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Dispatches from London: My Final Thoughts as I Depart for My Year in England

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Tomorrow I will head to SeaTac airport and fly off to London to start my year of grad school at the University of Westminster. When I think back to when I started this process, I can’t believe all those months have passed so quickly. I didn’t realize when I started that this would actually happen. It was a grand hope, but paired with a small amount of confidence that I’d get through the entire thing. There’s been many bumps along the way, a few nights of questioning if it was the right choice, many stressful hours with tears involved, but I am now ready to go and am very enthralled to start this new part of my life. This will be the fourth time I’ve been to this part of the world and I am very excited to get a chance to explore it again. I’m intrigued to see how much has changed in the last two years since I’ve set foot in London. Cities are constantly changing and I want to see what new things I can find that weren’t there before, or revisit old landmarks and see if there are visible differences from my last trip.

I am very ready to be back in my favorite place on the planet. Perhaps I am a naive, young woman, to think that London is this magical place, but when you’ve been bred and raised into this Anglophile, Harry Potter, BBC culture, it’s easy to think of London as this perfect city, devoid of any problems. I was always shown, by the media, how the UK and Europe are these fantastical, mystical lands where the scenery is beautiful and the accents are sexy. It’s really not my fault that I romanticize Great Britain as this place that is so much more fanciful than America in my mind. It also has to do with my personality. I’m a dreamer and an idealist. I see things as better or more wonderful than they actually are, and that’s why, in my head, I will never be happy sitting still in the US when I could be in the UK.

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I currently feel, like my dear friend Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit, that I am literally running out the door with the few belongings I can carry, to go away on this whirlwind of an adventure. I am very scared, but I am also willing. I am willing to try this new path in life that many don’t take. Being an expat is a tough thing. It’s very hard to uproot your comfortable life and go abroad, away from family and friends, and to create a new situation from what you’ve chosen. Sometimes I get mad at myself and wonder why I can’t be happy staying where I am, content with a job I dislike and the love of those closest to me. But I really can’t. My dreams have always taken me to far away places. My mind has always been set on getting out of the Pacific Northwest and making my way East.

For a long time, I didn’t know how I was going to get away from Washington and over to England. I thought it would be impossible or too expensive. And both of those things are why I struggled so long with trying to make this happen. I wasn’t aware, as a child, that my dream of settling down in England was something so unattainable. But after countless hours of research, I figured that postgraduate studies were how I was going to be able to do it. And then I made it happen. I made my ridiculous dream come true. And maybe my youthful ignorance on the state of the world is why I think my choice is so good, but maybe the phrase “Ignorance is bliss,” is something that can apply to me in a less negative fashion.

So over the next year, these blog posts will become much more interesting, and actually from London. I will attempt to use my journalism and public relations training to write and photograph weekly stories, collect interviews and tales from interesting people around the city, and to be a sort of ambassador from the US to the UK in my writings and studies. I am currently reading the books “Londoners,” by Craig Taylor, “The Anglo Files,” by Sarah Lyall, and “Watching the English,” by Kate Fox, and my goal is to create a sort of understanding of this city, through its people, as well as the environment I’m in. My MA program is specifically guided towards writing creatively about London, and I hope to learn from being right in the heart of the city, how to accurately capture the spirit of this place, even though I am a foreigner.

So follow me, this barely out of adolescence, nervous American girl, into a new world that she hasn’t quite experienced yet. My previous life in England was up North in Chester, so other than a few trips to London, I will be a new face in this city. Bear with me as I discover how to function as a young adult in this vibrant, international city. I promise the writing and stories will get more exciting once I take the plunge. I leave tomorrow, and arrive into the city on Sunday afternoon, and my 20-something, grad student life will begin. I will dispatch all the observations of my time abroad, and hopefully create a log of interesting information for fellow Anglophiles to read and enjoy. Wish me luck!


Samantha O'Brochta
Author: Samantha O'Brochta

Samantha was formerly an expat in London in 2014/15 before moving to New York City, where she can be found blogging and taking photographs for her site Some Call Me Adventurous. Samantha has an affinity for traveling the world, watching BBC shows, making people laugh, dancing alone in her room, dressing fashionably, and attempting to make Pinterest crafts with disastrous end results.


  1. I used to have that “grass is always greener” view, too, til I married a Brit. Then I began to learn more about regional politics, dialects, customs, etc. I devoured comment sections on UK news websites to get a feel for how the public sees their own country, and while it took a lot shine off the brass, if you will, it made me appreciate the UK even more in the long run. Now, I don’t love it because I think it’s perfect. I love it because it’s not. It’s like it’s more real now.
    As a side effect, it made me appreciate (and be more willing to defend) the US more, too. But we still plan on eventually moving “back” to the UK someday, for good.

    Good luck and I hope that you find as much contentment and happiness in your new home as you were dreaming you would!

  2. I am looking so forward to hearing about your adventures ! I am quite envious as well! Just remember to have fun!!!

  3. Good luck look forward to reading all about your observations of the UK. It’s pretty good here wouldn’t live anywhere else.

  4. All the best, Samantha. I’ve never quite felt comfortable with London, being from the north, but I can certainly understand the attraction.

    BTW (as one myself), “Watching The English” is an absolutely brilliant book. Good start! I’d say Bill Bryson’s “Notes From a Small Island” is also a good one, if you haven’t already read it.

  5. I return to Britain again I am born a Brit lived there,40years then departed, still so sorry I did, but I did , so this time at 77years I am so happy, maybe my last, but I don’t want it to-be, hope not, still for me the best place on earth, a’h well, here I come,

  6. I will be doing this same thing in 13 days, and so much of what you’ve said here is spot on!! It’s scary and wonderful and I simply can’t wait for what life has in store this next year. Good luck with your studies, and I can’t wait to read your next post!

    (I’m also reading Lyall’s “Anglo Files.” HILARIOUS!)

  7. I did my first degree at the University of Westminster and they were probably 4 of the best years of my life! Make sure you get the chance to go out of London as England is not only it’s capital city! Pop to Brighton, Bristol, Bath, and other places that don’t begin with a B! I am from Newcastle originally and up in the North East we have some beautiful places to visit. Enjoy and make sure you travel around. All the best.

  8. Very excited for you Samantha! While you are over there be sure to take advantage of the region 2 DVD players. You will have access to more foreign movies, such as Funeral Parade of Roses. That is just my opinion though. You seem like a lovely woman and I wish I could get to know you but I left London when I was 19 and know I’m 19 1/2 living in Florida. Have fun!

  9. I wish you a wonderful year in my beautiful country -do make sure you go outside London as well.Especially Bath and York and the Lake District.

  10. Good luck dear, I’m sure you’ll be delighted by this marvellous city, my preferred one in the world !!!!!

  11. “London” by Edward Rutherfurd is a fantastic historic story that goes way way back. Once you’ve read his “London” you’ll want to read his other historical sagas, including more on England, and even Russia and New York. One of the best authors out there if one wants to learn the history of a country in an enthralling way. Hard to put his books down!

  12. All the best, babe! Wish me luck too, I’ll be leaving for my 3-year adventure in Birmingham in a few weeks. We’ll all gonna do just fine!!!!
    Have a great time there!

  13. Safe travels
    I admire your bravery and sense of adventure
    I felt the same at 18 when I moved to Texas although now I feel lucky to consider myself home in both countries
    Looking forward to reading about your adventure

  14. Samantha, my daughter is leaving on the 28th of September to start her Masters in Law at Birkbeck in London. She too is excited and nervous. So happy for you and my daughter! !! Looking forward to your posts!

  15. Seriously, this will be the best year/s of your life!! I lived in London and worked in New Ash Green for 8 months back in 2008 as a special education teacher and would give anything to be able to move back. Living in London was like coming home to a place I had never been and although my heart will always be American, part of my soul will always belong to London and Great Britain.

    • Saaaame here! Born & raised in Seattle/lived mostly there or nearby (currently in the Other Kent, out here) but also lived 5 years off & on in Germany & studied full-time at Coventry University for 4 years. Surrrrrre enjoyed my time in England! It’s my “Home Is Where the Heart Is” home, to this day. The English countryside is the most Heaven-on-Earth place I’ve been yet, tho London’s right up there too — Along w/Victoria BC 🙂 !

      Even my tastes in cars, & also trucks, buses & trains, are biased toward British products :-). Yes, that Surrrrrre includes Thomas the Tank Engine & friends!

      Speaking of which, do U already know of The Pooh Country in & around Hartfield in Sussex? A. A. Milne & his family Summered there every year when Christopher Robin was little, and there are many places nearby which served as Locations for the Pooh Stories — Plainly signposted too, at least as of my most recent visit there in 1998 :-). It remains my favorite touristing place of all, so far, even after all the Classic Car Museums I’ve been to in various countries on both sides of the Atlantic *and* of the English Channel 🙂 !

      My Prayers are with you for another delightful time in England & any nearby countries you may get to !!!


      P.S. — “London was like coming home to a place I had never been” — Well put !

      • Here is one of my blog posts about my vacation to Scotland while living and working in the UK. 🙂 It is pretty long but tells about my 5 day trip around Scotland with Haggis tours. Hope you all enjoy 🙂

        Scotland – I’ll Take the High Road
        This blog is from my 5 day tour of Scotland while I was in the UK.

        April 12- Day 1
        I begin this adventure riding first class on a train from London to Edinburgh Scotland. I traveled through the Easter coast of England through York through the Yorkshire dales (James Harriet country) through Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne. There are so many surreal thoughts rising like bubbles only to pop as the next one surfaces. I am in England, as I never would have dreamed in a million years, I have been horseback riding in Wales and walked the beaches of Normandy as stood beside the Eiffel tower, and now, I am on my way to Scotland.

        Looking out the train’s large plate glass windows I watch the peaceful flocks of sheep with their new lambs slide by with the occasional horse and cow. The books of my childhood float through my mind and the words of James Harriet describe the land and lives of the people of Yorkshire as we pass through. Several decades have past since these words were written yet in these far flung reaches of England the ghosts of the past still linger in the dales and pubs where life is slower to change and modern “progress” crawls rather than races over the hillsides.

        Sometimes an emotion slams into me so hard I want to split my face grinning when I see the tiny black faced lambs, no bigger than a kitten, or the occasional distant coastline, or the gently rolling green hills. There is so much excitement that I feel like my heart will leap from my chest for the simple reason that I am really here. I am on my way to Scotland.

        As we cross the bridge that looks old enough to be Roman built and just that quickly the landscape changes from English hills to Scottish cliffs that face the ocean’s battering. There is no mistake that we have now crossed over into the land of bagpipes and men in skirts.

        When I get off the train in Edinburgh I am totally blown away by the incredibleness of the city. The castle walls, the towering monuments, the tiny narrow closes, and best of all, as I walked to the bus, a man casually walked by, in a kilt. I got to the Kingsway Bed and Breakfast and was again blown away by this remodeled Victorian home with its grand mahogany staircase and comfortable room with excellent view of the city. After settling in I talked to the owners to plan my free day in Edinburgh tomorrow and after our conversation I planned to hike to Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano on the side of the city then walk the royal mile from Holbrooke Palace to Edinburgh Castle.

        April 13 – Day 2
        I begin my day with a Scottish breakfast and then set out to walk the mile or so to the volcano base and begin my climb. I walked around the lower road that circled the base until I found a mowed narrow path that lead up into the mountain. About half way up the path ends at a flat rock that looks over to the crags on the other side. I stopped for a moment for a breather and a photo and then began to pick my way and climb up the steep rocky mountain peek. There are no rails, and no well defined trails, only paths that would challenge a mountain goat and I climb with hands and feet. Although there are signs of people who have traveled this way before me, they are very faint and not many have challenged this mountain peek. Once at the top I am blown away again by the incredible view of the city and surrounding mountains. Then, I prepare to make my way down and start to panic. The very top peek has no defined trail and I have to find the path with the best footing, but find there is no good way down and began the decent of hand over hand and occasional short slide on my butt. Worrying about the slick red mud seems the least of my thoughts as I face the decent thinking of only each step ahead and deliberately not thinking about reaching the bottom. At one point, a very nice Asian man climbing down with his wife/girlfriend stops to turn around and tell me to toss him my backpack so I can make a controlled decent down a very harrying section. God Bless him!! I eventually make it down off the peak to the steep rocky steps and eventually make my way to the bottom of the mountain. Meeting several climbers/hikers as I go who give me the thumbs up. At the bottom I find that I am almost giddy with pride of what I have just accomplished. Before I left America I would never have been able to make it to the middle ground, much less try to climb to the top, but because of all the walking I have done around Greenwich and London have at least given me a chance to make this climb. Oddly enough the thought crosses my mind that if I had been with others I may have panicked, but knowing that there is no one there to help you but yourself makes you face your fears and take your courage in your hands and do what has to be done. However, I am so tired; I simply walk the high street and do not try for the Palace or the Castle.

        I do however, stop in a tartan-producing museum where I get my photo made with authentic highland garb. The buildings here are just as incredible as the buildings in England, but have a blocker, more gothic look to them. Even the spires rising to the sky have a stockier look to their detailed elegance. These soaring ladies, though elegant and dainty have an inner core that challenges the elements to do their worst. I also see several ghost tour companies and decide to take a walk on the spooky side through the underground vaults of the city. This is apparently the most haunted place in the world, according to Guinness, no not the beer, the book of world records. I decide to go with Mercat ghost tours and meet up with our tour guide (from St Louis oddly enough) who tells us about the vaults and then takes us down under the city streets into another world.

        Apparently the vaults of Edinburgh were built in the 1600s when the city could not hold all the people who lived there and the government though about building an underground city. People lived and worked down, in catacombs under the streets for many years before it was abandoned as one of the city’s worse ideas. You see, the vaults were not waterproof. So the pubs, stores, houses, and all manor of living quarters were abandoned because they began to become so dank that people were dying all over the place, not to even speak about the foul and heinous crimes that have been committed in these dark and hidden tunnels.

        Being a non-believer I hated to tell the rest of the group that the fact that we didn’t see anything was my fault, as I do not believe lol. I was saving my camera battery since I didn’t bring my charger so I only took one photo and it was completely ruined by some kind of light reflection. However, several of the others had odd balls of lights on their photos. Of course none of us saw anything. It was an interesting tour regardless.

        As I walked the streets in the twilight, the cadence of the rolling Scottish accent flows around me like a spell that transports you mind in images to another time and place. The blue-faced street performer dressed, as William Wallace in the corner of Edinburgh Castle seems suspended in time, until he surrounds himself with giggling girls for a photo opp. As the day slowly fades into streetlights, I catch a bus to the B&B and prepare for my journey on the morrow. (The owners of the B&B have offered to let me leave my clothes I will wear home and the things I bought in town at the B&B so I will not have to carry them on the tour and I will be back for one more night before I leave.

        April 14- Day 3
        The day begins with our mismatched tour all meeting in front of the Haggis Tours office and introducing ourselves. Mainly Aussies (again – see Wales trip blog lol) with one Kiwi, a couple of Taiwanese, 2 Chinese, and 1 American besides me. As we got underway, our driver/DJ/guide/MC kept up a running monologue of hilarious antidotes and quips mixed in with facts from the city and true stories of the city and Scotland. One of his best was about the Penguin Parade at the Edinburgh Zoo. Apparently the zookeepers let all the penguins out to walk around the zoo every day and they are basically herded back into their enclosures. However, apparently a couple of years ago a few Darwin award potential candidates decided that the poor penguins were abused by being in a zoo and they were set free by having the zoo gates to the city opened. There was a penguin hotline for months afterwards so people could call the zoo and have stray penguins rounded up and returned to the zoo.

        Our first stop was Sterling and the William Wallace Monument. This was another nice long climb with an incredible tower built by Victorians in honor of a man who became a legend. (William Wallace was not a highlander so he would have never worn a kilt as portrayed in the movies).

        Then it was off to Glencoe after a short stop at a Lock where Sean Connery owns a home and the cemetery where Rob Roy is buried. On his tombstone is inscribed the words Macgregor Despite Them, (apparently because of the Scottish uprising the British made it illegal to be Macgregor – Rob Roy refused to comply).

        Glencoe is perhaps the most post card perfect landscape that Scotland has and the high peaks rise to either side of us as we pull onto the side of the road. Our guide takes us on a “walk” down through the glen across a bridge and up a steep stony path towards the Hidden Glenn and Waterfall. At the bridge, I realized my limitations and knew that although I would be able to struggle up the steep rocky path, there is no way I would be able to make it down with my knees which were already starting to give me problems. So, I casually made my way back along the trail to wait for my group and basked in the silence and overwhelming beauty of this place. Although this was beautiful country, I could not help but think how 20 years ago, I would not have been fit enough to make the climb and now, physically able to be active, my knees can no longer handle the pressure.

        We ended our day in Oban seaside village at my first youth hostel. It was actually great, kind of like a dorm with 4 bunk beds and fun interactions with the girls. Before settling down for the night we all walked down the way to climb up to the ruins of McCaig’s Tower to explore and watch the sunset, which I must say in Scotland is SPECTACULAR!!

        April 15 – Day 4 and first day of the actual tour
        We started out bright and early on our journey to the Isle of Skye passing Stalker Castle, Lock Linnhe, Fort William and Ben Nevis (which we couldn’t see because of the clouds surrounding it) and over the sea to Skye. Across the bridge bought by Americans who began charging the residents a toll to cross over and had the ferry banned. (American greed at it’s best). Scotland put their foot down a couple of years ago and the American company can no longer charge their outrageous toll.

        On Skye we traveled across through a one-lane sheep covered road for a couple of hours to get to one of the most incredible views. The Black Cuillin Mountains with some of the oldest and youngest mountains in the world. This also happens to be where parts of the movie Highlander were filmed as well as Stardust and several other films. Which brings me to one of our guide’s funny points, Sean Connery, a true Scotsman with a pronounced Scottish accent is cast to play a Spaniard while a Frenchman with a pronounced French accent is cast as a Scottish Highlander … in the same film.

        Then we descended down the winding and steep road to Sligachan Glen where we were challenged by the guide to place our faces in the freezing snow melting water for at least 7 seconds so the fairy people would make us beautiful forever. About 2/3s of the group did it and I include myself in that category? It was a challenge to be met.

        Our last stop was the Trotternish Peninsula where we made the climb to see the Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock. The trail to see the Old Man rock (the old woman had fallen and shattered and the old man cried all the locks around- so the story goes) starts out nice and level with a well-defined path that passes through the most hauntingly beautiful pine forest. Higher and higher into steeper and steeper and muddier and muddier terrain until slipping and sliding with my steps I knew I better stop or again I would not be able to make it back down. So, almost to the top, I stopped and began to make a careful one foot at a time descent and with many scary slips and almost falls I finely made it to the bottom only moments before the entire troop arrives as they had to stop because of weather conditions at the top. Again, I did not make it to the top, but I made it a long way and saw incredible views across the ocean to the Scottish mainland.

        This night we stayed in Portree Skye on the harbour. Before coming in for the night, I went alone down the harbour and climbed the hill to another ruin of a tower that over looked the harbour. None of the others felt like climbing or walking that far and again, I found that alone I push myself harder to accomplish what I would never try with a group. I think it is because I don’t feel any pressure to get to the top when I am alone and I feel free to take my time going up. It does make it scary trying to come down though lol. So, after sitting for a while on the remains of a tower wall watching the ships come in during the sunset I made my way cautiously back down and back to the hostel. This night no one went to bed before 12 because of the fabulous Scottish band that played traditional Scottish music for us to sing and dance to.

        April 16- Day 5
        Day 3, We head back over the bridge to our first stop on an overlook of Eilean Donan Castle that is one of the few actual lived in castles in Scotland. It is also the castle in Highlander that they ride out of in the beginning of the movie to war. At this point I learn that my camera is dead. Well, not dead precisely, but no way to see what I am taking photos of although it is still taking photos. So, all the photos taken with my digital camera from this point on are guesses.

        Next we have a short stop at Corrieshalloch Gorge, an incredible 200-foot deep box canyon. We walk down a nice zigzag path and cross a swinging bridge over the gorge then climb to an observation point where we can walk out over the gorge for incredible views of the water falls into the gorge and the river far below.

        As we head out for Ullapool and Carbisdale Haunted Castle Hostel where we spent the night. We stopped only once at Ardmair Beach which have the perfect beach for rock skipping. Every rock is almost perfectly smooth and flat. I got it to skip about 3 skips only once – it is harder than it looks. Upon arrival we were again blown away by how incredible the castle and the art were. Having been told that the castle had secret passages and places I spent hours knocking on wood and opening anything that possibly looked like a secret door only to be told by the housekeeper that all the secret passages had been blocked and sealed up for safety reasons. Damn!! My Nancy Drew moment completely stomped. Again, not believing in ghosts, I ran all over the castle by myself with no fear, although I will admit that around midnight when you are in a dark hallway looking for the light to go to an empty kitchen it is a bit eerie. However, no ghost sightings. Although if you look at the photos there is one on the stairs that is totally freaky because in the photo there is an almost solid ball of blue which I can say for certain was not visible to my eyes.

        I also walked down the driveway and down the path and over the grate (meaning see through) bridge over the river to the pub with the group and found that although I do not freeze at heights, walking over an open grate over a long drop into rushing water in the dark kinda freaks me a little. That was perhaps the scariest thing I did the whole trip.

        April 17- Day 6
        Day 4 of the tour we go through Inverness and stop at Culloden Moor Battle field where Bonnie Prince Charlie led the final Jacobite uprising to a ugly destruction as an order was faked on the British side that no quarter was to be given and not only the soldiers on the field, but the women and children on the sides were also put to death with few survivors. Charlie, fled, abandoning his men and people, to France and died a coward and broken man. To me this was not a big deal because it is just a field with flags but to the Scottish people it is a major historical place. I can appreciate the importance and historical value of the place, but it is just a field to me.

        Next we went to Clava Cairns which are prehistoric burial chambers built by teens because the adults did not have time in the struggle to survive this harsh land. Literally, the teens were building their own graves because men died at the average age of 35 and women at 40. These chambers were built before Christ.

        Then we went into the Inchnadamphe National Forrest to hike about 3 or 4 miles into a glen before climbing up the steep (all trails on mountings in Scotland are steep) side of a mountain to be dropped about 10 feet into a cave where we would have to crawl on our stomachs for several meters to see the inside of a cave. The cave is famous for having the remains of polar bears and some other pre-ice age animals. I, as you can tell, did not make it all the way, although this time I had about 6 others with me when we stopped. It was an incredible hike and the best trail yet. The snow on the sides seemed only a short walk away and the river running over massive boulders and rocks beside the trail made a nice 2 hour break from the coach.

        Then we travelled the length of Loch Ness, stopping to view Urquhart Castle ruins for a moment and ending up at Fort Augustus and the end of Loch Ness where we stayed for the night. We also were entertained by a Clansman Heritage Show where a man showed us how highland weapons were used as well as the real way to fold a kilt for both a man and the Scottish highland wear for a woman. He also did an hour presentation on how the highlanders lived and died.

        Of course the Aussies partied late into the morning …again. LOL I have never seen people who drink so much and party so hard, although I can’t blame them as they were all in their early 20s (mostly) and travelling Europe on their own. (I have designed a T-Shirt that expresses England’s view of all of us – Americans, we can’t get them out of their country, and Australians, we can’t keep them in theirs.) LOL

        April 18- Day 7
        The last day of our tour. We first went to Ruthven Barracks where the Government had an outpost in the 1700s. The British built most, if not all of the castles and large stone buildings in Scotland as the Scottish had no use for castles for the most part. There is also no castle in Scotland that is in the original condition because the Scottish were a very warlike people and were constantly burning and tearing down the castles. It was here that the other American in our group, Caleb, thought he was Spiderman and tried to climb the walls until the rock wall started crumbling around him. Then he decided the remains of the stables wall was more of a challenge so he climbed this narrow ruin up to a 3-story height with a hard wind blowing across the moor. Crazy crazy crazy, and the Aussie Tahniee were just as crazy as she climbed it right behind him. This is also the place where we all took a group shot.

        Next it was lunch at Kingussie where we could see the Barrack ruins in the distance, and then it was off to Drumochter Pass, the highest road in Britain. There is the most incredible war memorial there to the great wars with a statue of three men all facing a different direction with the MOST INCREDABLE view of Ben Nevis and friends. As a war memorial it is probably the most impressive I saw. It struck me here that as we stood on this hill in a massive glen and there was not a house or person except for us as far as the eye can see.

        The last stop before heading back to Edinburgh was at River Tay and the ruined Cathedral and Abby. More incredible ruins of an abbey and cathedral with the most peaceful view of the river Tay. Sitting on the bench outside the abbey ruins with my eyes closed I could feel the warm sun on my face and my body just soaked it up. The sounds of birds chirping and the river rushing overlap any sounds of cars or modern machinery.

        Then it was back to Edinburgh where we lost most of the group to go our separate ways and about 14 of us met for supper and a late evening walk before returning to our individual places of sleep. We will never be best friends, but about 10 of us have exchanged emails and are now on each other’s facebook accounts where we correspond.

        It was another incredible experience that I would not trade for anything.

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