Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Post-lockdown trip to Edinburgh part 1

Edinburgh in the fog in cherry blossom season, post lockdown trip, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

Some people craved for the shops to reopen, some people craved for a beer in their hands in a pub, not me, the one thing I wanted to do was travel again and not just travel but to Scotland.

It's funny that each time I have an existential crisis I immediately head to Scotland at the first opportunity and with everything that's gone on in the last year, it's been thoughts of Scottish trips that have kept me going.  I was lucky enough to spend 10 days in the Highlands in late August and it really helped me to find myself again.  Over this last year, I have on one hand been hyper-focused on the person who I am and the person who I want to be but at the same time with the gaslighting and coercive messages to keep us in our homes, I feel the need to break free and reclaim my independence.

The first legal day we can return to Scotland is Monday, April 26th, and so I'm booked on a train to Edinburgh for a few days.  I have a new book of walks around Edinburgh, some that I've never done before and I have a yearning to finally visit The Kelpies in Falkirk. I am vaccinated and I will be carrying a box of lateral flow tests but for the most part, I'm pretty risk-free, I live like a hermit only enjoying the outdoor life and I will not be doing any mad shopping trips or even eating out, I shall be living on whatever I can pick up at the supermarket and having packed lunches/dinners.

The great thing about opening up again was that I knew that the early bird would get the travel bargains and so I managed to book an apartment on the Royal Mile next to the castle for £29 a night.  I'm going tomorrow afternoon until Friday and I haven't been to Edinburgh since December 2019.  It's probably longer than any other gap between visits as I usually head up at least 3 or 4 times a year.

I am happiest when I am travelling or having an adventure and I know now that I have no aim to be the richest person on earth but I want to always be free, being free is my ultimate life goal.  For much of my life I have ended up in situations where I've felt trapped and I've reclaimed that freedom over and over but really, there's nothing like reclaiming your freedom from the top of a big hill and this time, finally, I am determined to climb Arthur's Seat.  Nothing is going to stop me!

Travel in a post lockdown world is actually a pleasure, generally, apartments are super clean, the trains are empty and the streets are quiet, this is my chance to see Edinburgh without the craziness of the usual flood of tourists.  Now I realise that I am technically a tourist but I have so much Scottish blood, Edinburgh is my second city and the place I feel most at home after Newcastle.  Plus my love of Scotland is so strong I have no idea why I'm not living there yet, one day when I decide exactly where in Scotland I'd like to live it will happen.

A lot seems to be happening in my personal life at the moment, I am becoming more me, I am changing and evolving into a better person and I am shedding baggage and layers of things that no longer serve me, I have had a quest for many years to live a peaceful drama free life and finally, I seem to be achieving a life with the best people around me, the biggest adventures and ultimately, the freedom I so desire.


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