Sunday, October 10, 2010

Highlands Highlights

Time keeps flying by, and before I knew it October was here. This week I had the opportunity to travel with a tour company for work to the Highlands of Scotland. So, I began my adventure with my colleague Kristin around 8:30am, where we took a public bus down into the far end of the city, only to find out we had arrived at the wrong location. We were suppose to meet our group at 9:15am, and with the clock reading 9:05am I had to hail a taxi and we were whisked away in true "amazing race fashion". The last time I felt this was during my summer trip to Greece, where I was running with my backpack to catch a bus and barley made it with 1 minute to spare. (Shout out to Catherine back in the States). Luckily the taxi driver was amazing and got us to the tour group with 5 minutes left to our time of departure! So we boarded our 16 passenger mini bus and ventured out of the city to the Scottish country side.

I love bus tours, especially when your guide is an old Scottish man who is at least 65+ years old and wears a scottish cap. Eddie, our guide, was so energetic and throughout our day filled our drives in between sites with interesting Scottish history facts, music, and an occasional joke. 

The day started off at Doune Castle. The morning weather was ideal, blue skies with a crisp fall breeze that reminded me of Blacksburg, VA on a fall football game day. We had great views of this castle which dated back to the late 14th century and a lovely winding creek added to the charm of the area. From there we ventured to many other Scottish towns and Kilchurn Castle, enjoying the picturesque countryside from the comforts of our mini bus. To be honest, the day was perfect, or as perfect as one can hope for! A lunchtime shower added to the day which provoked a rainbow to peak out from behind the clouds. A few times I had to think to myself, "Do I really live here?" This concept of living in Scotland hasn't really set in, especially when my breath is taken away by everyday beauty of the countryside that surrounds me. 
One of my favorite parts of the trip were getting to see scottish highland cows. They are so cute, and honestly make me want to have a farm where I can keep one as a pet. The baby calves are the cutest because of their blonde hair, and I can't wait to see them again on my next trip out of the city!
Another highlight of the trip was getting to see Loch Lomond. Now for those of you who have never been to Scotland, lakes are called lochs, and loch Lamond is one of the most beautiful lochs I have seen. The Scotts loved it so much they wrote a famous song dedicated to the loch, and I recommend this area to anyone visiting Scotland! 

So now for a change of pace:

When I started this blog I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to document my travels, and to start writing. Since I have been here, I have noticed that I have been thinking on a much larger scale about life in general. Maybe it's because I have a lot more free time to focus on me, instead of running around trying to catch up with all of the wonderful people I had in my previous life. And that's how it's feels sometimes, like I had this whole other life on the other side of the world, and I just picked up and left.

So with that said, I have decided I am going to write about life lessons I am learning while I am here.  Lets face it, this transition was not just to experience a different job or culture, but to test myself to see if I am truly the person I want to be. I had a great life back in Virginia; a good job, wonderful friends, a supportive family, but something felt like it was missing. I think that's why I did this. I mean moving 3500 miles away from what is normal to a place where you've never been and don't know a soul can be categorized as a little crazy. But I pride myself in being a little crazy now and then. For once in a very long time I feel a bit bewildered, in a good way. I think facing life in your late 20's can be a challenge when you doing it on your own. Yes, we all have friends and family that support us, but to be single and independent is rare these days. I think that too many of us fall into a comfort zone that we are afraid to get out of. And then before you know it, years have gone by and you are wondering, is this where I am suppose to be. And to be honest, I ask myself that question every day. And I don't know the answer, but I know one thing, that I am trying to find out and to gain a sense of understanding of how this little thing called life works. A good friend of mine once said that to let go is one of the best things you can do, and that people will come in and out of your life and you have to learn to enjoy the times you have with them and live in the present. I think that living in the present is going to be a goal of mine while I am here. Too often I find myself reminiscing about college life, fun times back in Richmond, or looking ahead to a new trip or for my next beau. I want to really enjoy the ride and not think about what's next for a while. Being here in a new fresh environment is helping me to start enjoying the present. So enough of that little tangent, I think that's something to sleep on for the night. Live in the present, something that sounds so simple yet how many of us truly do this day to day! Until next time I'll see you on the internet. 


  1. I absolutely loved the highland cows! They're so cute!

    I can't wait to read more of your adventures and life lessons. What an amazing opportunity you've been given!

  2. Snaps to that.

    And those heelan favorites! I'm so so so glad to hear you are enjoying yourself and the beauty of life that surrounds you.

  3. katie, your photos and stories are so much fun to read and I feel like I am getting a big sliver of your adventure when I get a chance to read them. You will find that your self-reliance will build confidence and skills you never knew you would have.

  4. I'm so glad to see that you are still having "Amazing Race" type adventures. Fingers crossed that we get to have a few more of them soon!