Ok so I have shared the facts. Now, as I finish up my time in Edinburgh, I need to reflect on the last two destinations.
I have thoroughly enjoyed both Reykjavik and Edinburgh. Let me tell you a little bit of why:
Reykjavik is beautiful. The people are so welcoming and friendly. It is safe and environmentally sustainable. There is art everywhere.
Edinburgh is so old and full of history, and this is beautiful in it's own right, even if you don't appreciate the architecture or winding cobblestone streets. Scotland and Ireland were the impetus for this trip in general, so I had high hopes. Somewhere in the mutt mixture of blood that I carry is some from Scotland, and there was definitely the sense while I was there of home in some broad way.
Don't tell anyone, but when I would think to myself in my head, I absolutely developed a Scottish accent.
As I finish up this leg of the journey, I'm surprised at how fast it is going. It seems when I arrive in a place that I have so much time to explore and I am searching for ways to fill it. But inevitably, the time comes to leave and I am not ready.
I have been tired, and still have a weird sleep schedule that involves being up for a few hours in the middle of the night and causing me to sleep in later. I'm hoping this goes away soon.
You may have noticed that I pierced my lip while in Edinburgh. That may come as a shock to some of you, but let me tell you why it is ultimately not shocking. I have had my lip pierced before. This trip, as much as it was for my 30th birthday and for (originally) graduating, this trip was also about finally allowing myself to be me.
I have always wanted to travel the world. Always. It is in my blood. My grandparents took my brother and I on road trips every year, and I was on my first airplane at age 10. I have been on between 75-100 flights so far in my life, and visited at least 15 states. I have been afraid of traveling like I want to. Partly because I have been in graduate school and that is a good excuse. Partly because I was afraid to do it alone.
I'm tired of giving myself excuses for not doing the things I want to do, the things that fill me and give me life. The things that I find meaning and hope in.
Ok so maybe I don't find hope in having my lip pierced. But it is a way of expressing myself, a way of demonstrating who I am in this world. For me, it feels like pieces of me are lining back up. Something happened in the last year that gave me a sense of urgency and agency.
I never wanted to take out the first lip piercing I had. I took it out for work one day and it was closed up by my lunch hour. So I let it go. And I have missed it almost every day since. For me, in a way, this piercing is a return.
I'm also starting to feel the absence of connection. I'm meeting people, and making chit chat, but I miss hugging my friends. I miss all my little kiddos. I miss coming home to my housemates. Thank goodness for iMessage, it has kept me going.
Now that Edinburgh is a memory in my heart, and I head off to Ireland, I want to give you a warning.
There may be fewer posts during this trip. Ireland is my peaceful resting place. I'm also going on a bus tour all around the island. My hope is to make friends, hang out with people, meet lots of locals along the way. My sleeping habits better support this, or I will be frustrated ;)
All I'm saying is I'm not making promises. Of course I want to post, but I also want to fully experience. So that's the priority. I'm sure you will get something in the next 6 days, just be patient.