Hello dear Going Expat friends,

I am back after one month since my last article to talk again about travelling. I´m just back from Scotland. I have visited Edinburgh and had a quick tim ein aberdeen as well.

The trip of the first times

I named this experience as the one of the ¨first times¨, because I had many.

I don’t want to tell you about this trip with the details of what I visited, but I don’t even have the merit for the itinerary since it was a trip organized by other people.

I’ll explain it better in just a minute.

In the meantime let me say that this article will be about feelings, perhaps, even in this case for the first time, I write a blog post differently.

It is a particular period of my life: I have experienced a huge crisis in my love story, I missed my family more than usual (although my sister came here for some support). Close friends have left Rotterdam and this has taken away some reference points.

However, I am also carrying out many new projects that I hope will be successful, both for Going Expat and at work.

This trip was a perfect fit. It distracted me, it gave me a push that allowed me to open myself again to my feelings, the beautiful ones and the most painful ones.

For the first time in a long time, the trip was therapy and not just fun.

First things first

I’ve been following Chiara and Daniela on Instagram for a long time and we got to know each other in person in Amsterdam during their organized trip. In fact, Chiara is a travel planner and Daniela an excellent shoulder and experienced traveller.

When they proposed the itinerary on Edinburgh I had no doubts!

For the first time in my life I participated in an organized trip, completely out of my comfort zone. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not very good and patient when I’m not in control.

It turned out to be a winning choice. I crossed many different lives, different women and all united by a love of travel. Although there was a significant age difference with some, it was nice to compare and understand different points of view.

Edinburgh is a dream

I really liked it. The old city, so imposing, austere and full of life. The sound of bagpipes played by men in kilts made everything almost unreal.

The castle struck me for its simplicity, the audio guide is very well done in my opinion and I consider it as the only valid option to visit it, turn around knowing little or nothing would not appreciate it.

The cathedral is amazing, the museums, all free, are of all kinds and types. The royal yacht Britannia amazes for its not at all lavish, but simply elegant interiors.

It seems, in fact, that the idea of Elizabeth the II was to create a setting that reminded us of country houses.

The details of the visits can be found here

How many days does it take to visit?

I always find it a difficult question because I think the more time you have available the more you can dwell on the details, you can discover what a city has to offer from a more local point of view than as a traveller and you can try to discover some aspects of the culture of the place.

Surely 3-4 days are still necessary.

Here are the highlights of the program of this trip. They mostly follow the itinerary designed by the organizers while some things I visited alone arriving a day before the group:

Edinburgh Castle

St Giles Cathedral

National Library

Scottish National Gallery

Sunset at Carlton Hill

The small Armchair bookstore

The small streets of the Old Town

New Town and the Dean Village

Jhonnie Walker experience (with wisky tasting)

Victoria street

The group trip

It was a surprise. I found myself sharing the journey with women I didn’t know, with different lives, experiences and ages. It could have been a bulldozer, but it went great. The journey unites us, the curiosity has led us to share, to tell and let go creating a beautiful bond and a desire to live those moments with greater intensity

Would I do it again? I don’t know, I think it depends on the mood and the destination

Am I glad I did? absolutely yes!

Let´s go back to the first times…

Not just the first time in a group, the first time in Scotland and Edinburgh. I also met 2 girls, Italian abroad like me, who I met thanks to social media and we met in person for the first time.

It’s Serena and Alessia. Also, I met Alessia in Aberdeen (yes, another first time!)

Want to know how to live in Scotland? watch this video

I’ll remember this trip forever. It gave me a lot, it reminded me how great it is to have new experiences and to rely on others, sometimes.

And you? what first times on the road will you never forget?

Let me know in the comments

See you next time