Two years ago, I had lucked out big time – my trip to South Africa had fulfilled a lifelong dream for me, and had even blown my overly high expectations out of the water. I fell deeply in love with that country, which was a great reward for pining after it for so many years. This year, I got the chance to experience for the first time another county of my dreams – Scotland.
For years, Scotland has captured my imagination and wormed its way into my heart. It became a necessity to me to experience standing on the soil, seeing the Highlands, breathing in that crisp mountain air, driving around on narrow lanes riddled with sheep, and battling the constant rain. Finally, this was the year that dream came true.
When my friend Carly, who had previously been over to Canada to meet and visit us, announced that she was getting married, my mom, sister, and I took that as our sign that this trip was meant to be now. We planned and sorted it all out, deciding on a two week trip with a few days in England for exploration and the wedding, followed by roughly a week and a half of discovering Scotland.
In England, we did the typical touristy things like seeing Stonehenge, visiting the Harry Potter studio tour (okay, that one’s on me), and venturing into the heart of an iconic city. We also were able to see Carly and T again, and meet plenty of friends and family members. The days were long and jam-packed, but I wouldn’t change them.
Our days felt slower, more peaceful, as mom, Jen and I ventured northward. We had plenty of adventures and laughs in Edinburgh, Stirling, and while driving around the North Coast 500, Scotland’s “answer to Route 66”. We saw breath-taking mountains, countless sheep, and stunning coastlines.
I’ve mentioned before that there are four countries in the world that feel like home to me. At the time of admitting that here, I had only been to two – Canada and South Africa. Now, I can add Scotland to that list with the knowledge that it did live up to my dreams and it did feel like I was home while there.
This trip fulfilled another promise to myself – to get off continent every other year (or at least every three years). I feel accomplished knowing that I was able to make this happen and stick to my goal.
Stay tuned for posts about my exciting trip!