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.
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:
- 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.