WARNING: The wild, untamed mountains you’ve created in your imagination are about to be usurped.
The Highlands are the woodlands of your dreams, dampened by ancient bloodbaths, splattered with mythical origins and then stretched from coastline to mountain to glen. Dark and deep woods scatter the glens, their pine trees climbing to over a hundred feet tall while the wild sheep rove beneath. There’s an undeniable fabled quality to this area. As someone who has some possible lineage with one of the original Scottish clans (Burns clan, what’s up!) who lived their lives tucked away in the glens of these outrageously green and ridiculously staggering mountains, I felt a certain connectedness to this area. Similar to being in Taormina, this place felt magnetic and familiar in the strangest of ways.
Traveling this summer has really allowed me to flex my “writer” side. I’ve loved the challenge of attempting to sum up the overall feel of the many cities we’ve spent our days in. Many times I’ve felt like I’ve succeeded in illustrating them suitably, and other times I’ve felt like I’ve only scratched the surface. But how do I even put into words how much I loved the ethos of the Highlands? Well, the truth is… I can’t.
The purpose of documenting our adventures this summer wasn’t to sum up places, or to even check in with our family and friends (although I’m sure once I return home stateside, this blog will be a huge gem for recalling this time). The truth is, the purpose of documenting it all was to inspire. I want readers to feel drawn to travel. I want readers to get on a plane and get out there. I want readers to take action and see new things. I want readers to know that the world is big and small at the same time. I want readers to know that although travel isn’t always easy, it’s worth it a thousand times over. So although I really don’t feel like I’ve properly described the absolute beauty the Highlands are, I will say this… I hope you feel inspired. I hope you see how incredibly green and lush this area is. I hope you can imagine feeling soaked to the bone by fat raindrops while dodging between ancient stone castles. I hope you can imagine feeling so miniscule in comparison to the vast glens and lochs. I hope you know that you can experience all of this by traveling too.
Today is my last full day in Europe (cue complete freak out). I’m feeling reflective, excited, and incredibly fortunate. This summer has flown by in a blink of an eye and while I am weepy thinking about the ridiculous amount of wonderful moments I’ve had abroad, I am also so looking forward to being home. I feel like I’ve grown in a thousand different ways. I feel more inspired than ever. From Italy to France to Scotland to Ireland and (soon) home… thank you, you wonderful world, you! Thank you for allowing me to traipse around just a tiny quarter of your surface.