thats how long it’s been now since i left scotland.
that place has such a heavy meaning for me now…it brings me the joy of knowing life can be perfect- even if just for awhile…it brings me desire for i wish almost everyday i was back…it brings me smiles because the brilliant memories are endless… it even brings me sadness because i wish i didn’t have to leave that life behind…and most of all it brings me hope that i can get back to pedestal of pure happiness in my life again if i put my mind to it.
thinking about before i left people always would ask… are you nervous? scared? worried? and my answer in my heart was always …no
i wanted to go so bad. i counted down the days and got more and more excited everyday but in hindsight there are lots of things i should have been worried about. in my life up to that point i had been a very dependant person. i couldn’t tell you a time in my life i was thrown in a situtation where i knew no one..i always had someone’s arm to cling to in times of fear or doubt. this wasn’t the case i was volunteering to go to another country where i knew no one and didn’t have any real idea of what i was supposed to do when i did get there… but for the first time in my life the unknown was pulling too hard- so i went… and i never looked back
it’s amazing when you find a place where you wake up everyday excited to be alive. excited at what the day will bring you…even if that day is just laying around the kitchen “taking the piss” with your flatmates. the love of life and of making the most of each moment was something i had taken for granted in my 21 years prior.
i remember distinctly sitting at the kitchen table with dauri and elana (my fellow americans/ trio members) with our american made scotland guidebooks and making a list of things we werent going to leave scotland without doing…some of the things on the list were: visit castles, visit st. andrews, eat haggis, see a guy in a kilt…and let me tell you we accomplished our list…and then some…i can speak for all three of us when i say that we accomplished life goals that were hidden on that list behind the famous places…we achieved a new found confidence of guiding ourselves thru an unknown place and culture with ease… we achieved life long friends within days or even minutes… we learned what it was like to feel at the top of the world. and let me tell you even from the top you don’t look down..always up.
i kept a book with me throughout my trip and instead of keeping a journal i made a list of all the things i would miss and wrote down details about each of them that were things i thought in time i might forget..but never wanted too. i try to read that book at least once a week because i never want to forget any details. my favorite entry is this…
“things i will miss – exploring unknown cities: dauri, elana and i usually never even looked at maps before we went somewhere we would just figure out how to get there and figured we would find our way once we got there. it made each place we went feel more like our own. we would explore it- wander in directions that looked enticing to us. every place always had something that excited us to go there and we always would end up seeing most of the best sights and things the city had to offer us but it felt like it was more on our own terms. it was always a shock how far we would walk and push ourselves just to make sure we explored every inch of these unknown playgrounds. at the end of the day retracing our steps, i never would have believed we did so much, walked that far, but in the moment we would never have realized our feats.”
i still dream about scotland constantly..and the dreams seem so vivid – they are tucked in the covers next to me. the lights from the disco ball at the karaoke stand set up in slanj on thurs nights, dauri and i having our own dance to ne-yo closer every wed at word up, elana blowing everyone else out of the water in costume parties, dauri and i laughing at elana and her just loving us the same anyway, sarah always partying harder then everyone else and still looking fabulous at the end of the night, katie dancing her heart out…no matter where we were…chips at the end of night…i feel like i still can close my eyes and be in any of these places. i love my memories.
they all came rushing back to be in a flood earlier today because for the first time in 7 months i talked to sarah and dan and katie in scotland. and they sounded wonderful. secretly i missed the accent and i miss them. they are like my family because in those short 4 months i was there i changed from the person i felt like i should be, to the person i wanted to be and whether they knew it or not they were the reason behind this life change. and looking back i am forever grateful to them and will always have a special place for them in my heart. sarah, katie, and dan- i love you and think about you everyday. an even brighter note i get to see my trio this summer which makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. those two are also responsible for letting me become the person i had always thought i could never be. i feel like it was fate that put the three of us together- i couldnt IMAGINE a more perfect 3 people for each other. trio-you guys are the best dont ever change.
well all trips down memory lane must come to an end… and ladies and gentlemen please prepare for our arrival……………at the end of the day- it’s hard to explain to people how much scotland changed me. it is hard to keep all that in and not scream on the rooftops every day how great it was…but maybe thats why it was so great..because only i know how much it meant to me. so thank you scotland i am forever in your debt.