Have you ever found yourself returning again and again to a place, perhaps reenacting a scene or activity? Do you wonder why, or have you extinguished that curious flame with a half-thought and flimsy reason? It’s fun. It’s pretty. It’s cheap. What does it say about you that you return there? Is it pathological or just unfinished business?
There is a place in this world, for everyone, that will command daily thoughts, tug at hidden bonds, and pull across the oceans and ages.
If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. It’s there.
Recently, I finally admitted to myself that Scotland is that place for me. And, if you saw the picture for this post on the main page, apparently I’m doing my damnedest to reload Mons Meg at Edinburgh Castle. The photo on the left is me in 2009 reenacting the photo on the right, from 2006. I can only guess there will be a third installment from 2011 when I venture to Edinburgh in March.
Speaking of trips, I’ve got a lot to share.
Plans & Happenings
At the beginning of the year I announced that I would be focusing on Scotland here on Traveling Savage, and that my first trip would be to Edinburgh in March. Since then I’ve been sketching out how the year might look from a travel perspective. Take a look at these ideas:
March: Three weeks in Edinburgh with possible day trips to places like Tantallon Castle, Glenkinchie Distillery, and Dunkeld for the Niel Gow Festival. This trip is locked in and I’m nearly done with logistics.
Late April/May: Shetland for a week at the end of April and early May for the Shetland Folk Festival; then either to Argyll and Islay (for the Malt and Music Festival) or to Speyside, the Castle Trail, and the Cairngorms National Park. Which way I choose to go is dependent on the Islay Malt and Music Festival (aka Feis Ile).
Early June: Off to Vancouver for the Travel Blog Exchange Conference. This will be a weekend jaunt to mix it up with some of the travel bloggers I’ve gotten to know over the past year and see a city I’ve been waiting to see for a long time.
Late July/August/September: This one is still a bit fuzzy, but it’s likely to include a week in Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival and whichever trip option I didn’t do back in April/May.
Finally, there could be another trip in the fall, but I can only juggle so many cannonballs at once – my trip-planning abilities have been stretched to their limits.
This being the first State of the Savage of 2011, I’ve decided to make a change and cut the Features & PR section. If that was your favorite part, let me know. You can find all the items that used to be in that section on my Features & Recognition page.
A common thread that ties travelers of every ilk together is the search for magic. The inexplicable. Magic is that something in the air that precipitates wonder. Why do I return to Scotland? I think the elemental joy of experiencing magic, the contentedness of not understanding, should be shared.
And until I lift that cannonball, my business in Scotland will be unfinished. I’m quite pleased with that, actually.