after scotland

Samantha Fagan captains ferry on Loch Ness

“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you.” -Anthony Bourdain

This was my first trip overseas in ten years.

Feet of Scotland - Samantha Fagan

In my twenties, I did my fair share of “who am i?” moving around the US–NYC, SF, LA, and, finally, Austin–but I hadn’t been overseas since I studied abroad in 2006. Exploring, and especially living in, other places in the US is a miniature version of traveling to another country. You come face-to-face with your assumptions, contradictions, quirks, and expectations. It all rises to the top. You get a chance to see yourself and your country (or city) through a completely new set of eyes, and it’s fascinating and hard and necessary.

It’s necessary to confront our small-mindedness, our fallacies, our prejudices, and our fears, because if we never see these things, we never grow.

Don’t get me wrong, traveling is hella fun, too, and the fun is also necessary. It’s imperative to understand that other countries, cities, and cultures, at the core, are bound and guided by the same desires that bind and guide us here in the US: love and food.

Love people. Cook them tasty food.

keepin’ it weird

Austin has been a great place for me in a lot of ways. I’ve made some really great friends; I’ve started a business; I’ve grown as a person. But I’ve never felt sure that it’s really the place for me. A lot of people talk about loving Austin, that it’s their dream city, and when they die they should be buried next to Willie Nelson. Austin has a lot going for it, but I’ve never had the love that others have for it. Perhaps I have the grass-is-always-greener syndrome, but I want to love where I’m living.

Scotland was so beautiful. I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was, and I want to live somewhere beautiful.

I want to live somewhere with a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

I want to live somewhere with seasons.

I want to live somewhere with a strong biking culture.

I want to live somewhere with great public transportation.

I want to live somewhere with a love of diversity.

I want to live somewhere artistic and inspiring.

I want to live somewhere Trump isn’t running for President.

I want to live somewhere I’m excited to go back to.

announcing sam’s ‘springa

I was reading this article about the 7 stages of living in Austin, and it really hit home, especially the #6 rumspringa. Some Amish and Mennonite communities give their youth a time to “run around” and decide if the church and the community are really what they want.

So, I’ve made a plan. 2017 is going to be my year of being a Digital Nomad. When my lease is up in December, I’m putting my stuff in storage, going home for Christmas, and then kicking off the new year in a different city. The details are still being nailed down, but every place I go must have coworking spaces and an appreciation for the arts.

It’s my rumspringa of sorts, and it’ll be a great adventure. More details will come, so don’t stop following this blog now that Scotland is over!

save the best for last

I know you’ve all been waiting to see what whisky I brought back. Come over.

Whisky from Scotland











6 thoughts on “after scotland

  1. Cheryl Styskal

    Cheers to new adventures!!

  2. Love your blogs. Had no idea we would love Scotland so much. It felt like we belonged there, especially Iona. Thank you, Shirley, Tasha and Phil for taking us on this journey. And thank you, Sam, for giving us an excellent diary. Sharing makes it better. What a wonderful trip!

  3. Sam,
    I’m so excited for you to be starting a new journey in the coming year! Who knows what we all will learn with you along this adventure!!!!

    • I forgot to say thanks so much for the well crafted diary of your Scotland adventure!!! It was fantastic…literally! ?
      Now, here’s to your new blogging spree!

  4. Good luck Sam with your next adventure. You always have a friend in the UK if your travels bring you back over the this way…

  5. Dean stanfield

    Thanks Sam for recapping the trip so beautifully and for taking my luggage for me up the ramp on the ferry when I was struggling.

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