Hello beautiful merms!
I got back from Scotland the day before yesterday. It was the most amazing, magical trip full of afternoon tea, scones with clotted cream, gorgeous city and seaside views, and Harry Potter magic (since JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter while living in Edinburgh).
I flew out Friday night at around 9:30 pm East Coast time and arrived 9:30 AM Scotland time and immediately started my day sight seeing and eating.
I went to bed that night around 10 pm and then had another full day on Sunday exploring more sights and even made it to the seaside!
On Monday, I went to a couple museums and had more tea and food and flew out of Edinburgh at 5:30 PM Scotland time and because of the time difference, arrived back in the USA at 7:30 PM East Coast time.
I’ll do a couple more blog posts detailing what I did and most importantly, what I ate because I had some amazing food, but I wanted to share some immediate musings/realizations I had while traveling.
Traveling for Pleasure VS. for a Purpose
Something I realized about myself is that I definitely want to have a purpose while traveling. I’ve always had this dream of backpacking the world alone, but whenever I get to a place, I’m always so excited by everything for the first couple hours and then I come to this lull like what do I do now? There’s only so much you can see and eat and since those are my main activities anywhere I go, once you’re full and once you’ve seen all there is to see, there isn’t much else to do and I feel like it would help me having a real purpose of why I’m there.
Especially if you’re traveling alone and you don’t have a constant companion to keep you entertained, I found that I perhaps don’t want to backpack the world alone, because knowing me, it would just seem aimless after a while.
Sure, it’s amazing to see new sights and try different foods and meet different people, but I feel like if I don’t have a bigger purpose of something that is bringing me to a certain place, then I will end up feeling just aimless.
I’m not sure if this makes sense, but I’d love to talk to more people who have backpacked alone for a significant amount of time and hear from them about what they did from city to city. Maybe they took on jobs to fill the time and to experience the culture for longer, or who knows what else, but I realized that for myself, I would have a hard time of doing it alone for months at a time, which used to be my dream, so it was great to realize that.
I still definitely want to travel to every single country, but I would want to have a very specific purpose, like teaching in different countries or performing, or something like that.
Living Experiences instead of Collecting Them
I also learned that I am such a go-go-go person and it helps to fully slow down and simply savor the experience. Sometimes when I’m traveling, I feel like I’m just doing things so I can check them off my list. Go to that museum, check. See this sight, check. Go to this restaurant, check. etc, etc. When you’re on a short trip like I was, sometimes this is necessary, but I caught myself just rushing through things just so I could say that I did it or almost as if I was collecting experiences rather than just living them.
I’m used to rushing through life so fast and this trip definitely taught me that I need to work on slowing down and savoring the moment instead of constantly looking to the next thing.
Foreign is maybe not so foreign
Whenever I travel, I always expect to find myself in some other world. I imagine it to be so different from anything I’ve ever known and I get so excited at the prospect of experiencing strange new worlds.
Well, what I learn every time I travel is that we are all the same. No matter where I’ve been, I’ve just been struck at how normal it all seems. Yes, things are different like the accents and the languages and the architecture, but when it comes down to it, humans are humans and earth is still earth.
Granted, I was in the U.K. which is a very wealthy, first-world country and I haven’t been to that many third-world countries, but I was just struck by the fact that I didn’t feel like I was in a foreign country at all. I felt like I was at home, because I was.
Anywhere on Earth is our home.
I was struck by how easy this trip was! I didn’t experience any anxiety during it and the flight times/time zones made it so doable to jet off for the weekend. I came back to work on Tuesday morning and felt completely fine.
I feel so blessed that I was able to just travel to Europe for a weekend and I am already planning my next trip.
I can’t wait to share all the poems I wrote inspired by Edinburgh and give you an Edinburgh food and city guide.