We left Whitehorse on April Fool's Day (got pranked en route by the aforementioned bestie) and got on our way. Flights were long, airport security was airport security but the fun that awaited us was far greater than we could have imagined. We made our home base in Brooke's (the bestie) flat in London and everything happened from there.
We met colorful locals (and you think the Yukon has a colorful 5%?!? - go to London sometime!) ate lots of bland British food and drank LOTS of fantastic British beer. We saw Les Mis, shopped in amazing boutiques near Camden Market, ran a marathon in Blackpool (it was well-timed and flat but a WACKY location!!) in 5hrs 42mins then went to Scotland where I got to cross of a BIG bucket list item that I've wanted to do my whole life - I spent 3 1/2 hours exploring Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness in a wee town called Drumnadrochit near Inverness. It was a very pivotal experience in my life and I'm sure the hugeness of it will still be sinking in for years to come.
We ate LOTS of haggis (which is absolutely fantastic!) and drove through the countryside of Scotland as well as the stunning landscape of the Scottish Highlands along the west coast. We explored an exhibit of some of the filming of Skyfall!! and stopped at a crazy-old, kooky inn called The Drover's Inn and ate yes, you guessed it - MORE haggis!
We stopped in Edinburgh for a night and went on a creepy tour of the dungeons of Edinburgh and received a highly entertaining history education (yeah, there might have been a bit of screaming and Brooke & I might have hit the deck when a spooky dummy fell from the ceiling). There are photos to prove it. More haggis was consumed at a local pub and we made our return to London because Brooke & I had a very important Flying Trapeze class to attend in Woolwich. Terrifying, liberating and ridiculously fun. So much fun that Brooke enrolled in a 4-week flying trapeze class this summer. Ask me if I'm jealous.
We also visited Paris for a few days because we were too close to NOT visit Paris. That city is old and stinky but once we hooked up with one of Brooke's colleagues who is a native Parisian, we found ourselves in a quaint restaurant, receiving top-notch service and even better food. Foie gras, where have you been all my life?!? Naturally, we saw the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and L'arc du Triomphe. But the highlight was the LoveLocks bridges. Long story but one that changed me forever. Hours spent searching for one single lock among thousands. We found what we were looking for and shared our story with those who placed that lock on the bridge. I'll elaborate later. The story makes me cry.
Now that we're home, my life seems so whole, so meaningful and so very rewarding. I am eager to return to the land my ancestors are from (Scotland) but am also so very ready to see more of the world. Many fundamental shifts inside of me happened during this trip and many self discoveries are still unfolding. It's a very deep and beautiful process. I think whatever is coming up next in my life plan will be delicious and magnificent.