writing a weekly column which focuses on Polish politics with a “tongue-in-cheek” twist. After much research, planning, and writing the column, I post it onto my website. I also translate it into Polish, and then into Czech.
The writing can sometimes stretch into Tuesday, depending on what I’m writing.
Tuesdays are dedicated to making a podcast based on current affairs. I’ll invite guests, such as co-hosts and experts on to chat about everything from the refugee crisis to financial troubles in Poland.
Recording each podcast takes one hour, and this happens whenever my guests are available to chat. This means I may have to commit some hours of my driving days to speaking to people for the podcast, which goes live on Mondays.
That’s why I’m not your typical truck driver — my job is one in 100, or even less.