Tuesday, July 7, 2015


five weeks ago today, i boarded a flight, and ten hours later i was in edinburgh, scotland.
This trip came together relatively quickly. After coming home from New Zealand, I knew I had to take any opportunity I could to go wherever I was able. I applied for a scholarship to a study abroad program in Galway, was accepted, and made my deposit a week later.
In the past five weeks, I've been up and down Scotland, across England, and all along Ireland's east and west coasts. I've seen so many beautiful places but I've been putting off making this post because I know words and pictures could never possibly convey the impact of these island landscapes. But now that I've been settled into Galway for two weeks (though,  admittedly, I'm not totally unpacked yet), I figure I might as well give it a go:

 After spending several days recovering from jet lag and exploring Edinburgh, my friend Nina flew in from Switzerland to travel to the Isle of Skye with me. I met Nina last year in New Zealand, where we rented a car and wandered for days. Honestly, I'm an anti-social person, and Nina was the first person I ever talked to at a hostel, but I'm so grateful to have befriended her. She's up for anything, and teaches me to be up for anything too.
 We spent several days sleeping in a little red fiat  on the sides of roads in the middle of valleys, we drank coffee every time we encountered a cafe (I probably spent about $20/ day on lattes), and shared gingerbeers and red wine at dusk, which happens to be at about 12:30am in Scotland.
 Our first adventure was to the Old Man of Storr, about fifteen minutes outside Portree. The climb to the top was long and far. I found myself dizzy often,  and I'm still not sure if it was because of the change in elevation or just the sheer intensity of the views.

  We walked alongside the Old Man, some formations hundreds of feet taller than us. I have never ever felt so little before in my entire life. They hit me harder than a skyscraper ever has, harder than the mountains I grew up in ever did. It seemed so foreign and too real to even possibly be real. Again, my heart hurts even trying to relay the impact here. No words or pictures will ever suffice; a true "experience."
 Though the wind was cold and the vastness of the white-gray skies burned my eyes, I never wanted to leave the top. We sat and congratulated each other, as if we had conquered something, but my climb seemed to pale in comparison to the feat of the Storr's simple existence.