I have developed a serious case of wanderlust because of this map. What is it about the Scottish Highlands that makes my heart sing? Maybe it's because Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote, "In heaven itself, I'll ask no more than just a Highland welcome." And of course many writers have written about the Scottish Highlands and those writings are in my mind. I have always been aware of the legendary beauty of this part of the world. There are the craggy, heather-clad mountains with their rushing streams that beckon. And I know there are many appealing things to do in the Highlands -- walking and hiking, visiting castles, historic sites, beautiful gardens, and staying in country hotels. It is well known that the Highlands is a place of wild and poetic beauty. And yet I have never been there. Not really. About ten years ago I visited Edinburgh and Perthshire, and enjoyed the gorgeous natural scenery. That trip included a visit to Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the late Queen Mother and the setting for Shakespeare's "Macbeth." But I've never taken a trip like my friend Connie took and has written about on her blog -- Hiking the West Highland Way for seven days. As she writes, it was "seven days, 95 miles, mist, heather, sheep, Highland cattle, 18th century inns, salmon, scotch, scones and sticky toffee pudding." Okay, sign me up!
When I saw this small map of her trip to Scotland made by Connie Brown of Redstone Studios, I had an epiphany. There is life that just passes us by and then there is life that we record in order to enjoy it for years to come. I have gone on many trips and taken photos of course. Going back and looking at the images is always a joy. But to have an art work such as this little map to look at forever, that records your own personal journey, is something beyond photography. It is one of the little detailed treasures that add to the many layers of a well-lived life. If, as St. Augustine wrote, "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page," here is a lovely page to add to the "book" of the world.
She provided me with the following photos
I am in awe of all this beauty! The Scottish Highlands has just moved to the top of my Travel Wish List.
Read more about Connie Brown's maps here.
Photos by Meg Moulton