May 29th: Edinburgh with Allie

I arrived in Edinburgh the morning of the 29th with the Moana theme song stuck in my head and took the new tram from the airport into the city.

Again, totally seamless. An agent helped me purchase the proper ticket and there was a tram waiting right there, it was beautiful weather, and the tram stop was right around the corner from my hostel.

The hostel let me check in early and wait for Allie in the tiny but quaint lobby/kitchen/hang out area.

Allie and I grew up across the street from each other in Baltimore. She went to college in Scotland, met her now husband, and never looked back. They got married in a beautiful ceremony last summer and they’re both practicing medicine. I told Allie that I’d be in Edinburgh for a few days for a conference and she happened to have the day off on Monday and took the train to visit me.

We spent the whole day walking around the gorgeous city in perfect weather. It was great to be able to catch up in person and do normal friend things that we never get to do: chat in coffee shops, meander through parks, window shop in local stores, wander through Anthropologie gasping and sighing because we can’t afford anything in the place designed to make us lust after things we never thought we’d want, I’m looking at you adorable cat plates.

Since we rarely get to see each other, I felt horrible that by the time we had dinner I practically had to tie my hair to the back wall so I didn’t face plant into my meal. At this point I’d been awake for 36 hours.

Allie understood, walked me to my hostel, and said goodbye.

Dinner was delicious though.

May 28th: Take Off

I finished everything I needed in the morning and did a walk around my neighborhood. The train from Baltimore to Newark was in the evening so I had a nice amount of time to download some more podcasts and make some final phone calls.

Selfie with Goobs

Selfie with Goobs

The Goobers AKA Goobs AKA Dad and Jaymie (my stepmom who I call my Bonus Mom…because we love each other) picked me up at 3 in the afternoon and we hung out at Baltimore Penn Station together and waited for my train.

The anxiety set in a little when I was on the train and we were delayed for an hour. We were delayed because there were some kids who were riding four wheelers on the tracks.

This is why we need summer programming.

Lucikly, I got to the airport in plenty of time, there were NO line at security, I grabbed a bit of food for dinner, and boarded my flight.

The flight was seamless. I had an aisle seat and there was no one in the middle next to me. The flight from Newark direct to Edinburgh was a six hour red eye and I didn’t sleep at all.
Instead, I watched Rogue One and Moana for inflight entertainment because who doesn’t want to see female leads kicking butt in space and sea?

Que jetlag. 

May 26-27: Packing

Though I am a seasoned traveler, I am still attempting to master the minimalist technique.

I avoid checking luggage at all costs. However, I had two Ryan Air flights booked and also needed to bring camera equipment with me so I knew that I would have to check one back on each Ryan Air flight.

Then there is the whole…I have to lug all this stuff around with me for 3 months on planes, trains, buses, cars, and up tiny ancient staircases…*light bulb: this is why they call it LUGG-AGE* so I should back as lightly as possible.  

Steps for Minimalist Packing:

1) Pull out all the clothes I think I want to bring and place on bed

2) Divide the pile in half....twice

3) Organize clothes by category and place into zip lock bags

4) Sit on top of zip lock bags squeezing out all air and zip shut whilst sitting upon bags with large rear

5) Neatly place self-vacuumed zip lock bags of clothes into new 4-wheel roller suitcase

6) Sit on top of new 4 wheel roller suitcase

7) Zip shut whilst sitting upon new 4 wheel roller suitcase with large rear

8) Completely unpack entire suitcase day before trip and remove a few clothing items that you have decided are not needed after anxiety attack about weight of suitcase

9) Add more underwear

10) Repeat steps 2-7

11) Declare packing victory

12) Avoid thinking about suitcase for next 12 hours

Then there is a the journal, camera, art supplies, electronics, and book dilemma. I finally decided to not bring any books and add the kindle app to my tablet…which I still haven’t figured out how to use in a way the makes sense for me. Why am I holding one screen with electronic pages instead of a two panels with paper pages instead? I don't understand.

However, the tablet is great in terms of podcasts. A part of me hates my addiction to electronics and chargers but, at this point in my millennial life there is no turning back.