Edinburgh, Scotland was lovely. Picturesque in a historic way, where you walk out of the downtown mall and a castle is looming over you from a hill of volcanic rock, taking you right back to the days of Braveheart. The Scottish people were so friendly. Even though their thick accent was throwing me off, before they even spoke I could see it would be kind words. The elders I spoke to all had wrinkles near their cheekbones and I could tell they had been smiling their whole life.
Every cobblestone road in the Old Town had an alley or staircase to a back route of this mystical city. I walked along the popular Royal Mile road but then cut through a hidden pathway with a wooden sign that read Jacob’s Ladder and it took me to the most beautiful view on Calton Hill. It was cold and rainy on my first day exploring but it honestly didn’t matter, I actually kind of liked it. A good spray of fresh Scotland wind & rain never hurt anyone.
My first hostel experience was a good one. A hostel is the ultimate hub for meeting travellers from all over the world where a smile and an open mind is the universal language. I met people from Slovenia, Germany, France, Spain, Australia… the list goes on and it’s beautiful because you are conversing with individuals who all share a similar outlook on life of travelling and an eagerness to meet new people and cultures.
I went out to a bar with a few new hostel friends I met and it was just great to hear their stories and what point in life they were at and what point they were on their way to. Most of them were Aussies and it seems to be a trend that those from Oz go to Europe and vice versa. The club was full of sweaty dancing youth that you’ll find no matter what country you’re in, but we sat in the back making jokes and friends, mouthing the lyrics to songs that boomed from the dance floor. The best part of the night (or morning) had to be deciding to climb Arthur’s Seat- the main peak of the group of hills in Hollyrood Park- for the sunrise.
It feels so good to be up, seeing the view of the city and water and islands in the distance makes you feel as if the world is your oyster. That it’s big but also small enough to grasp a piece and call it yours. The wind just added to the whole euphoric experience.
The wind makes you feel so… ALIVE
As I stood there on that peak, barely able to open my eyelids from the powerful pressure of the strong winds and altitude, I thought of that famous quote in Braveheart:
“Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it.”
And so I will follow it- through the many hills, oceans and maybe even deserts that it will take me through. I will just have to listen to my heart and wait and see.