Mind you, my definition of adventure is loose. Very loose.
Whenever I go to someplace I'm likely not to come back to, I always try to do three things. One, I try to buy myself one small, special item that I can only get there. I'm not inclined to load up on Scotland t-shirts and teddy bears in kilts, etc. I'm very selective. I always buy a magnet for my fridge, an ornament for my Christmas tree, and something special (and usually expensive) just for me. Second, I try to sample the regional foods and drinks, regardless of what my picky palate may have to say about it. I have to at least try it, even if I high tail it back to the Munich McDonald's later that afternoon. Third, I have to do that special thing, regardless of cost or potential cheese factor, that is outside of the norm, outside of my comfort-zone - something I can't do back at home. Hence - adventure of some sort or another.
When I went to Austria, I took the very creepy hillside train up to the Salzburg Fortress and spent a fortune on crystal from the actual Swarovski factory. I ate this horrible white sausage in Munich, knowing full well what was in it and drank beer because that's just what they do. When I went to Alaska, I went kayaking in the ocean and blew big bucks on whale watching and hot stone massages. I ate salmon, although it isn't my favorite, because it should be the best, freshest salmon I'd ever eat. When I went to the Bahamas, I swam with manta rays, drank lots of rum and let little island girls overcharge me to braid a few strands of my hair with beads. If I went to Venice, I'd have to ride in a gondola. In Paris, I'd have to climb to the top of Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower. You've just got to do it because the chance may never come up again.
In Scotland, I will probably have taken at least one bite of haggis and one sip of Scottish whisky. I'll probably stop there, but I will have done it. (I do reserve the right to change my mind about this, however.) I will have bought myself some beautiful celtic jewelry and maybe a wool or cashmere sweater. As for the adventure - its going to be horseback riding through the Scottish countryside. I know you're thinking that I live in the country and that riding horses is commonplace, but I'll tell you - this city girl hasn't ridden a horse in 20 years. It isn't something I do everyday and it certainly isn't ever going to be through the Scottish hills, even if I took up riding when I came home.
There's several places that ofter "Pony Trekking" through the Inveraray Argyll countryside and the shores of Loch Fyne. The one we're going with is called Brenfield Farms. I've ridden on a horse once. When I was 8. It says the riders do not need to be experienced for the tour we're taking. They'd better mean it. If that horse so much as trots, I'm likely to take a head dive into Loch Fyne, if not a rocky crag. Instigator mentioned something about them not using real saddles - some English thing that means there's little for me to grip to in abject fear. Should be fun! :)
Even if my horse does have a mind of its own and does something crazy, it will be memorable at the very least. A great two page layout in my scrapbook to remember the trip. Then I can say I did something very cool in Scotland that most people haven't done. Hopefully we won't be too saddle sore.
What has been your biggest travel adventure? Have you flown in a helicopter over a Hawaiian volcano? Swam with dolphins? Rode on a donkey to the bottom of the Grand Canyon? If you haven't got a story to share, what is your dream travel adventure? Share your story and one commenter will get a Scotland magnet for their fridge.
P.S. from PM
They're coming home tomorrow! And I won't be here! I guess I'll catch up with them via email over the weekend and in person next week.
Eye of the Beholder
Either I've terribly mis-guestimated my longhand word count or it's not going to take 6000 words to tell this story because I'm nearing the end. Yay! But I like to at least end up around 5000 words because that gives me a check with a nice round number -- provided they buy it that is.
3,100 / 6,000