Well, about a year ago... I think at the start of my mid-life crisis, I started thinking about moving myself and my dog and maybe the Jeep... to Scotland. Just out of the blue. If the money would have been available, quite honestly, I would have been gone already.
Most people will probably think that this isn't a crazy idea, I mean people make moves everyday. Including big moves to other countries. What makes it crazy is that I've never actually been to Scotland. In fact, I live in Montana and I've never even been to Canada! Montana borders Canada by the way. In addition, I don't have a passport quite yet (although I was supposed to have that done by now). I got stuck at the emergency contact field on the form. I didn't have one.
It's not that I haven't ever traveled. I've been to at least 8 states and some more than once. I mean really, I know how to get around!
I thought I would hate Florida, but I loved it. Sea World with it's dolphin nursery, the armadillos and the constant sunshine. Really lovely. The most fascinating thing were the gardens. What we consider tropical plants meant for indoors and constant care here in my neck of the woods, were actually planted OUTSIDE and they were enormous. I had a ball trying to see how many of their outdoor plants I actually had in my living room at home.
Texas was fun because of the people. They were all so friendly and it seems their state greeting was "Hey girl!" I loved that.
The sheer number of public transportation methods in San Francisco were mind-boggling. In my city (I use this term loosely), we have a city bus system, but they stop running about 6:00pm and there are no other alternatives... I guess we have taxi cabs, but I think only 4 or 5 of them.
I loved Oregon as well. Friendly, mellow people, beautiful gardens and a laid back attitude. The best thing was that there were still a lot of things to do like art galleries, theaters, parks etc....
Illinois was stuffy. I got the feeling that the people I met there really considered themselves to be aristocratic and I kept thinking "this is Illinois, isn't it?" Sorry Illinois. I didn't see Chicago and I know my experience isn't representative of all your people.
But there is something about Scotland that just calls to me. Something about the landscape, the people, the attitude that is extremely appealing. The accent doesn't hurt either. I like accents. I think they're fun and frankly good exercise for the brain. Really any accent is fun to listen to. I'm sure people think I have an accent in certain parts of the country, but I love them all... New York, Boston, the southern US, you name it, I like listening to it. OK, back to my subject...
In preparation for the trip, I've been trying to learn Gaelic. Obviously, the Scottish speak English (with their amazing accent), but Gaelic is making a comeback like Native American tribal languages here. Let me just say, Gaelic is hard with a capital HARD. I can say "my name is Lori" in Gaelic and that's about it after a month of study. It seems to me that Gaelic is one of those languages where someone threw a bunch of letters together then pronounced something completely different, or maybe it's the other way around. Was it spoken pre-modern alphabet and someone tried to retro-fit the letters to the sounds? I'll have to look that up. In either case, they don't exactly match and I mostly don't get it, but it's fun to try. And of course, fun to listen to.
Dreamy Scotland. Some of the most beautiful landscape in the world in my opinion. If you've seen movies like "Stardust" or "Centurion", you'll know what I mean. It actually does remind me a bit of Montana. Independent people, unforgiving terrain and sheer tenacity and spirit. But different and farther away ;)
You may wonder why I'm thinking about moving to a place that reminds me of home when I could just stay... uh... home. It might seem a bit pointless, I guess. But honestly, there are several reasons. The biggest one is this: You know when you're on a trip and it's exciting in the beginning. You can't wait to get there and you know you're going to have an enormous amount of fun and you do have fun. Well, there's a moment on the way home... I think it hits about a 1/3 to 1/2 way home when you just want to BE home. You are done with the trip, it's over, you're ready to be in your own bed and off the plane or out of the car. Your mind has already checked out. That's sort of how I feel about Montana right now. It's not that I don't love it... or think it's absolutely beautiful... I do. But I am just done with it for now.
I can't actually move yet, and yes it would be crazy to make plans to move before even getting there to see it firsthand, but that's in the works as well. I'm also sure that there's a a big brawny man in a kilt waiting there just for me (possibly of Viking descent) so why not take the chance? I know, I'm obsessed a little. At the very least, it will be a new adventure in a new place... the land of sacred standing stones, castles, epic romance and Braveheart. The problem is that I truly think when I actually get there, I won't want to come back. I think my soul will know that I'm home.