Day 186: Passport

 passport e

Today’s first is a very exciting one for me. I received my passport. I’ve never had one before. I’ve not needed one. The only trip I’ve taken beyond the borders of the USA was to Mexico, back when a passport wasn’t needed. When the envelope arrived in the mail today, I know I held my breath as I carefully opened the package and slipped the blue passport book from within. My passport. My upcoming trip became very, very real.

All my life, I’ve wanted to go to Scotland. As a wee girl, I heard my mom and dad talking about how the Lauderdales came from this country across the ocean. My mom told me stories of that far away place and showed me on a map where Scotland was. A spark ignited in my little heart that has burned brightly all these years. No other dream has occupied a place within me for so long, without being fulfilled.

Scottish map

As a young adult, I researched Scotland myself. The Lauderdales are connected to the Maitland Clan, in the Borders of Scotland. I learned our family history. I looked at pictures of Thirlestane Castle, in the village of Lauder, where my ancestors came from and where current distant cousins still live. I found myself feeling homesick for a land I’d never seen. The sound of bagpipes magnified the ache I felt and caused my breath to catch in my chest. Scotland has called to me, haunted me, my whole life.

I’ve been making vision boards for quite a few years now. Every year, there is a section devoted to Scotland. I’ve never doubted that someday I would go there, it has always been a matter of when. This year, amazingly, during my year of firsts, that opportunity has arisen. My cousin on my dad’s side, Mindy, and her son Harry, have invited me to join them on a Scottish adventure. The three of us depart next month. The trip is paid for, hotels booked, flights secured. And yet holding my passport in my hands today, made it all seem real. This is happening.

What an incredible series of firsts this trip will be. I’ll be blogging daily from Scotland, which will be a great way to capture and remember each day. My heart and mind will be open, ready to receive and learn. I expect there are great mysteries for me to discover in the land of my ancestors, and there will be a sense of coming home. I will find myself and what is deeply true about me, in this ancient place. I can’t wait!

Scottish flag