Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January 9, 2013 - Beginnings Blogfest


Beginnings Blogfest 2013

Reading blogs on my list this morning, I found out about the Beginnings Blogfest which happens today!  Yikes!

Any beginning is fair game, but I think I’ll share with you how I entered the realm of blogging.  This is also a tale of the beginnings of a new life with my beloved Scotsman and how I came to call Scotland my second country.  It is also a tale of self-discovery as a Writer.  So cozy up, and I’ll tell you a story, albeit a wee bit over the length of a typical blog entry.  I apologize for that, but hope you’ll walk with me a while.  Apparently this is what I do; I tell stories.


Back in November 2005, I accompanied my then fiancé (now husband) Dave to his homeland of Scotland.  He had proposed over the phone in April of that year, again in person in June (in Washington, D.C. where we met for the first time, but that’s a whole ‘nuther story)  and was back in the States for a visit in October.  We had started the paperwork process to acquire a Fiancé Visa for his immigration to the States, and the plan was for me to travel to Scotland to be with him during the interviews for said visa.  Things were moving along more swiftly in that regard than we had anticipated; therefore, we decided that I would travel back with him instead of waiting and going over on my own.

I had other reasons for making a prolonged trip to Scotland.  I wanted to meet Dave’s two grown sons and hopefully get to know them and they know me.  I wanted to see what makes Dave, Dave . . . his homeland, his culture, his life.  I also wanted to see if I could live in Scotland should, heaven forbid, his visa be denied.

I stayed with Dave at his flat in Dunfermline (near Edinburgh) from November 2005 until our return to the States together in February 2006.

So there I was, about to travel 4000 miles on my first trip abroad after spending just shy of three weeks with this man to whom I was engaged.  Although well-traveled in the USA, I was a virgin at traveling abroad.  “Will my ATM card work there?”  “Yes, darlin’, we even have indoor plumbing and electricity!”  Ha!

My family and friends (as they had done when I announced our engagement) were saying, or at least thinking, “You’re going to do what??”  Needless to say, I know they had concerns even though they had met Dave during his visit.  “What if things don’t work out?” they might ask.  “Well, I have a return ticket.  I’ll just change the date and come home.  I’m a big girl.”

(Many months later after we had returned to the States, I learned from my aunt that during a farewell hug at the airport, Dave whispered in her ear, “Don’t worry.  I’ll take care of her.”)

Taking a leave of absence from my job as a home-based medical transcriptionist, for the first time in my adult life I was not working.  Dave resumed his work routine as a pipefitter for the Royal Navy at the Rosyth Dockyard.  Although we took long-weekend trips around Scotland to Loch Ness, Glencoe in The Highlands and other amazing places, I had time on my hands to do as I pleased.  I kept up the house, laundry and marketing.  (It’s amazing how many groceries you can put in a backpack!)  I hopped a double-decker bus and went “up town” into Dunfermline and prowled shops, the library, the Glen (a park) and just soaked up the atmosphere by walking, walking, walking.  I took thousands of photographs with a new camera purchased for this adventure.

There were many hours, however, when I was cozied up in Dave’s flat (condo) with time on my hands.  For the first time, I could allow my creativity to emerge, and I met my Muse. 

What better way to let family and friends know that I was okay and to share my experiences than to blog?  Not only could I  share my thoughts, feelings, photographs and experiences at the time, but would have a record of this adventure for myself in days and years to come.

So I set up a blog on MSN Spaces and began documenting my Scotland experience.  That site no longer exists, but I did migrate it to Wordpress prior to the demise of the MSN blog hosting venue.  I maintained that blog until we began transitioning to our lives as full-time RVers, at which time I began Phoenix Once Again

The text of my Scotland blog is still available at Journeys Through Scotland and Beyond, sans the photos that were part of the original site.  My Scotland chronicles begin in November 2005.

Free of job and many everyday responsibilities, I was essentially on a three-month vacation or, as it turns out, somewhat of a writer’s retreat.  I discovered the joy and release of putting my internal thoughts and emotions into an external form and sharing that with others. 

I became a Writer, although I really did not acknowledge that at the time. 


Thank you for taking the time to listen to my tale.  I have a dream of putting together a compilation of such stories of self-discovery, lessons and insights gained from Life as a Reiki Master/Teacher, a two-time cancer survivor, full-time RVer and survivor of Life.  This project is currently in development; however, if you found pleasure or interest in the above tale and would like to hear more, I sure could use your encouragement with my WIP (work in progress). 



I am a Warrior.

The above bracelet is a Toby and Max creation.


  1. What a great story. I have always wanted to visit Scotland, hope to make it some day. It's nice to meet you!

  2. Wow! There are so many great stories nested in this one. I would love to take a retreat like that. Visiting from L.G.'s blogfest - nice to meet you!

  3. I love your beginning story. Good topic for blogland!

  4. Great story! Lots of great beginnings wrapped into one.

    Do you ever feel that the person you are now and the person you were before Scotland to be different?

    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

  5. Popping by from the blogfest. I <3 <3 <3 this story! (Especially 'cause it's a true one!) And you have a lovely writing style. :-)

  6. That's a great story filled with adventure. Nice to meet you!

  7. This is a great story! A real life tale of romance and self-discovery. Perfect!

    Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

  8. I was also free of my job for an extended period of time. This helped as I was able to spend time visiting other blogs and meeting new people.

  9. What an amazing place to find your writing muse! I lived in London for a while and traveled the British Isles. Beautiful place. No wonder it inspired you.

  10. Such an amazing and romantic muse story. Thanks for sharing it!

  11. You had a great adventure indeed! I love Scotland.


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