It’s been nine long years since I was last in Scotland. Eleven years since I’ve lived here. Time continues and I grow older. I have always known that age is a great leveler in life, changes the playing field, and the participants. Life changes you, changes your point of view on the world and the type of perspective in which you wish to view it.
I can mark the change. I can’t always articulate the moments, the passages of time, but I am more aware of them now. I have some understanding. I experience grief and uncertainty. The whispers are different. The voices have changed, and the language even more complex.
Time affects us all and change is hard to accept, even fathom. Scotland has changed. I have changed. The dynamic nature of life is in constant flux just as in tourism. Our reasons, our motivations shift and morph with the progression of time. Innately, the passion I once held for this place has transformed, no tempered. It is not as mystical as it was nineteen years ago.
So, what does this mean? What sense of this landscape do I now possess? What sense of belonging?
I was an explorer twenty-five years ago to this place, this Scotland. Prior to stepping on its shores, I knew it only from literature, film and TV shows. It held a mystique. My passion was shrouded in truths and half-truths. I had a child-like curiosity and consumption.
Seven years of planning, of working hard, and dreaming, my reality changed. I returned and had the privilege of living in Scotland for seven years. During that tenure, the world changed drastically. It continues to change drastically for us all. Relationships were altered.
Sometimes, I wonder what I am trying to grasp when I try to piece together the visceral and cerebral. To understand about this change within my heart and soul. Do I belong here? Can I identify with this landscape, this place? Where on the barometer of life has my sense of self migrated? Innately, the fields of home have a stronger pull for me, than lands farther away. I haven’t been the only one that has changed, others have too. I am pushed to consider others now more than myself. I am sometimes in limbo, overwhelmed with that responsibility. Those promises inherent with our relationships have a louder call. I have reached another milestone, another moment of truth that can’t be ignored. More of the complex layers have been uncovered, exposed, and choices must consider a new reality.
I never did like change. Sometimes, it has a hidden, nasty smell. Something you want to ignore and leave alone. Let the world go past, without acknowledgement. Brutal honesty, we all have those moments. Scotland was that wonderment that I could call my own. That luxury I could escape to and find myself, find that grounding of strength that seems elusive during questionable moments. Scotland always made me happy. Scotland has changed. It is different. I’m different. That is good.
Good in that I can search. The journey is about moving and embracing change, understanding fear, and looking. It’s okay to look, to search out, and find. I may not find exactly what I am looking for or the answers at this moment. Life and travel, tourism is all about experiences. It is a circle of experiences, just like life. And change is a part of that circle, and finding yourself during each of those moments. Another layer of who you are.
New boots, new journey. More me.