By Klancy Hoover
This summer, I will be exploring the Highlands in Scotland by myself. Traveling to new countries and learning more about their culture has been a dream of mine for quite some time, and now that I’m out of school I feel like it’s the right time to start. Of course, I still have to consider saving money to pay off my student loans, as well as finding the time to travel with my current job’s working schedule, but I’m afraid that if I don’t take the chance to travel now, I never will.
Scotland has always mesmerized me. The country and its beautiful landscape enticed me to visit. The open expanse of the area with its mountains, lakes, and castles speaks to the side of me that believes in the fantastical. When you’re surrounded by breathtaking views and a culture embedded in the folklore stories they tell, how could you not? To me, being able to visit the places I’ve read about in novels and heard about in folklore tales is an opportunity to immerse myself completely in a society that I cherish.
Deciding that I was going to travel was the easy part, though. Planning a trip to a country I have never been to has proven to be rather challenging. For one, I am not that familiar with the geography of the area, which makes choosing a hotel to stay in for the duration of my trip difficult. I am also traveling to Scotland by myself, meaning I need to know what areas to avoid. Most importantly, there are so many tours I want to take, so many museums I want to visit, and so many restaurants I want to try. I don’t know how I’m going to fit everything I want to do into just one week! There’s a tour of the underground caverns in Edinburgh, Neist Point, and an Outlander tour that visits Inverness, Fort George, Ardersier, and the Highlands.
With all of these aspects of traveling to consider, I started to seek help from a travel agent. She has been able to suggest cost-effective ways to help me save money on my trip by looking for the best hotels to stay at, working out flight details, and even tailoring my itinerary to include everything I want to do. As a single traveler, she also suggested that I join a small tour group so I will have the opportunity to meet other travelers and feel safer navigating through areas I don’t know. If you’re stressed about organizing your itinerary or searching for the best places to stay, I highly recommend asking a travel agent for help. They’ll be able to help you plan an amazing trip without the added stress, and they might just be able to snag you a discount on hotels or flights.
If you’re on the fence about whether you should travel, let this be a friendly push to do so. Believe me, I understand your hesitation about spending money that could go towards other important bills, but don’t let the argument you tell yourself, that you will have an opportunity to travel in the future, keep you from living out your dream now. There’s a saying that I’ve taken to heart that has inspired me to seek out new experiences which I hope will inspire you to do the same: don’t live to work; work to live.
Edited by: Corinne DiOrio