As 39 approaches

I see it up there in the distance. It’s lurking. It approaches at varying speeds: sometimes it seems to be moving quickly; other times, it crawls at a snail’s pace. But I’m staring it down. I’m waiting for it, and I’m saying, “Come and get me. I’m ready for you.”

It’s my 39th birthday.

No, I’m not afraid of 39. I’m not afraid of getting older at all. But what makes me uneasy is the enormous pressure I’ll be under (self-inflicted, of course) to plan my 40th birthday trip. I’ve said for years (probably since I turned 30) that I don’t want a party or anything of the sort for my 40th birthday; I want to go on a big trip. Like, to a place I’m dying to see and stay for an extended amount of time. If you remember last year’s “Where to go for the Big 4-0?” blog post, I listed the top places I’d like to spend my 40th birthday: Iceland, Scotland, Argentina, and Mongolia. After careful consideration, I am pleased to announce that the winner is… Scotland.

Isle of Arran - Courtesy of Craig Zabransky

Isle of Arran

Most of you probably saw it coming. Some of you already knew, since I’ve been talking/tweeting about it recently. But I’m just way too obsessed to even think of anyplace else. The more I read about the history and the more photos I see of the landscape, I find myself longing more and more for a place that, ten years ago, never even showed up on my travel radar.

Other than actually deciding on Scotland, I have no concrete plans just yet. Some ideas, though:

Edinburgh. Courtesy of The World Wanderer.

Edinburgh. Courtesy of The World Wanderer.

  • I don’t know if The Working Dad realizes it, but I would like to stay for a long time, maybe a month.
  • It’s good to know people, and I’m pleased to be Twitter buds with Jonathan Epstein of Celebrated Experiences. If anyone knows Scotland (and the rest of the UK) and the best places to stay, it’s Jonathan. I’ll be counting on his expert advice as I plan my trip.
  • Edinburgh, Glen Coe, The Inner Hebrides… my very preliminary list of places to see. I imagine we’ll rent a car to get around. Since it’s MY trip (of course), I’d want the freedom to take a detour if I feel like it; to stop on a deserted road to gawk at the scenery and snap hundreds of pictures; or to just leave the car at a Parking4less car park location and jet off to, say, London for a few days. It’s my birthday; I’ll do what I want to.
  • Besides actually spending my 40th birthday in Scotland, the next best thing would be to run into Kevin McKidd while there and share a pint (or six) with him. (A girl can dream, right?)

With just over a year to go until the Big 4-0, I’ll be looking to all of you for suggestions and recommendations. As long as you don’t suggest I go someplace other than Scotland because I’m even more stubborn in my old age. My mind is made up.

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21 Responses to As 39 approaches

  1. Laura January 14, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    Definitely side trip to London! What about a weekend in Dublin too?

    • Francesca January 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      Dublin is also a possibility, Laura!

  2. Kieu ~ GQ trippin January 15, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    Yay, Scotland! I’ve been dying to go there.. uber jealous but excited for you at the same time. 🙂
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted…Bathing in BudapestMy Profile

    • Francesca January 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      Thank you, thank you!!

  3. thelazytravelers January 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    great choice! we’ve never been to scotland but have heard such amazing things. we can’t wait to follow along. you’re about to kick forty’s booty. xo!
    thelazytravelers recently posted…no travel requiredMy Profile

    • Francesca January 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

      That’s right! 40 ain’t gonna know what hit him – er… it.

  4. Fiona January 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Ah – Scotland, you’ll love it – such beautiful scenery and of course that gorgeous accent. Have visited Edinburgh and loved it! Think you made the right decision 🙂
    Fiona recently posted…A History of Prague via INXSMy Profile

    • Francesca January 17, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      Glad you approve, Fiona! I am so looking forward to the scenery but OMG that accent!! Can’t wait!

  5. D.J. - The World of Deej January 16, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    A month in Scotland seems like a perfectly good way to celebrate turning 40. Which begs the question, what does one do for a 33rd birthday. Suggestions?
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted…The Queen Victoria Room at Victoria & Albert’s – The Best Meal of My LifeMy Profile

    • Francesca January 17, 2013 at 11:44 am #

      Deej, I can’t think of anyplace better for you to spend your 33rd birthday than on a golf course!

  6. Raul (@ilivetotravel in Twitter) January 19, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Awesome, Working Mom! I have never been to Scotland so I look forward to your plans. And I agree you should do a car rental for the freedom to explore as you will!
    Raul (@ilivetotravel in Twitter) recently posted…The Highlights of Food and Wine in 2012. Mostly Food.My Profile

    • Francesca January 20, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      I think a rental car is the way to go, especially to get around the countryside. That’s what we did in Italy and it worked out perfectly!

  7. Leah January 19, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    I really love Scotland and Edinburgh. I can’t wait to get back there and explore. Excellent choice. Just watch out for those pints. They have a way of sneaking up on you. 😉
    Leah recently posted…Another Bite out of the Bittersweet Big AppleMy Profile

    • Francesca January 20, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      I know what you mean about those pints! I’ve fallen victim once or twice before 🙂

  8. The World Wanderer January 20, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    So excited!!! Scotland was never really on my radar until my Irish cousins told me about Edinburgh. Once they did, ihad to go and honestly it is one of my favorite places In the world. It’s like being lost in a fairy tale. Can’t wait to watch plans develop!
    The World Wanderer recently posted…The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut: Photo Essay.My Profile

    • Francesca January 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      I’ve heard only wonderful things about Edinburgh so I can’t wait, too!!

  9. Pola (@jettingaround) January 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    I remember that post last year and my choices were Argentina and Scotland. I’m sure you’ll have the most wonderful time there!! I wish I could share some tips, but Scotland is on my bucket list still…. I look forward to your posts.
    Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted…Photo of the Week: On the trail in Boulder, ColoradoMy Profile

    • Francesca January 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      BUT you’ll have Argentina tips for me when I’m finally ready to go there!

  10. Tawny of Captain and Clark January 20, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    We’ve wanted to see Scotland and Ireland for so long. You’ll have to tell us all about it. I can’t think of a better place to celebrate your special day!

    • Francesca January 23, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Thanks! Hopefully I won’t drink too much and I’ll remember most of the trip and be able to write about it 😉


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