Over the Sea to Skye

Scotland, you have stolen my heart once again.  My past three days have been spent exploring the Highlands and Island of Skye.

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Being a single explorer with a desire to explore the vast wilderness of Scotland, I decided that the best way to taste my fill of nature was by taking a bus tour.  The thing about but tours is that they’re expensive, but they provide all kinds of facts I never would have known on my own.  Instead of fretting over catching busses and figuring out train times, I sat back, relaxed, and absorbed thrilling tales of faeries and Jacobite rebellions.

Two of the days were spent traveling across the Highlands, with one full day on Skye.  We spent the night in the adorable coastal town of Portree.  Although known for its rain, the first two days of the trip were sunny and gorgeous.  The visibility on the island was incredible!  At points, we could see all the way to the outer Hebrides–a rare feat.

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I saw a lot during my trip… attempting to go into everything would suck up time that I don’t have.  So, here are some photos from the Isle of Skye.  I’ll post more from the Highlands later.

In the meantime, I’m in Edinburgh for a few days and look forward to exploring the capital of Scotland.

European April

Once again, I find myself beginning a journey.

Leaving L’Abri yesterday morning nearly broke my heart.  I don’t feel up to writing about it at the moment… partially because it’s still so raw.  Also, I stepped straight into another adventure and haven’t had time to process everything.

So how about we talk about my travel plans?  You see, for the month of April, Keep Your Feet is becoming a travel blog as I make my way across Europe.

I’ve been waiting my whole life for this trip.  Yes, I travelled as much as I could during my semester abroad two and a half years ago.  This is different, though.  I have no school holding me back.  In fact, I have nothing holding me back!  It’s just me, my backpack, and a small carry-on with wheels for the next month.

My itinerary is PACKED.  I’m spending approximately a week in Scotland, Holland, Germany, Austria, and four days in the Czech-Republic.  When I head back to America on April 29, I’m going to be two things: broke and exhausted.  It’s going to be worth it.

Technically, my journey began last night.  I’m currently located in the village of Portree on the Isle of Skye in the Scottish Highlands.  Last night, I caught a bus from London to Edinburgh… which almost was a terrible idea.  The bus was supposed to get to Edinburgh at 6:30 AM.  Due to a series of delays, it actually got there at 8:40 AM–ten minutes AFTER my bus tour was scheduled to leave.  Thankfully, I’ve been to Edinburgh before, knew my way around, and was able to catch my tour.

Although I’m physically and emotionally exhausted from leaving L’Abri, I’m already having a marvelous time.  After spending three months surrounded by people, it’s nice to be independent again.  It’s also nice to have Internet!  The Highlands are absolutely stunning.  I’ve recognized several stops from my last time through, but there have been many unexpected surprises–such as a photo-op at Eilean Castle.  I get to tour it on Friday, so this is just a sneak peak!

  
Stay tuned for more #EuropeanApril

Divinity School, Oxford

We have come, last and best,

From the wide zone through dizzying circles hurled,

To that still centre where the spinning world
Sleeps on its axis, to the heart of rest.
Dorothy Sayers

Some friends and I spent the day in Oxford and I finally fulfilled my dream of touring the Bodlein Library. Maybe I’ll write more about my day sometime soon, but until then, enjoy this photo I took of the absolutely stunning Divinity School.

 

Lakes District Video

Over the past few months, I’ve been growing a great deal artistically.  Being around creative people rubs off on you in amazing ways.  I’ve loved having the freedom to explore new mediums in addition to the ones I tend to favor.  I’ve spent time sketching, painting, and even singing.  It’s brought me so much life!

When my friends and I went to the Lakes District last week, I decided to tackle a new medium: videography.  Throughout the trip, I examined the world with an artistic eye and captured footage of things I found beautiful with my iPhone.  On the six hour Megabus trip home, I put the skills I picked up in my Visual Journalism class to good use.

This is the result.  I hope you enjoy!

Atop Loughrigg

I recently took a trip to the Lakes District in Northern England with some friends.  I’m hoping to write about our adventures soon, but in the meantime, here is a dramatic shot of me atop one of the mountains we climbed and a quote by T.S. Eliot, whom I have been reading lately.

“Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow”

T.S. Eliot

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Atop a mountain in the Lakes District.

England Bound

Today is the day.  I’m still a mixed bag of emotions, but am ready for what lies ahead.

On the threshold of a journey, I can’t help but think of the quote that inspired the title of this blog:

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien

This quote goes with me not only in my heart, but physically.  I got a necklace bearing Tolkien’s words for Christmas (Pictured below).

It’s a dangerous, wonderful, messy, beautiful world.  As I go, I need to keep my feet, always remembering who I am and where I came from, lest I lose my way.

Sadly, I can’t promise frequent blog posts from this point onward.  Once I reach L’Abri, I’ll be relatively off the grid.  But, hopefully, I’ll be able to find ways to post every once and a while.

So, dear readers, wish me luck.  The time has come to step onto the road and begin my journey…

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