Inverness

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I is for Inverness, but also all the other places I visited when I spent a month in Scotland back in college. My theme for this challenge has been inspiration (and sometimes my favorite things that also inspire me). While it seems like a lifetime ago that I was in Scotland (and London!!), I think my time there will always be an inspiration to me.

I was very fortunate to be able to participate in a program through the Honors College at my university to spend a month studying in Scotland. We were based primarily in Edinburgh, but took expeditions all over the country throughout the trip. We would have classes in the mornings and explore in the afternoon. Frequently we would meet up with professors for ‘office hours’ at the pub. Greatness. I could go on for a very long time about the greatness of studying another country this way, and frequently do anytime I have a chance to share with someone what a great idea it is to travel in college if you can, but the purpose of this blog is to share how very much I loved Scotland.

I had the same travel/study option the following summer studying in Italy, which was great in different ways, but Italy did not feel like another home to me like Scotland. Italy was beautiful, but Scotland has my heart.

Edinburgh was our base and we explored the castle and the streets and climbed to the top of Arthur’s Seat. We went to St Giles cathedral and saw a kilted bag pipe player outside – impressing all of us tourists. Especially the excitable females. 😉 We spit on the Heart of Midlothian. We toured Holyrood. We went to Playfair Library at the University. We did a touristy ghost tour on our last night.

But it was getting outside the city where I was happiest. Mountains, lochs, heather-clad moors. The Highlands of Scotland are singularly beautiful and it is absolutely on my bucket list to return.

I can remember being on a little boat tour we did of Loch Ness. No, Nessie did not come out to say ‘hello’. But I remember vividly being cold and wet and shivering. Gradually much of what was ahead and to the sides became obscured by fog. I remember not misery at being cold. I remember no disappointment in that moment. I remember that it felt magical. I remember thinking what if I had not dared to go on my Scotland adventure? What if I hadn’t ventured out into a land that was new to me? I knew that I might never have known the beauty of that fog-cloaked loch. I might have missed out on so much.

So I need to go back. With my husband and maybe the kids.

I need to go back to London. I need to go to Wales and Ireland, too. I need to go to Australia and New Zealand. I’d like to go to South Africa, Austria and all over the US.

I have been lucky to travel, but my trip to Scotland opened my eyes and heart to what a big wide wonderful world I live in. And convinced me that I want to see more of it. 🙂

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