a JustB.Life production

Ignoring The Voices

Ignoring The Voices

I left the United States over 3 weeks ago but only today have I realized that this isn’t a jaunty extended vacation I’m on but LIFE lived on the move, in unending receptivity just in a much wider arena than the one in which I normally operate—a life replete with some truly ecstatic moments, some downfalls (literally) and a really dark night of the soul which, at 4 a.m., with a hostel bedmate coughing sputum into air stiff and hot with Milan’s gritty humidity, had me questioning all I believed about who I was and what the fuck I was doing.

What this first introspection has called me to do is step back and assess the support I have received/am receiving and allow myself to voice and face my vulnerability and my fear about jumping and having to build my wings on the way

then summarily ignoring the voices that say I can’t.

Close your eyes and try to remember and embody how you felt as you learned to ride a bicycle. That giddy feeling of momentary balance. Intoxicated, the feeling of flying enwrapped you.


One split second of panic.

The hand behind your seat no longer visible.

The handlebars quiver and down you go.

Skinned palms, skinned ego.

That’s how I felt that 4 a.m. night. I leapt into this adventure in a cloud of seeming fearlessness and ended up in a seamy hostel full of hostility and fear. After a seamless leap into Scotland and England where the language was, ostensibly, the same, and the hospitality quite cushy, even, my arrival in a hot, sticky, dark and shuttered Milan started with a four hour flight delay (if Frontier and Spirit had a love child, it would be Ryan Air) dropping me to my hostel–after an expensive after-hours taxi–at 1:30 in the morning, revealed, at the front desk, five frantic Finnish girls absolutely covered in bedbug bites.

My pivot needed to be quick and not too costly. By 3:00 a.m, I was in a truly two-star hotel with exposed electrical wires and not a small gallery of graffiti on the metal shutters as you entered but, after another budget busting cab ride, it was my only option under 50 bucks (which is the top of my daily budget) and somewhat nearby. Three things it really had going for it…a fricking HOT shower, no bed bugs and included breakfast. However,  I was going to have to find a way to pull my budget back in line but, in doing so, I was acting against my usual sense of abundance and in a bit of constriction and fear. The universe smiled and the law of attraction, as it truly operates for us, reflected that back to me. Yikes. I chose an underbudget hostel for the next two days.

The only thing the Hostel California had going for it….aside from the fact that you can both check out any time you like AND LEAVE, (though I DIDN’T) was the price. 90 degree days in Milan led to dank nights with almost no air circulation in the far corner of the 12 bed room, open windows letting in nothing but hungry mosquitoes, a queen size sheet to roll up in but no other bed cover and a truly inconsiderate group of roommates smoking, chatting, texting, packing, unpacking, flipping lights on until the weeeeeeeee hours of the morning. Dante Alighieri would certainly have assigned a spot for each of them in some ring of this Inferno.

Yes, I knew this night would pass but how many more ahead like this? Was I an intrepid explorer or a bougie butthole on a foreign frolick? What if I couldn’t last all 8 months? What if my patience or my money or my nerve ran out? Fortunately, most of my tribe was still awake back in the land of the free and home of the formerly brave me.

And, despite my rugged individualism and my tendency to just want to show the best side of this great fortune I have to travel our amazing planet, I reached out to them and exposed my flank and the results were nothing short of MIRACULOUS!!! More on that next post! Until then, here are some of my favorite shots of the first three days of my time in Scotland.

Loading photos can be cumbersome so these have no real order. Of course, you can’t go anywhere in Scotland without hearing about poet “Rabbie” Burns!
Every look up in Edinburgh (that’s Edinbru like the u in umbrella) is a medieval treat!
Though well into July, graduation was in full swing. So many famous people have graduated from or attended here including Charles Darwin, David Hume and Alexander Graham Bell. For a full list, go here: https://www.thefamouspeople.com/university-of-edinburgh.php
Lining up for the Queen’s High Tea at Holyrude Palace. Around 8000 people were invited for cucumber sandwiches, strawberry tarts and an exclusive blend of Twining’s tea.
Off to see the Queen!
My couchsurfing host Rik had a lovely doggie named Bells who liked me too!
The back of the National Art Gallery with the summer Ferris wheel and the Sir Walter Scott Monument in the background. Sir Walter Scott not only invented the historical fiction novel but was an all-around amazing citizen. Find out more about him here through Britaanica which was, of course, invented in Scotland! https://www.britannica.com/biography/Sir-Walter-Scott-1st-Baronet
The beautiful Edinburgh high town with some of the most intriguing clouds I have ever seen.
People are still arriving for tea.
All of the museums, like the National Museum of Scorland, are free so this, along with great hostels and cheap flights on Wow and Norwegian can make this a very affordable vacation.
Everyone attends tea in their various finery.
A view from the lovely restaurant, The Tower, atop The National Museum.
Ok, so it’s nouvelle cuisine haggis with tatties but no neeps. It and the crusty bread that came with it sure hit the spot after one of my 7-8 hour perambulation days!
The entire set up with skyline to the west and Edinburgh Castle in the upper left.
The (free!) Botanical Garden which can be reached with the Hop On Hop Off bus is really lush and full of variety and serenity!
Buskers and magic makers on every corner throughout Edinburgh.
If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow Don’t be alarmed now It’s just a spring clean for the May queen Yes, there are two paths you can go by But in the long run There’s still time to change the road you’re on And it makes me wonder
The roses in Edinburgh were, I heard, particularly gorgeous this year.
In the experimental student garden.
Not a drop of rain my entire 6 day visit!
William Pitt accomplished more by 24 than most ever do https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Pitt_the_Younger
Edinburgh castle where the famous Military Tattoo takes place every August as does the Fringe Festival and several book, film and art festivals. If you go, be prepared for the crush!!
The “Thinking Pods” for members of Parliament which are, as with politics everywhere, the butt of Scottish jokes.
I think this is the top of St Giles!
It’s hard to get enough of the views of this amazing castle.
The flying standard tells us that the queen is in residence.
The feeling I get when I walk through Princes garden on a Sunday afternoon.
A statue of herself that clean Victoria hated sits on top of the national art gallery which is free and has been amazing collection of Scottish And world art.
Just a little welcoming roadside loveliness. More pictures from my remaining days in Scotland later.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *