This Wisconsin winter has had its moments: bone-shattering cold, neck-deep snows, weeks without sun, and then 50-degree thaws like a crack of summer light lancing into inert, frigid dark. Just enough warmth to keep the joints moving.
It’s an apt comparison for my state of mind since returning from Argentina. Perhaps throwing myself into the unknown just as the northern USA entered the meteorological equivalent of a blackhole wasn’t the best timing. I’m reminded of that moment when I flung myself out of the Cessna at 11,000 feet – confronted with such an alien feeling, I blacked out. My tandem instructor and I rolled through thin air, so I imagined, for what seemed like an eternity, our drag chute spinning around us like a strand of pasta on a fork. When I came to my senses, however, the plane was directly above us. I’d been unconscious for less than a second.
Though this dark and sickness-inflected winter seems to have lasted an eternity, it will be remembered as lasting little more than a second. It’s a powerful perspective to take on rough times. In these months since Argentina, I’ve flipped the script on the Traveling Savage mission, fought off waves of self-doubt, and fretted about money to such an extent that it clouded the reality of my situation. And that is:
I am living my dream.
Seriously. I can’t believe it and it hasn’t sunk in yet. Maybe I haven’t allowed it to sink in yet. Giddiness, where are you? Then the various flavors of Catholic guilt introduce themselves and it all gets a bit twisted. I’m not carefree because I’m on a clock to make this venture work, and I have big financial shoes to fill, but I’ll be the first person to admit when the scales are out of balance. So I’m doubling down on my personal mantra (Fondness. Wonder. Gratitude.) and resolving to low-string myself and relax more. A carefree Savage is a happy Savage is an excellent Traveling Savage.
Plans & Happenings
In four short days I’ll be on a plane destined for Edinburgh where I’ll kick off three weeks in Scotland’s capital city. This time around I’ve armed myself with specific topics I’d like to investigate that will give me a starting place from which to branch out. You can expect to read about Edinburgh’s:
- Vast and historic pub scene, including information on related topics like real ales and whisky.
- Literary connections and famous writers, maybe even something really special (I hesitate to mention it…).
- Spooky and misunderstood underground vaults and passages.
Who knows where else the streets of Edinburgh will take me? I’m eager to hit the road, and yet I’m already planning my second trip to Scotland for late April/May. I’ve got the itinerary pretty well conceptualized, and it will include time in Shetland, Speyside, castle country, and the Cairngorms. Perhaps the best part of all is that we’re planning to have Sarah join me for the second half of that trip!
Just as I was about to purchase my flight for the second trip, a new opportunity reared its beautiful head. I don’t have many details yet, but once I get them you’ll be the first to know. 🙂
And the Winner Is…
For the past month I’ve been running a little contest for a free week in a luxury apartment in Edinburgh. 336 entries later – 336! – and I’ve picked a winner. I’ve been drumrolling since midnight so I’ll dispense with the formalities and simply say that entry #9 from Kris has won the week in this incredible apartment in Edinburgh!
Congratulations Kris! I’m reenacting my victory bellow from when I heard a new Radiohead album was ready. You can expect further details from me and HomeAway Holiday-Rentals via e-mail. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. I plan to give away more sweet prizes in the future, so stay tuned!
When the snows come – and they will – the only way to keep going is to tirelessly believe in your cause. If you’ve sacrificed to pursue it, you owe it to yourself (at least) to never give up. When the “snows” have reached neck-high for you, what tips or tactics do you use to keep moving and avoid freezing in place?
Listening to: Radiohead – The King of Limbs