Argyll and Bute, Scotland: Exploring the Secret Coast


Scotland: Argyll and Bute

Ferry from Gourock to Dunoon

Just getting to the small village of Kames, Argyll and Bute, Scotland felt like an authentic experience in itself. After landing at Glasgow airport and taking a local bus to the central station, I hopped on a train heading for the Gourock ferry terminal. After shuffling on to the ferry with my pink suitcase, I stood on the top deck and realized I was the only one on board besides a backpacker and her very hairy dog. The dog and I made eye contact, both of us with our hair blowing in the breeze and taking in the cold, wet air, sharing in this adventure.

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Quito, Ecuador: A Lonely Heart Goes Clubbing

Bella Vista

It was June 2009, and I was only a couple weeks into living in Quito, Ecuador when I decided I’d had enough. We lived in an area called “Bella Vista” which means “beautiful view” in Spanish. All that meant to me was that I had to walk up a hill the size of a mountain.

I spent my time doing a typing class online so I would have all my credits, and I could graduate high school early. When I saw the pictures of my classmates at prom and graduation, I felt completely removed from it all. I was lonely, isolated, and in a literal foreign environment.

The first time I went to the grocery store to stock up on junk food and eat away my feelings, I realized that Ecuador didn’t have the same food items as the U.S. The only thing I could find was Trix cereal and it was 8$. After walking up the steep, cobblestone hill to our house, I sat in the living room and started Googling things to do to get out a bit. I’ve always been the type to take action when I’m upset, not enjoying the feeling of standing still. I found a group on Facebook called “I Love Quito.” I certainly didn’t love Quito, but I figured there would be people my age who had liked this group and I could send them messages in order to make some friends.

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Scotland: Real Life is Where the Magic Happens


Traveling and Wanderlust

Traveling. A word that conjures up thoughts of climbing mountains in Asia, snorkeling in Australia, eating a baguette under the Eiffel Tower, and riding on the back of your lovers Vespa through Rome. In our more modern times we call it “wanderlust.”

By the time I was old enough to read, and obsessed with traveling, I would check out Lonely Planet books from the local library in my very small town. I would sit on my front porch planning dream trips to Paris and wondering if life would ever really take me there. I once told my parents I would sleep on a park bench in Paris just to be able to stay there. The view of the Arc de Triomphe was all the luxury I needed.

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Spontaneous Travel in Life and Switzerland

Spontaneous Travel

Spontaneous Travel: Avoid the Planning

Have you ever taken a trip that was the exact opposite of spontaneous travel, where you planned every little thing? Hotels, restaurants, toilets, and even, God forbid, gone on a tour? Now, tell me this. How much time did you spend on your trip feeling anxiety over the schedule and what you were supposed to do next? Maybe you worried so much about the next activity or location that you didn’t even take time to be present and enjoy where you were actually doing!

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