Saturday, October 22, 2016

day 20: not just a dream

Being home and showering in your own shower, sleeping in your own bed and waking up in it - almost makes you feel like it was all just a dream. But then you see the evidence that you did indeed have the adventure of a lifetime. And you will carry it in you forever. So here's some musings -

Things I'll Miss -

Scottish accents everywhere, or really a variety of accents everywhere.

THE BACON. we are still convinced we didn't have had real bacon until coming to Scotland. the thickness of a slice of thick cut ham and it's all incredible tasting, so full of flavor.

the cheddar. again, what has America called cheddar? what is that? not much flavor in comparison with Scottish mature cheddar.

springy earth under foot. I didn't know it was possible to have the earth feel like a small trampoline everywhere you walk, even in some gravelled areas.

smell of falling leaves with a light rain.

all the flowers still blooming beautifully in middle of chilly October (so confusing).

"elderly people" signs.

calling canned food tinned food.

calling cows coos.

heaps of sheep and loads of lambs.

cars falling into water signs.

calling road construction "works."

their system for "works" is very efficient - they set up temporary stop lights for each side to alternate traffic to pass through, same for single lane bridges.

not tipping.

not being in America, actually.

the word cheers sounding right as a thank you only because of their accents.

them being so understanding toward us when we had no idea what kind of coins we had to pay with ("it's okay, I would have the same trouble if I were in America").

the gorgeous, otherworldly landscape everywhere you go in the highlands.


Things I Won't Miss -

getting regularly scalded by hot water as they usually have hot and cold separate at all sinks.

hostel life (except for the amazing people we got to meet!).

toilets not flushing.

compact spaces (mostly bathrooms!).

the lack of Target (and other American establishments).

living out of a series of bags.

wearing flip flops while showering.

single track roads. especially the ones on a side of a cliff.

making all things prawn (which I still find to be a disgusting word for shrimp)... prawn crisps. prawn this prawn that. enough with the prawn already! there's also haggis crisps...

Things I'd Do Differently -

Fly into and out of Edinburgh and skip Glasgow all together.

Spent more time in Inverness, maybe have gotten the car in Aberdeen instead.

Bring fabreeze and travel dish soap.

Bring more than just my credit and debit card, bring Jason's as well. Had read to just bring one or two forms of payment and keep it all together in an RFID protected case on your neck or waist... should have had that for each of us.

Book the insurance for the rental cars in advance because it was apparently cheaper but didn't know that when booking (also didn't know our U.S. auto insurance wouldn't cover driving abroad, still unclear if that's true but had to go with it at the time).

Maybe have decided to not get any souvenirs for anyone haha. Kinda stressed us out a bit.

Attempted to try to understand the Krona (Icelandic currency) a bit better beforehand, and maybe just planned our Iceland trip a bit differently.

Not left my camera bag with charger, extra battery, and card reader in the hostel by accident.

Gotten to our Achiltibue airbnb before dark, but we did have so much fun adventuring.

Been able to stay at the Skywalker hostel in Skye (was booked when we were to be in Skye).

Not have either of us get sick. Can't do much about that.

Arrange getting us both abducted by someone in Scotland so we would never have to come home.

Things I learned -

Scots and Brits still very much hostile toward each other. Some Scottish businesses don't accept the British pound, and British businesses won't accept the Scottish pound. They treat each other poorly. Very sad. But it makes sense when you know the history.

Gaelic and the Highland ways were kind of wiped out until 1985. For the same reason we tend to want to ignore the bits of history where we oppressed people groups.

Some think Braveheart had a huge part to bring the Highland ways back to the forefront. To demand the government not ignore their history any longer. Gaelic is now taught in all Scottish schools and on all signage.

Brexit impacts everyone in the UK, even those who are here on visa.

You only have to have a grandparent who was a Scottish citizen to become a Scottish citizen.

At the beginning of the trip I was heavily disturbed at not having a flat sheet between the duvet comforter and myself, now I'm completely accustomed to it. Also kind of like said comforter not being tucked at the foot of the bed so I can just stick my feet out if I'm too warm. But I don't think I could do this at home. Jason rolls and runs too much in his sleep for that haha.

Freaking out, stessing, or being anxious doesn't change the situation. Now I've learned it and must put it into practice.

The beauty of Scotland has spoiled me. It's like walking in the best parts of Middle Earth and exploring each nook and crannie that could possibly contain beauty - and it always does. Everywhere you turn is something completely outlandishly and wildly beautiful.

Scotland will be home one day.

- - - - - - - - - -

As for life after travel - we've given most of our souvenirs now, and they love them. It makes your heart happy to bring pieces of your joy in travel back to those who bring you joy.

Transitioning back to real life has been a bit abrupt but still good. It's good to see your loved ones, no matter what challenges you are facing.

If you all could please lift up our family during this time, we would greatly appreciate it. Jason's dad was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor back in June. Life is tough right now, and anything you could consider giving to help offset medical bills would be so appreciated. We know everyone has their problems and can't give to everyone else, so if prayers is all you can give, we appreciate that too.

Yesterday he was re-admitted to the hospital due to dehydration and possible infection. Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support during this time. 

We are so thankful to have such wonderful family and friends to be on this journey with. These times make you hug a bit longer and cherish those sweet cuddles and laughter with your nieces and nephew all the more.


  1. Coming back from an adventure is always a hard adjustment. Always.

    And the car insurance stuff is a pain in the royal behind. Depending on who you book with, buying the insurance ahead of time can be a scam because they'll refuse it when you show up (thanks, Hertz - apparently Allianz insurance isn't good enough), and yes, most US car insurance policies won't work overseas (like USAA, which is what we have). Looking forward to you sharing more photos of your trip!!!! :D

    1. Weird how it didn't pick up on my google profile. This is Katrina btw. :P