This trip to Scotland wasn't something I had planned for a long time, yet I feel like it was planned for me. It fell into my lap, with my oldest son qualifying to play in a Team Canada golf tournament there.
I definitely wouldn't describe myself as a confident adventurer on my own, and am super thankful for my husband for his encouragement to go. And sometimes you are given opportunities you just can't say no to, and you have to say yes.
Perhaps we should all do that more often.
Most of my touring, other than my trip into Edinburgh, was done solo. I'm not sure if any of you have traveled this way or experienced this, but it kind of puts a new perspective on what you see. It's quiet. And it seems as though the space between you and what you see are closer. More connected. A stronger sense, if you allow yourself to listen, as to what the story is telling you.
And after coming back home, I stumbled across this quote ....
".....Whether you believe you are walking into dead geographical location, which is used to get to a destination, or whether you are emerging out into a landscape that is just as much, if not more, alive as you, but in a totally different form. And if you go towards it with an open heart and a real watchful reverence, that you will be absolutely amazed at what it will reveal to you. And I think that that was one of the recognitions of the Celtic imagination: that landscape wasn't just matter, but that it was actually alive. What amazes me about landscape, landscape recalls you into a mindful mode of stillness, solitude, and silence where you can truly receive time." John O'Donohue
So what I hope what comes across to you in this collective images of Scotland is what it felt like to be there. To be in a place that was so in tune and confident with what it is. From the people, to the land to the feeling in the air. Unapologetically strong, wild, real and honest.
1. THE STREETS OF ST. ANDREWS & THE HOME OF GOLF
St. Andrews is small, quaint and quiet. Just how I like things. It is located on the East side of Scotland along the ocean and mainly known as the Home of Golf. However, it has so much more to offer. The University is also a large part of the town, along with being a weekend tourist destination for UK locals.
2. WEST SANDS BEACH, ST. ANDREWS
The beach runs right along the golf courses of St. Andrews, and is famously known for being the incredible backdrop for the beach scene from the movie Chariots of Fire. The type of beach with miles of white sand, people on horseback, dogs playing fetch in the ocean and wind in your hair.
3. THE PLACES GOLF TAKES US
It still seems surreal that I was in SCOTLAND, watching this boy do something he loves.
4. THE LANDSCAPE
Quite often when I am wandering the golf courses and watching my boys golf, my camera in in hand. Not only taking photographs of them, but there is always so much beauty in the landscape around. And in spending four to five hours surrounded by it, I can't help but feel grateful.
The obligatory tourist visits to the castle and the royal mile. Along with the hundreds of other people who had the same idea on the same day ;).
6. THE FLOWERS OF SCOTLAND
Some bits of beauty.