In 2013 I decided it was finally time to take a trip to Europe. I chose Scotland and traveled through National Geographic Expeditions which would allow me to travel solo and still have freedom while traveling, yet learn about all the beauty and history around me. I went on a 13 day hike of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland with my camera, two incredible Nat Geo guides and 11 other people from all over the world. I was the youngest (33 at the time) by at least 15-20 years. The trip was possible because of money my grandparents had left me so it seemed fitting to see all these faces around me that had lived so many more years than I had. As if the universe knew exactly what I wanting out of this trip. Each day I grew closer to my travel companions and each night I had not only seen more beauty than ever before but I had learned to begin to let go of the sadness and embrace the beauty.
Each night after miles of hiking, we would meet as a group and our guides would tell us the plan for the next day and the weather predictions. (Let me sidetrack by saying I spent more money on the rain gear I was going to need for this trip than the airline ticket. All the research clearly stated that it rains every day in Scotland. ) Each night they told us the high percentage of rain for the next day, and each night I told the group, ‘my angels are with us and they aren’t going to let it rain.’ In 13 days of hiking, it rained 1 day.
The day I got into Edinburgh, I hadn't slept in almost 26 hours by the time I arrived at my hotel. I had 3 hours before I was meeting the rest of the group so I dropped my bags, grabbed my camera and walked the city. I walked up a cobblestone hill and when I got to the top of the city center, there was a young man singing Hallelujah. No one was stopping or even paying him much attention (just another street performer in some minds). I crossed the street to take a photo of him and as I turned back I noticed he was standing 1 door down from where I took this photo. I stood in the middle of the street and smiled because I knew my grandma, Mary, sent me my first Heavenly postcard to Scotland.