From Carlisle to Edinburgh

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I went to Edinburgh recently because I found out my friend was going to be traveling around the area. We decided to meet up a couple of weeks later. Boy was I excited and nervous. Excited because I could see my friend and visit one of the places on my ‘travel to’ list. Nervous because it would be the second time I would have to travel alone to an unknown city. The night before I packed my duffle bag with a few warm-ish outfits, hair straightener, makeup, waterproof boots, and my big jacket. Knowing the weather was cold in Carlisle I assumed it would be the same in Scotland if not colder since it was further north (Don’t know if this was good logic but I went with it). The train ticket I booked left about an hour and a half after class so that meant I would go home, eat lunch, wash my dishes, get my bag, and walk on over to the train station in time for the train. Luckily, I made it with time to spare. The train ride was nice and peaceful. Along the way, I saw lots of farmland with vivid green hills, trees, and so many sheep roaming around. Moments later the ticket lady approached me for my train tickets so I handed them all to her. Come to find out, I bought tickets that I didn’t exactly qualify for… Therefore I had to buy another train ticket. However, when you buy tickets on the train they are more expensive so that was a big oops and a big bummer. Oh well, shit happens. It’s a live and learn kind of world. Anyway, by the time I got off the train it was dark out. I also had no idea how to get out of the train station (forgetting to read the signs) so I just followed the crowd of people getting of the train too. It’s amazing how much common sense can fly out of your brain when one is surrounded by the unfamiliar and filled with feelings like confusion and excitement. If you travel one day, do not completely count on things to work like they do back home (obviously). Travel with an open mind expecting to learn something new every step of the way. Learning all these new things as I go has been thrilling, fun, and humbling. So as I made my way safely out of the train station, figured out where and how to get a taxi, I got to my friend’s airbnb. I noticed it was an apartment complex within a building and because I did not know which flat she was staying in, nor had wifi/international calling to get a hold of her, I literally had to ring everyone in the complex to figure out which she was in so I could get in. I was so embarrassed but was left with no choice. After ringing about four flats out of six I got a hold of my friend. Thank goodness! I felt so bad for all the people I bothered that late. I did make sure to apologize after every ring. Traveling around Scotland was amazing. We visited local coffee shops, the Edinburgh castle, Edinburgh dungeons, walked around the city, and went to the top of the Scott Monument. There was a sunny blue sky with never ending fluffy clouds when we got to the top of the monument. It has an incredible view. Absolutely beautiful. I would definitely suggest that to be one of the first things you do if you visit. (Forewarning: you have to climb many stairs and it gets pretty narrow on the way up) As we came down, the sky turned light grey and it began to hail and snow shortly after. Good thing I layered that day. We ate at a place in front of the monument where there was live music, beer, and many food truck choices. I totally enjoyed the Scotland vibes. Edinburgh personally felt like a fairytale kingdom. Especially around the castle. The streets are full of exquisite architecture and so much history. I can see why Nana loved this place.

Why Travel?

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The idea of traveling for me started in the year 2012. Before that, traveling seemed impossible. It’s expensive, takes time, and planning. A luxury for the rich. My perspective on traveling changed when I moved from Southern California to my grandparent’s charming home in a small town called Red Bluff. Nana and Grandpa loved sharing stories of their adventures in Europe, South America, and more. It sounded wonderful but I felt it was only a dream that wasn’t within my reach. Regardless, they highly encouraged traveling. Even if it meant a drive just about an hour to Mt. Lassen or Mt. Shasta for a hike. Grandpa would plan day hikes for us almost every weekend over the summer. I was in awe as we would hike through some of these places. I couldn’t believe this was practically in our backyard. Before you knew it, I started to crave adventures like these. I also started to think, if we could find these amazing places that are so near, I can’t imagine all of the other awe-inspiring places that the world has to offer. My longing for travel and adventure since then grew.

Fast Forward to 2017…

 I made it to England as an exchange student! That dream that seemed so distant and impossible, was not unattainable after all. So here I am and I can’t wait to share the lovely places I come across! Hope you enjoy. Stay tuned friends!