After a month of rambling around Scotland, the time is upon me to return home. The trip did not do what I’d hoped it would–cram my head with romance plots, all tidily worked out to the last, fascinating detail–but it did leave me with many gifts.
A few of these gifts, I will spend the next few months walking off on my treadmill desk.
I may not have plots, but I have ideas I could never have come across at home. The Pictish warriors were jealous of those old Viking guys, for example, because the Vikings, with their saunas and impressive battle dress, did so much better with the ladies. I’m left to ponder: Is it the land that was conquered, or the ladies’ hearts? The amount of Norse blood in many parts of the UK suggests the latter.
Another gift, a big one, is motivation. For a week, I stayed in a lovely, tidy, beautifully maintained holiday cottage. The writing just flowed. I need to take a greater interest in how my house looks and feels when I walk in the door. Two big dogs and I need to have a talk about who’s allowed on what furniture, and I need to stock up on vacuum cleaner bags. I know my environment impacts my mood and energy, but the reminder was timely.
I’m also impressed by Scottish society. When they faced an independence referendum last September, voter turnout was 90 percent, and it was the old people whose opinion carried the day. Yes, election day was a holiday, and public transportation far exceeds what we, with our great distances can offer, but 90 percent?! We can’t even hit 50 percent. We need to do better.
I’m excited, too, about the group tour I’m organizing for next September. There is so MUCH to see and do here, that even if you’re not a writer, for ten days, I’m confident I can show you a great time. (More on this tour later…)
So travel has again done what I rely on it to do: Refreshed my perspective, cheered me up, given me ideas, and helped me see how home can be made more appealing. But I also met with folks at the University of Stirling to
discuss their master’s program in creative writing. Scotland is on notice: I’m coming back Soon and often.
Was there a trip that shifted your perspective on home, on yourself? If you could travel back to one place, where would it be? To one commenter, I’ll send a copy of Dancing in the Duke’s Arms, now on sale in both ebook and print formats.