This weekend a few of us are heading to Edinburgh, Scotland. The bus round trip is only 40 pounds, which lives up to the stereotype that it is so cheap to travel in Europe. Edinburgh is spotted with breathtaking castles and beautiful scenery, so my excitement can hardly be tamed. Somehow, we are going to have to stay awake until 5 AM for our bus home, so wish us luck.

By the end of my life, however long it may be, I want to see every inch of the globe. My trip to Scotland only solidified this drive. When part of the group decided our next travel destination was Scotland, I was confused because I had zero idea what was in Scotland besides green, but quickly jumped on board when I heard the round trip was only ÂŁ40. Being the broke college girl that I am at heart, I convinced two of my friends to not book a hostel and to stay up with me all night until our 5 AM return bus. This simple act of beggers desperation transformed our day trip to Edinburgh into a fight against our natural instincts. With nowhere to rest and nowhere to brush our teeth beside closet size bathrooms, we had no option but to busy ourselves exploring every last drop Scotland had to offer.

Arriving at the bus station after a 10-hour bus ride and less than 2 hours worth of sleep, we set our first destination to a traditional Scottish breakfast. Feasting on a king’s size platter of eggs, toast, haggis, and black pudding, I later was plummeted into nausea when I found out that haggis was sheep’s stomach and that black pudding was actually blood pudding. I’ll admit, haggis was quite delectable, but nevertheless, it is still sheep’s stomach, and that is revolting.

Stomachs bulging, we hobbled to the Edinburgh Castle just as the tourists started to buzz. Edinburgh Castle stands proudly at the heart of the city and has multiple opportunities for photographs of all of Edinburgh. History lovers delighted in the medieval craftsmanship and war museums; I walked around bored out of my mind. The staircase that reached to heaven served as a much more interesting workout than the stair stepper at my local gym. Now I can say I was at a castle. I’ll check that off my bucket list.

Upon leaving the castle, we went to the Scotch Whiskey Experience, where we learned how whiskey was made and enjoyed a fancy whiskey tasting at the end. Interestingly, there is a very long process that goes into making a cheap bottle of whiskey. After taking photos in the world’s largest whiskey collection and one intern buying a souvenir for her lucky father, the much-welcomed sun lifted our moods. Strolling down The Royal Mile, we stopped at roadside vendors and bought scarves, bracelets, and souvenirs for the people we miss most. My favorite purchase was my bracelet that read “Time is what you make of it”. Think how different the world would be if we all followed that motto.

My favorite part of Scotland is how proud the Scottish are of their culture. All hours of the day, The Royal Mile was flooded with musicians playing the bagpipes, men wearing kilts, and sheep’s cashmere being sold. Traditional dishes like Sheppard’s pie are sold at every establishment, and the ghost tour we went on spoke of how Scotland may not be perfect, but it is perfect to its residents. One intern celebrated his 21 birthday in Scotland, while the whole pub (accompanied by bagpipes) sang him happy birthday, and we bought him rounds of traditional pints. I loved the sing-a-long atmosphere at the pub where everyone raised their glass and belted out their Scottish accent version of The Beatles.

Sometimes an impromptu trip to Scotland with nowhere to sleep is exactly the trip that you’ll remember forever. Somewhere between the blood pudding and cobble roads, I had the time of my life in Scotland.

Jul 18, 2012
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