Thursday, 28 October 2021
Gillie Sutherland Gillie Sutherland

Solvitur Ambulando - walking solves everything

Written by  Gillie Sutherland Apr 11, 2021

A few years ago I came across a Latin phrase “Solvitur Ambulando”, which translated means “it is solved by walking”.

At the time I was recovering from surgery, and a pretty dark phase in my life, and I was finding that the best therapy was a daily walk from one end of Exmouth beach to the other.

As well as re-building my physical strength, it also served to boost my mental and emotional state.

If I just made the effort and got myself outside, I felt the benefits almost immediately and by the end of the walk, it was like all was well in the world again. I’d literally walked away my worries, until my mind was empty again.

I was reminded of the term this week, when I found myself with a serious case of heartache.

My beloved cat is missing. My soul mate, my fellow adventurer, the love of my life, little Lucky Boots who travelled with me by car from the UK last year, has not come home for 9 days now.

It was the first few days that were the worst. Imagining he may be scared or in pain somewhere, my heart literally hurt, and I could hardly sleep at night waiting for his return. I was losing hope, and my mental state was deteriorating by the day.

Luckily I have a friend in a village close by who didn’t give up on me. Each day Shawna would check in to see how I was, and to ask if I wanted her to walk with me around the local area looking for Lucky.



At first I didn’t feel like the company, but a few days ago, I decided it was a good idea to walk with someone else as we could chat and he may hear my voice.

I’d already covered most of my neighbourhood on foot, calling out his name, but I suspected I was starting to acquire the “crazy cat lady” label in yet another locality.

That day we covered ten miles, taking the coastal path from Cavtat towards Molunat, over the beautiful terrain of Konavle, and it was a game-changer.

I realised that not only did we increase the chances of finding him, but it also lifted my spirits beyond belief.

Keeping moving, being in nature, filled with gratitude for where we live, and laughing about the fact that he’s probably hooked up with some mates and enjoying a bar be cue in the sunshine somewhere while I worry myself sick.

Apparently it’s the time of year that cats disappear for a while, and there’s no doubt in my mind that mine loves an adventure, so when I looked at all the wild beauty of the area with fresh eyes, I could imagine him just loving his time of freedom. I also knew he could take care of himself pretty well, and I remembered that nature has everything we need.

At one point on our hike we went off-road and we found a clearing filled with a beautiful scent of herbs. We later identified it as gorse, and when I got home, I looked up what it’s benefits were.

Apparently it’s a flower remedy for hopelessness and despair, it lifts the spirits when one feels that all is lost and there’s no way forward.

Of course, I got exactly what I needed.

The cat hasn’t returned yet, but my sense of hope has, and that’s changed everything.

What’s more is that I’ve done a long walk every day since, and it’s doing me the world of good, so even if he doesn’t return, I’m putting myself into the best state I can to deal with it.

No matter what is happening, I’m just going to keep moving forwards, take myself out in nature as much as I can in this beautiful country, and remind myself that “solvitur ambulando” - it is solved by walking.

Read more Gillie here...  


Gillie Sutherland grew up in the north of England, before settling in Devon, but has now swapped her UK address for one on the Adriatic in the very south of Croatia, in Molunat. A professional Wellness Consultant she now runs retreats and online courses from her Konavle base. She also writes a weekly column for the Devon newspaper, The Express and Echo.

To find out more about Gillie go to

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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