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Scotland Calls

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Oct. 09, 2014
Photo Credit: by Moyan Brenn on Flickr (

Verdant rolling hills, patches of soft crimson light breaking through the evening clouds, winding rivers and shimmering lakes—my first impressions of Scotland. We all have moments, sometimes brief minutes, other times extended over a period of days or even weeks that we wish we could put on replay for the rest of our lives.

My trip to Scotland last June was one of those moments. Strolling around quaint villages and scenic parks, stopping for a picnic beside a peaceful lake in the legendary Scottish Highlands, exploring ancient castles and ruins of formerly glorious cathedrals, and simply spending time with my long-lost cousins; these are priceless memories that I will never forget.

I had dreamed of going to Scotland for many years; the breathtaking scenery, rich culture and beautiful traditions have been beckoning me as long as I can remember. It wasn’t enough to see pictures or videos of this mysterious land—I had to go there myself and experience it firsthand. Most of the time the only thing holding us back from our deepest desires and dreams is ourselves. There is nothing wrong with wanting good things, and wanting them badly. These desires have been placed in our hearts by God; they are just shadows of our ultimate longing for him.

How did I get there? Well, I didn’t sit on the couch thinking that it would be great to go someday. I decided to go, and then I went. It was nearing the end of my study-abroad year in Rome, and I had planned to spend two weeks of vacation in Italy with my friends after final exams before coming home. My summer job was waiting for me, so I couldn’t spend much more time away from home than what was already planned.

But how could I leave Europe without stopping in on my number-one travel destination? I was torn between staying with my friends and the amazing opportunity to visit Scotland. It was a tough decision, but I couldn’t accept coming so close without making my dream a reality, so I left right after exams and headed north to Scotland. It was hard to say goodbye, but I don’t regret it for one minute.

Usually it would be difficult to visit a foreign country without much planning and foresight, but I am blessed to have family who live right outside of Edinburgh. My cousins showed me around for a week, and I wouldn’t trade anything for the times we shared together in Scotland.

I never feel more alive than when I work for the good things I desire—my dreams—and give my best to achieve them. This is what we were made for—to break free from the routine of our daily lives, set high goals and objectives, and fight every day for them. Anything less than this would not be fullness of life but mere existence.

Painfully short—my visit was over—one week in Scotland felt like an hour elsewhere. I watched from the airplane window as the land I loved quickly disappeared from my sight, hiding itself below the white clouds. The plane flew upward, but my heart sank back toward the land below me, as I realized that it may be years before I return.

I made a resolution to go back, and, one day, I will.


Image via Moyan Brenn on Flickr.