October 19th - today I celebrate my own personal Independence Day. It was 3 years ago on October 19, 2015 that I arrived in Boston after departing the coast of Oregon, alone, and with all my belongings packed into a 20 year old car. I drove 3200 miles to start a new life where I didn’t know anybody. This was the first time in my life that I felt I was truly making a decision for myself.
One year later, October 19, 2016, I landed in Scotland for my first trip abroad - alone, without a plan. Again, just following my inner voice. It wasn’t until last year that I realized those 2 events shared the same date. They were pivotal events in owning my life, transforming into the outwardly strong and independent woman I am now.
So now, October 19th is my day. Today I had an adventure, and I splurged and bought myself a one year subscription to digital OS Maps - £20 a year for unlimited maps on my computer and phone. I'm already having so much fun with it - this will be the best splurge I've ever made!
Today I said to Luna as I always do when we go out the door, “Luna, we’re going on adventure!” and we headed off to conquer Tap O’ Noth (Top of the North), an Iron Age hill fort. Its the second highest hill fort in Scotland (I'm coming for you Ben Griam Beg!) and the views over Aberdeenshire were amazing. I also tracked down more Pictish Stones, and had a stupid amount of chocolate cake. No regrets. I’ll post more photos tomorrow but here is one on top, with part of vitrified remains of the fort behind me. (Vitrified means a fire was set around the stones and they melted together). It was a great day. I met a woman named Diane who was also on her own journey to visit Pictish Stones. She spoke some great words of wisdom and I really appreciated her perspective. (Hi Diane!)
It was a great Independence Day and I’m feeling happy. And full. So much cake. No regrets.